Let’s face it. There comes a time, when many families reach a point where they are ready to say goodbye to making babies. And with that decision comes the conversation on how to go about…no longer making babies.
One of the options discussed in some households is for the husband to get a vasectomy. But before reaching that decision, most men (and women) have A LOT of questions (and worst case scenarios) running through their minds.
So we have teamed up with Dr. Timothy Richardson, of Wichita Urology Group, to help us answer some questions about vasectomies (from our very own husbands)!
Everything You Want to Know About Getting a Vasectomy
1. How long is the typical recovery of a vasectomy? The typical recovery from a vasectomy is about two days. We recommend the patient stay off his feet as much as possible the day of the vasectomy as well as the day after and apply ice (a frozen bag of peas works great) to the scrotal area during recovery. Typically, the aching or swelling is resolved by this point, however it is common to still have some pain for several days after strenuous activity like athletics or weight lifting.
2. How effective is a vasectomy, and what are the odds of another pregnancy post op? A vasectomy is extremely effective. Most Urologists will have zero to two failed vasectomies in their entire career. Failure is typically immediate and is almost always caught during the post-vasectomy specimen check.
3. When will I be “shooting blanks”? We obtain a post-vasectomy specimen two months after the procedure to make sure there are no viable/swimming sperm. Usually, all is clear at this time, however it is common to see a few dead sperm for a period of time, however these will not cause pregnancy.
4. Can I be put under or do I have to stay awake? The vasectomy can certainly be done in a surgery center with sedation if the patient prefers, however there are extra costs associated with this method due to the facility and anesthesia charges.
5. What are the most commonly seen complications? The most common complication would be simply having excessive swelling and pain associated with a hematoma (large blood clot), caused from a bleeding blood vessel. This slowly resolves spontaneously but can cause pain for up to a couple weeks.
6. Will I feel like I’ve lost my manhood? NO! There is no change in testosterone levels, erectile function or ejaculation after a vasectomy. We are simply just removing the sperm cells from the ejaculate fluid, which will not change the volume of the ejaculate either.
7. How many men get vasectomies? It is an extremely common procedure. Most urologists are doing a few every week. Some Family Practice physicians perform vasectomies as well.
8. Do I need to shave? Yes, I have men shave the hair off the scrotum in the shower a day before their vasectomy, which helps prevent infection. It is easiest to use a razor with soap and water while in the shower (electric trimmers often cut the skin, OUCH!).
9. Does insurance cover this or what is typical cost? Insurance often DOES cover a vasectomy. Cost to the patient is variable depending on co-insurance and deductibles. November and December are extremely busy times for vasectomies as most have met their insurance deductibles by then. However, if paying full price, a vasectomy in the Wichita market is typically around $980.
10. Does the procedure hurt? Does going to the restroom hurt afterward? Most of the discomfort during the procedure is with injecting the lidocaine (numbing medicine), however this process is only about 30 seconds. There might be a mild tugging or aching sensation during the procedure as well, but most guys don’t feel much after the lidocaine is injected.
11. (From the wives) How can I convince my husband to get a vasectomy? Convincing your husband is easy: Get a vasectomy, or wear a rubber the rest of your life. Your choice.
If you would like more information about setting up a consultation for this procedure, you may contact Wichita Urology Group at (316) 636-6100.
Wichita Urology is hosting the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run on June 17th and invites all Wichita families to join. A perfect way to celebrate dad and support a good cause – there will be a Kids’ Dash and a family celebration after the race. For more information, follow the Facebook Page.
About the Author: Timothy A. Richardson, MDBoard Certified by the American Board of Urology Dr. Richardson joined Wichita Urology in July 2012. He received his medical degree from the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine, in Kansas City, KS. He completed his residency in urology at the University Of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, then joined the Urology Center, P.C. in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Richardson is certified by the American College of Surgeons and board certified by the American Board of Urology.Education: Medical Degree: University Of Kansas School Of Medicine, Kansas City, KS Residency: University Of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska Certifications: American College of Surgeons