Vasectomy is a permanent, highly effective and safe form of contraception. Along with condom use, it is really the only current form of contraception under a mans control.
Vasectomy involves interrupting the flow of mature sperm from the testicles into the ejaculate so that the ejaculate is then free from sperm. Ejaculate after vasectomy will still consist of all the other usual components, but just minus the sperm.
The procedure involves a small hole in the midline of the scrotum about 3mm in length. The vas (tube that carries sperm from the testicles to join the rest of the ejaculate) on both sides are located, separated , and diathermied so that the sperm can no longer flow. An open ended vasectomy means that there is less tension on the testicular end and has been shown to reduce the chance of long term pain.
Contraception becomes effective about 2-3 months post vasectomy. This is because the tubing of the male anatomy still has healthy sperm present which find their way into the ejaculate for some time after the procedure. Other forms of contraception must be used to avoid pregnancy until a sperm count at 2-3 months confirms that there are no sperm in the ejaculate.
Post procedure men should plan to be resting for 3 days, being more horizontal than vertical and also avoid exercise for at least a week. Excess activity in these early days can lead to localised bleeding in the scrotum which means that full recovery takes longer and there is more discomfort. Exercise can resume at 1 week with walking all day; non contact sport by 10 days; and cycling, contact sport and heavy weights by 3 weeks.
Icing intermittently (plastic bag of frozen pea wrapped in some cloth) helps amazingly with reducing swelling and discomfort in the first 3 days. Analgesia should only be needed until day 4 and should be paracetamol based. Ibuprofen should be avoided as this carries a higher risk of bleeding.
After the procedure, you will be given a pathology kit (so that you can do a semen sample in 2-3 months), a medical certificate for 4 days and a script for analgesia (paracetamol and codeine) if requested.
Results of the semenalysis are then given by phone a few days after the sample has been provided.