Every year, more than 500,000 American males get vasectomies. However, the only way to decide if the procedure is correct for your family is to consider your unique goals.
As an infertility clinic, the team at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility can provide guidance, but ultimately, getting a vasectomy is a deeply personal decision that should be made thoughtfully.
We should mention that we are not a clinic that offers vasectomies as a service. However, as a fertility clinic, we are aware of the impacts a vasectomy has on each person and partnership’s fertility journey, and we want to offer our two cents to everyone considering this procedure.
With that in mind, here are seven things to think about:
- What is a Vasectomy?
- Your Future Family Goals
- Potential Complications
- Procedure and Recovery Time
- Alternatives to Consider
- Risks of Reversal
- Insurance Coverage and Cost
What Is a Vasectomy?
If you’re thinking about a vasectomy, you should know precisely what it entails.
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that prevents a man from being able to father children. During the surgery, which typically takes less than an hour and can be performed under local anesthesia, the doctor will cut and seal off the vas deferens, two tubes carrying sperm from the testicles to the penis.
Once these tubes get sealed off, a man can no longer impregnate a partner. His sex drive, hormones, and ability to ejaculate will not change.
Your Future Family Goals
Before deciding on a vasectomy, it’s essential to consider your long-term family goals. Do you and your partner plan to have more children in the future? Or is your family complete? A vasectomy makes it impossible to get someone pregnant without fertility treatments or surgery, so ensure you are confident in your decision.
Every surgical procedure carries the risk of complications. Discussing these risks with a male infertility doctor like Dr. Gelety before the vasectomy is critical. Some potential complications include:
- Bleeding or blood clots in the scrotum
- Infection at the incision site
- Sperm granuloma, a lump caused by leaking sperm
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in the testicles or scrotum, infection, and bleeding.
Procedure and Recovery Time
Most vasectomies are performed in a doctor’s office or clinic, though some may be done in a hospital.
Recovery time from the procedure varies significantly from person to person, but most males return to normal activities within a few days. It’s important to refrain from strenuous activity or sexual intercourse for about a week after the procedure to ensure proper healing.
Pain and swelling are normal and can be alleviated with cold compresses or over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen.
Alternatives to Consider
A vasectomy is not your only option regarding long-term birth control. You and your partner may wish to consider non-surgical forms of birth control like the implant or the IUD. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are safe and effective and can be quickly reversed if you decide to have children later.
Risks of Reversal
Although it’s extremely rare, a vasectomy can reverse itself. If this occurs, you may accidentally impregnate your partner.
The reversal can also be deliberate. Doctors can perform a vasectomy reversal and restore fertility in most cases, but this procedure is much more costly than a vasectomy and has a lower success rate.
Insurance Coverage and Cost
A vasectomy costs between $0 and over $1000, depending on where you live and how much is covered by insurance. Other factors may also affect the cost, including the surgery technique. Less invasive options typically cost more.
It’s a good idea to check with your health insurance provider. Many insurers will comprehensively cover the cost of a vasectomy, while others may have specific requirements or limitations. Learn what your insurance will cover before searching for an infertility clinic near me.
Speak With a Specialist
Discussing your options with a male infertility specialist can help you make an informed decision.
At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, our experienced team can provide guidance and answer any questions. We know that choosing a vasectomy is no small decision — we’ll help you weigh the pros and cons to make the best choice for your family.
Call 520-326-0001 to learn more about our infertility clinic, or follow us on Facebook.