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      Vasectomy is often called 'male birth control'. The process involves cutting and sealing the vas deferens', which are the tubes that carry sperm into the seminal fluid. This permanently ends the ability of sperm to be released with semen. It is important to understand that a vasectomy does not interfere with the ability to obtain or maintain an erection, the ability to achieve orgasm, the production of male hormones, the production of sperm in the testicles or the secretions of the prostate and seminal vesicles vital to sexual function. There is also no decrease in the amount of semen ejected during ejaculation. This is because sperm makes up a miniscule amount of ejaculate.
      A vasectomy procedure can be completed in approximately 20 minutes and begins with the injection of an anesthetic into the scrotum. A pair of tiny cuts are made in the scrotum, at which point each vas deferens is pulled through the opening, forming a loop. Approximately a half inch is removed from each vas deferens, then each vas deferens is closed using stitches or cauterization (or both) and placed back into the scrotum. The tiny incisions are then closed with stitches.

No Scalpel Vasectomy

      A vasectomy using the 'no-scalpel technique' employs a small, sharp hook to penetrate the skin of the scrotum and pull out the vas deferens' so that the surgeon can sever them. This method results in a slightly smaller skin incision than that resulting from a scalpel cut.

After Vasectomy - Recovery

      Recovery from a vasectomy is fast and usually virtually pain free. Some swelling and/or discomfort in the scrotum is common for 2-3 weeks after the procedure. Patients are advised to refrain from strenuous exercise and intercourse for 2-3 weeks. One or several tests will be carried out 2-4 weeks (or months, if necessary) after the procedure to ensure that no sperm is present in the ejaculate. Until this is assured, patients should practice an alternative birth control method. Vasectomy is an extremely reliable procedure. Under 1% of vasectomies are deemed failures.

Vasectomy Cost

      The costs associated with a vasectomy procedure vary depending on geographical location, however, the cost is typically between $500-$1000. Many health insurance plans fully cover the cost of a vasectomy.

Vasectomy Reversal

      In a typical year, over 1 million men undergo a vasectomy procedure. Of these men, 2-5% later decide to have a vasectomy reversal. Vasectomy reversal involves reconnecting the ducts that carry sperm from the testicles into the semen. A vasectomy reversal typically costs between $5-$10,000 and is not usually covered by most healthcare plans. It is important to note that the success rate of a vasectomy reversal declines sharply for those men who underwent the vasectomy more than 15 years in the past. A vasectomy is considered the most reliable form of male birth control. After vasectomy incidences of insemination are well below 1%.

For more information about vasectomies, visit the Mayo Clinic's website and perform a search for vasectomy. For detailed information about the no scalpel vasectomy, visit Vasectomy

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