Vasectomies are a very common topic often discussed in pubs and bars around Australia. Often I get asked what my experience is counselling and doing vasectomies. I’ve been in this industry approximately 20 years and I’ve performed around 2000 vasectomies in the Cairns area including the Northern Beaches Palm Cove, Clifton Beach, Trinity Beach and Smithfield areas. Most patients do exceptionally well especially if they follow post procedure instructions and we’ve had no failures to date.
Its interesting that around 1 in 4 Australian men have had a vasectomy, so it is very common. Although despite the commonality of this procedure there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about what a vasectomy is, how it is performed and what the consequences are long term.
I often have a wry smile when patients come in for “the talk” so to speak regarding a vasectomy. Often men recall horrendous stories about mates following a procedure such as a vasectomy. Let me reassure you a vasectomy is a very simple procedure which is performed under a twilight anesthesia and local anesthetic in my practice and indeed it is done in a very painless fashion.
TOP 10 VASECTOMY MYTHS ANSWERED
MYTH 1: HAVING A VASECTOMY WILL INCREASE MY CHANCE OF DISEASE
There is some thought that a vasectomy might affect diseases like prostate cancer and heart disease. There has been extensive studies regarding this over many years and to date there has been no evidence that a vasectomy will influence your risk of getting prostate cancer or future heart problems.
MYTH 2: I WONT WANT SEX AGAIN AFTER A VASECTOMY OR WONT BE ABLE TO PERFORM
It’s a common misconception that a vasectomy will affect sexual urge and sexual function, this is not true. The evidence is that in some circumstances it can actually enhance sexual function because we don’t have the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. The evidence suggests there is no influence from this operation on your future sex life.
MYTH 3: NOTHING WILL COME OUT WHEN I EJACULATE AFTER A VASECTOMY
It’s a misconception that when you have a vasectomy you will no longer ejaculate but this is not true. Around 98% of the ejaculate is made by the prostate and seminal vesicle, only 2% of the ejaculate is the swimmers. So when you don’t have the sperm in the ejaculate, you will not notice it because it’s only around 2%. This is one of the reasons you have to do a sperm test to see if you have reduced the amount of sperm in the semen because you will not notice it physically.
MYTH 4: AFTER A VASECTOMY MY TESTOSTERONE LEVELS WILL CHANGE
The testes will function normally after a vasectomy, the testes will still produce sperm and produce testosterone normally.
MYTH 5: IT WILL HURT AFTER A VASECTOMY
This is a common misconception that vasectomies are horrendously painful and last for long periods of time with discomfort, this is not true. With modern anesthetic we can reduce the incidence of pain during and post operation to a bare minimum.
MYTH 6: I WONT BE ABLE TO HAVE SEX FOR A LONG TIME AFTER A VASECTOMY
A common question asked when can I commence sex, it’s recommended around 7 days post procedure, some people take longer depending on discomfort and pain they have post operation. On average its 7 to 10 days post operation that you can re commence sexual activity.
MYTH 7: THE VASECTOMY WILL FAIL AND MY TUBES WILL RE – CONNECT
The failure rate of a vasectomy if performed correctly and the patient follows the postoperative sperm analysis appropriately, the risk of failure is around 1 of 2000. It’s thought that in that group the tubes that are tied can reconnect, although this is very rare. In 20 years of doing this procedure we have had zero cases.
MYTH 8: THE HORROR STORIES I HEAR ABOUT VASECTOMY’S WILL HAPPEN TO ME
There are horror stories your mates like to tell and brag about in the pub about vasectomies, but in reality most vasectomies go very smoothly and with minimal pain. However if you do not follow your post operative instructions this could cause some significant bruising or bleeding and of course this would cause pain.
MYTH 9: THE VASECTOMY CAN NEVER BE REVERSED
The main reason men return to us for a reversal of a vasectomy is sadly a breakup in a relationship and the male meets a younger lady who wishes to have children. A vasectomy can be reversed however the success rate of a reversal really depends on the type of procedure that was done. More importantly the length of time between when the vasectomy was done and when the reversal is performed. If you choose to have a reversal within 5 years of a vasectomy, the success rate is around 75%. If you choose to have reversal within 5 – 10 years of a vasectomy, the success rate is around 50 – 55%.
MYTH 10: I WONT BE ABLE TO WORK FOR A LONG TIME AFTER A VASECTOMY
Indeed if you are in a sedentary job you can return to work 1 to 2 days after the procedure, if you are in a fairly physical job we recommend you do not have any physical exertion for 7 to 10 days after to make sure you do not injure the area.