7 Common Myths about Vasectomies
If you or your partner are looking into contraception methods, you’ve probably considered vasectomies before. While vasectomies are gaining popularity as a contraception procedure for men, a lot of people may have second thoughts about getting one and might still be on the fence. For one, the seemingly permanent nature of the procedure may be scary to some. But that’s just one of the many myths that might deter men from going for the procedure and enjoying all of its benefits. Here are some of the most common myths about vasectomies and the whole truth about them.
Vasectomies Eliminate Ejaculations
One of the biggest misconceptions about vasectomies is that they completely eliminate ejaculations, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Semen is produced by the seminal vesicles and the prostate, which are not cut off during the procedure. After the procedure, you will still produce fluids during ejaculation, but the amount of spermatozoa present will be so negligible that the chances for impregnation will be close to zero. You’ll also feel the same contractions as you did before since they are the result of your pelvic muscles contracting, which are not affected whatsoever by the procedure.
Your Testosterone Levels Will Drop After the Vasectomy
Again, completely false. While the testicles do produce both testosterone and sperm, the testosterone produced is released directly into the bloodstream and doesn’t go through the vas deferens. As a result, your testosterone levels won’t be affected by the vasectomy.
The Procedure is Painful and Even Dangerous
This is one of the most pervasive myths about vasectomies. But the whole procedure takes but a few minutes and is almost painless.
Vasectomies are outpatient procedures that take about 10 to 20 minutes on average, though you’ll probably have to schedule a counselling visit beforehand. The procedure is always performed under anaesthesia, whether it’s administered through jet spray, mini needle, or a standard needle.
As a matter of fact, anaesthesia is the only painful part of the procedure, and it’s pretty manageable. As mentioned, the procedure itself is virtually painless and recovery is pretty fast also. You’ll usually be required to stop any kind of hard physical activity for two days or whichever amount of time your doctor recommends and keep the area cool with cooling packs. Most people who undergo the procedure are able to get back to their normal activities and have sex a few week laters.
Vasectomies are Permanent
While vasectomies are one the most definitive forms of contraception, they can be reversed most of the time. However, the procedure is more complicated than a vasectomy and there are many things you should be aware of before you consider the option. The whole procedure takes a lot more time than a vasectomy – up to three hours in some cases. You’ll often also be asked to stay overnight for recovery.
A microsurgery will usually be performed to reconnect the tubes that are responsible for carrying sperm, but the exact procedure might differ depending on factors like the total amount of scar tissue in the area for instance. If you have more questions about vasectomy reversals, Dr Suks Minhas is an experienced vasectomy reversal consultant at the London Andrology Clinic and has written up some advice that will help you. If you still have more questions, you could book a consultation and learn more details about the procedure.
Vasectomies Increase the Chances of Prostate Cancer
While this is completely false, this is one of the most damaging myths about prostate cancer since it was sparked by an actual medical study. One particular study found a correlation between prostate cancer cases and people who underwent a vasectomy. However, there were plenty of holes in the theory. For one, there is no relationship between prostate cancer development and sperm production. All that was found was a correlation, but this could have been because people who underwent a vasectomy might have been more likely to get screened and diagnosed for prostate cancer.
Production of Sperm is Shut Down after a Vasectomy
This myth is perpetuated mainly due to a lack of understanding of how the male reproductive system works. You will still be producing sperm after your vasectomy; it simply won’t be able to be expelled. Sperm will usually have a 3- to 5-day lifespan and will eventually die out and be replaced. And it won’t stay in the testes either, but will get reabsorbed by the body. Your vasectomy won’t affect your sperm production, hence why vasectomy reversals work in the first place.
Tubal Ligation is a Simpler Procedure
While both procedures might seem similar to the layman, they are very different. Tubal ligation is a much more complex procedure, and has its fair share of risks as well. The patient will have to undergo an epidural or general anaesthesia and the procedure takes much longer than a vasectomy. It also has a much higher risk of complication.
As you can see, vasectomies aren’t that scary after all. If you still have questions, we strongly suggest you talk with a professional who’ll be more than happy to walk you through the whole procedure.
Written by Jenna Hilton