Dear Dr G,
I am in my 40s, happily married with kids. My wife and I have pretty much decided that we do not want anymore kids.
It is rather worrisome that "accidents (pregnancy)" can happen even though protection and precautions have been taken especially at this stage (or even later stage) of our age.
I have decided to consider vasectomy as a permanent fix to the possibilities of above and would like to know the following:
a) Would there be any harmful side effects to men after the procedure (i.e. reduction or imbalance of male hormones, accelerated ageing, blockages of internal sperm circulations)?
b) Will the procedure affect my sexual fulfillment i.e. shooting blanks perhaps would not give equal pleasures?
c) I read there is several types of procedures when it comes to vasectomy - which one would be the most recommended?
Sorry to put Dr G on the spot, I would be grateful to know more about vasectomy before I proceed with the procedure.
Vasectomy is a surgical intervention for the sole purpose of male sterilisation achieving permanent contraception.
This modality of birth control is as efficacious as tubal ligation for women, but comparatively, it is less invasive and more cost effective.
Vasectomy has increase over the years in countries like UK, Netherlands and New Zealand, where 18% of single men and 25% of married men have a vasectomy.
Imaging nearly one in five men make the active decision to block the spread of the gene pool, compared with the high rates of female sterilisation among African and Latino Americans.
In vasectomy, the vas deferens that is responsible for the delivery of sperms to mix with the seminal fluid in the prostate is severed and ligated so that the sperm passage is completely occluded.
Although it might sound brutally painful, the surgery is a 20-minute local anesthetic intervention, with the vas deferens is located by touch prior to the injection of local anesthesia.
Two small openings in the scrotum are made to extract, cut, tied and stitched in order stop those gametes from reaching the outside world.
Despite the occlusion, the sperms are continuously being produced but absorbed by the body, just like how the body handles excess sperms after several days of abstinence.
There are several variations of vasectomy including no-scalpel technique and vasclip implants, with the intention of luring men to go for the snip.
In the no-scalpel intervention, a clamp is used to poke through the scrotal skin to gain access to the vas.
The vasclip implant uses a device to lock and block the vas deferens without cutting and suture.
In reality, the traditional vasectomy procedure is quite harmless and complication free. Therefore, the different techniques may not be necessary.
The major obstacles faced by men when making the decision to go for the snip are usually sexually related.
Men worry about sex life after the snip - the issues with "less hard" and "less pleasurable".
Contrary to the common fear, instead of facing decrease libido and impotency, new research from Stanford University demonstrated men with vasectomy actually get more sex!
In a survey done on nearly 6,000 men, men with vasectomy have sex an average of 5.9 times per month compared with the “intact” men who gets sex about 4.9 times.
I guess it doesn’t take a genius to work out that couples are more responsive to sex when they don’t need to worry about contraception!
The fact is vasectomy does not affect the testosterone production and blood circulation that determines the sex drives and hardness of the manhood.
In addition, the semen that is produced by men generally consist of fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicle, that remains unaltered in volume, colour, texture and whatever else (I am sure you know what I mean). It is really difficult to think of a reason why not to take the plunge.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that Dr G is completely supportive of men who is contemplating vasectomy as a form of contraception.
> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.
Dr George Lee is a consultant Urologist and Clinical Associate Professor whose professional interest is in men’s health. The column “Ask Dr G” is a forum to help men debunk the myths and taboos on men’s issues that may be too “hard” to mention. You can send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org