The issue of contraceptive methods has always been a thorny one even amongst medical professionals but none is as divisive as the male vasectomy which is actually a safer option especially when compared to the process for females called tubal ligation.
I remembered talking about working on this topic in the writers’ room and the reaction on everyone’s faces was one of bemused amazement; even the only female amongst us was befuddled asking whether I can undergo the process.
Nothing like the thought of getting snipped to make a man humble.
A guy may be willing to sacrifice his life for his wife, but he’s not brave enough to sacrifice his sperm. Go figure.
It’s not just impotence that’s stigmatised, either: any suggestion that you’ve got “a problem with your manhood” plays into classic male insecurities.
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. During the procedure, the male vas deferens are cut and tied or sealed so as to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and thereby prevent fertilization of a female through sexual intercourse.
Vasectomies are usually performed in a physician’s office, medical clinic, or, when performed on an animal, in a veterinary clinic—hospitalization is not normally required as the procedure is not complicated, the incisions are small, and the necessary equipment routine.
Here are the top five reasons why most men are scared of undergoing the procedure:
Let’s with the most obvious fear—pain. This is understandable, as the thought of having your scrotum sliced open can make any man quiver. But the truth is, there is no scrotum cutting in a vasectomy!
Most vasectomies today are a non-scalpel procedure, meaning there’s no incision. Instead, doctors make a tiny puncture in the scrotum and stretch the skin to access the vas deferens. It doesn’t even require stitches. It’s a non-invasive procedure, and most guys don’t feel anything because they get a local anaesthesia.
Local anaesthesia is similar to what you’d get when a dentist numbs your gums to do a filling. So at most, you’ll feel a slight pulling sensation. Contrast this with a tubal ligation, which is more invasive and may require a general anaesthesia.
After the procedure, you may feel some soreness or have swelling, but if you follow the doctor’s instructions and ice the area and rest, you shouldn’t have too much discomfort.
It is always surprising to me when one encounters well-educated men who display such astounding ignorance on the issue of contraception with the majority of them passing the buck to their wives – the tubal ligation for women which is more invasive and fraught with risks in comparison.
Most men really love and care about their wives but they need to take more interest in their reproductive health by showing the willingness to learn while supporting them.
IMPACT ON SEX LIFE
Another reason guys are afraid of a vasectomy is they think it will hinder their sex drive. A vasectomy makes you infertile, not impotent.
You’ll still have erections, you’ll still produce the same amount of testosterone, and you’ll still produce sperm. You’ll still ejaculate. The only difference is sperm cells will no longer leave your body in the semen. A vasectomy severs the tube that transports sperm—that’s it.
All your male parts will work the same. In fact, a vasectomy may improve your sex life because there are no worries about getting your wife pregnant.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK
They have been instances of guys who get their wives pregnant after a vasectomy. Sure, that’s a legitimate concern. You muster up the courage to have the procedure, and then it doesn’t work? What a waste!
Well, chances are the procedure worked. Less than 1 per cent of vasectomies fail. If sperm slips into the semen, it’s usually because of a guy’s negligence.
After the surgery, you’re not home free. You can resume sex about a week after the procedure, but sperm still lives in your vas deferens for several months. So you have to use another form of birth control for a while.
When are you in the clear? About three months (or 20-30 ejaculations) after the vasectomy, you need to check your sperm count to make sure you’re sterile.
DOES IT INCREASE RISK OF CANCER?
Side-effects are a legitimate concern about any procedure, especially if cancer is one of them. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, some studies suggested a link between vasectomies and prostate cancer.
However, many questioned the quality of the research of those studies. Researchers reviewed 53 studies examining the link between vasectomies and prostate cancer risk and found that there might be a 0.6 per cent increased risk of prostate cancer from a vasectomy.
Many studies since the 1990s haven’t found a link between vasectomies and the disease, and both the National Cancer Institute and the American Urological Association say that a vasectomy doesn’t increase the risk of prostate cancer.
All guys have fears, even if they won’t admit them. But when you educate yourself about the things you fear, they become less intimidating. A vasectomy is nothing to fear. About half a million guys have one each year. So man up and take one for the team. It might just boost your masculinity rating.