What is Vasectomy?

There are only two birth control options available to men: condoms and vasectomy. While condoms are barrier devices that prevent the sperm from going into the woman’s body, vasectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at closing the vas deferens – a narrow tube that transports sperm from the male’s testes, preventing its release without interfering with ejaculation.

Vasectomy is permanent, virtually 100 percent effective and it’s a lot less expensive than a tubal ligation – a permanent birth control method for women that involves having her “tubes tied” to prevent her eggs from traveling out of her ovaries. Like tubal ligation, vasectomy is generally not reversible; once you have it done, there’s usually no turning back.

This birth control method is not effective immediately. Unlike condoms, which are effective as soon as they’re worn. But with vasectomy, it may take a few months after undergoing the procedure before all the remaining sperm are ejaculated from the tubes. Unless one gets his semen sample tested and it appears that his sperm count is zero, he could still impregnate his girlfriend or wife. Generally, it takes about 10 to 20 ejaculations to clear the sperm from the semen.

At a 99.85 percent effectiveness rate, vasectomy almost ties with abstinence as the most effective birth control method. At this rate, only one or two out of one thousand women become pregnant by their partners who underwent vasectomy.

Unless you and your partner are absolutely certain that you’re never going to have children, vasectomy is your option. Otherwise, discuss other birth control options with your partner.

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