Every couple reaches a time in their lives when children are no longer an option, and permanent birth control starts to be discussed. For decades, women have endured the hormonal powers of the pill or endured invasive – and sometimes painful – procedures to prevent pregnancy.

Today, advancements in medical technology have made the vasectomy a highly sought after birth control method. It’s non-invasive, reversible, somewhat less expensive and accomplished by a simple procedure in the office of your urologist Des Moines.

What is a vasectomy and how is it performed?

A vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control that stops the release of sperm when a man ejaculates. There are two types of vasectomies:

The incision method starts with cleaning the area of the testicles and the scrotum. Then, a local anesthetic is inserted into the sperm duct. The urologist Des Moines will wait a few minutes to be sure the anesthetic is effective before making two small openings in the scrotum. The tubes are then cut, sealed and replaced inside the scrotum.

The two openings are then stitched closed with stiches that are designed to dissolve. The procedure usually only takes 20 to 30 minutes, and it’s recommended that the patient have someone else drive him home.

With the other method – the no-incision method – there are no incisions in the scrotum area. Your urologist Des Moines will pierce each tube and then tie and block both tubes. The tiny punctures heal quickly, with no need for stitches. The no-scalpel method reduces bleeding, bruising and other complications that can come with surgery.

How much recovery time is required?

Although the treatment is performed fairly quickly, there is some down time. Minor pain and some swelling is common but it should go down several days after the procedure. Most men can resume sexual intercourse a week after the surgery, however some men need more time to heal.

Will your sex life be affected?

A vasectomy does not mean the end of your sex life, as it has no impact on sexual drive, ability to achieve and/or maintain an erection, or hinder orgasms or your ability to ejaculate (but no sperm will be present).

Vasectomies are only an option for men seeking a permanent method of birth control.  Men should not get a vasectomy if they want to have a child. Consult your urologist Des Moines before scheduling an appointment.