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Getting Ready for Your Vasectomy: What to Expect

Are you asking your boss for time off to get a vasectomy?

You probably have a lot more questions than just “How much paid time off can I use?” To a lot of men, this procedure can sound scary. However, if you know what you’re getting into, vasectomies really aren’t all that bad.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the process, so you can walk into the appointment with confidence. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Vasectomy?

Vasectomies aren’t serious surgeries, but they’re a bit more invasive than getting a filling at the dentist.

During this sterilization procedure, the vasa deferentia gets either blocked or cut. The vasa deferentia are the tubes that transport your sperm, so if they can’t move the sperm, you’ll no longer be able to reproduce.

Why Get a Vasectomy?

If you and your partner want to get sterilized, it’s best for you to do it, and not here. The World Health Organization reports that it’s safer, easier, and much cheaper for men to get sterilized than for women.

There have been rumors that vasectomies increase your chances of prostate cancer, but research has shown that these rumors aren’t true. If you’re sure your baby-making days are over, there’s really no reason not to get a vasectomy.

Types of Vasectomy

There are two main ways to do the procedure.

1. Incision

This process takes about a half an hour or less. Your doctor will either make two small cuts on each side of the scrotum, or a single cut in the middle. Then, they’ll use the incision to reach a section of the vasa deferentia, and either tie the tubes, cauterize them with electrical current, or block them with surgical clips.

Although this may sound scary, the procedure is fast, and modern anesthetics make it pain-free.

2. Non-Incision

This method is even faster, and much less intimidating. Non-incision vasectomies got started in 1974 in China, and today, they’re quickly becoming the preferred vasectomy method.

No scalpel is involved in this procedure. Instead, your doctor will make a small puncture through which they can reach both vasa deferentia tubes. Once they’ve reached the tubes, the same processes are used to block them.

Non-incision procedures have a faster recovery time, no stitches required, and a lower chance of bruising or infection.

Vasectomy Recovery Time

No matter which method gets used, you’ll still enjoy a fairly fast recovery time. Your boss will be glad to hear that you can return to work pretty much as soon as the procedure is done. You’ll just need to stay away from intense exercise for a week or so.

At most, you may need about a day or two to rest, with some ice and over-the-counter painkillers.

Sex After a Vasectomy

You’ll be able to start having sex again after about a week of recovery time, if not sooner. And don’t worry – just because your tubes no longer carry sperm doesn’t mean your orgasms will be different.

Sperm is just a tiny percentage of semen, and your body will still make the seminal fluid. In fact, it’ll still make sperm, too – the sperm just can’t reach the penis anymore. It will get absorbed back into your body, but everything will look and feel perfectly normal during sex.

The Vasectomy Procedure

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at what the procedure will really look like, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Pre-Vasectomy

Your doctor will tell you exactly how to get ready. They’ll probably have you sign a consent form, stating that you give the doctor your permission for the procedure, and that you know it’s not guaranteed to be effective.

Vasectomies work the vast majority of the time, but there is a small percentage of men who don’t become sterile afterward.

You’ll likely to required to avoid taking ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen for about two weeks before the procedure. These medications can cause bleeding post-surgery if you keep taking them.

You should let your doctor know about any supplements, herbal remedies, or medications you’re taking. Let them know if you’ve had a past scrotal surgery, too.

Make sure there’s an adult friend or family member who can take you home once the surgery is over. On the day of the procedure, you’ll need to shower and wash your scrotum thoroughly. The doctor may also ask you to shave it.

Bring tight cotton briefs or a jock strap to your appointment, and don’t eat anything more than a small snack before the surgery.

During Vasectomy

Your doctor will have you undress and lay down on a table. They might give you medicine to keep you calm, as well as injecting pain medicine into the area so you won’t feel the surgical procedure.

After the area is completely numb, the procedure can begin. If you need stitches (for an incision procedure), the doctor will finish up with those, and then you’ll be given a bit of time to rest before heading home.

Post-Vasectomy

The vasectomy side effects are luckily minimal. Your scrotum might be a bit swollen and bruised for about a week, and you may see a bit of bloody discharge from the incision area. This is nothing to worry about – it’s normal.

Your recovery will go smoothly if you give yourself a day or two to rest, while wearing your snug briefs or jock strap. An ice pack will keep the swelling down, and acetaminophen painkillers will keep you comfortable. Remember to avoid ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, since they can cause bleeding.

In addition to waiting a week before doing rigorous exercise, you’ll also need to wait 48 hours before you can shower. Although you’ll be able to start having sex fairly soon (depending on what your doctor says), you won’t be totally sterile right away. Ask your doctor how long you’ll need to use alternate birth control for.

If you have a rare side effect like trouble urinating, urologists can help you troubleshoot the issue, but you should also talk to your doctor.

Is a Vasectomy Right For You?

If you’re sure you don’t want any more children, a vasectomy procedure is a safe, effective, and reliable way to become sterile.

Worried about navigating the conversation with your boss? You won’t need much time off for this procedure, so it should be easy. But our tips can help you know how to approach your boss – read more here.

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