what is vasectomy
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What is vasectomy or male sterilisation?

Also called male sterilisation, vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting or blocking two tubes so that sperm can no longer get into the semen.

What is Vasectomy? 

Vasectomy is also known as male sterilisation or male contraception or nasbandi. It is a permanent method of male contraception. In this, the small tubes in scrotum that carry sperm are cut or blocked to prevent sperm from leaving body to cause conception in the sexual partner’s uterus.

It’s a minor procedure that takes only a few minutes and can be done under local anaesthesia by conventional method vasectomy (involving small cuts and stitches in the skin on sides of scrotum) or non-scalpel vasectomy (that does not involve cuts and stitches but making a small puncture hole in the skin of scrotum). 

Where to get vasectomy done? 

You need to visit a urologist - a well-trained doctor who specializes in treating the urinary tract of males and the reproductive system, at any hospital to get the procedure done.

How is it done? 

The doctor will give you local anesthesia to numb your testicles. It will not let you feel any pain. The procedure is very safe, quick, and you can go home right after. However, a few days of rest is what will be needed.             

There are two main types of vasectomy procedure: conventional/scalpel (or incision) vasectomy and no scalpel vasectomy. The main difference between the two is how the urologist treats the vas deferens – the ducts that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra, where it mixes with semen.

In a conventional vasectomy, an incision is made on each side of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. With a no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV), the surgeon uses a clamp to hold the vas deferens from outside the scrotum. A small hole is then made with a needle in the scrotum for access to the ducts. This method is preferred more as it is much simpler, requires no stitches and results in less pain and bleeding.

Check out the diagram below to understand male sterilisation or vasectomy procedure: 

Shutterstock/Double Brain

How much will it cost? 

While the cost of non surgical vasectomy in private hospitals ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 40,000, some state governments also pay INR 1,100 as an incentive to those who go through the procedure.

In private hospitals, the cost of the surgical procedure starts from INR 85,000 onwards and varies with different clinics and cities. The rates at government hospitals have been subsidised. Vasectomies don’t cause any physical or capability changes in men. They still have an orgasm through ejaculation. The semen will have the same looks and consistency but will not result in pregnancy

Is it effective?

Vasectomy is considered a highly effective method of contraception. However, due to lack of information and high prevalence of misconceptions, few people go for vasectomy in India. Vasectomies are only 6.8% of all sterilisations in 2017-18, according to data by National Health Mission.

Can it be reversed? 

In effect, though, vasectomy is also reversible by a complicated procedure, with a higher success rate if done within first 10 years.

“Vasectomy is hard to re-canalize and mostly it is not successful,” says says Dr Nimmi Rastogi, obstetrician and gynaecologist and Advisor at Delhi government’s Health Dialogue and Development Commission.

Complications from vasectomy 

Complications might include collection of blood inside the scrotum, hard lumps called sperm granulomas caused due to sperm leaking from the tubes, an infection or long-term testicle pain.

Pros of a Vasectomy 

  • Better sex - now that you know you can’t get your partner pregnant, that worry is gone and sex is more pleasurable. 
  • Reliable - This is a reliable method for birth control, where you are 100% sure that it works and changes of pregnancy are negligible. 
  • It does not effect male erections, climaxes, sex drive or even your ejaculations. You have sex just the same way as you had before. 
  • Minor surgery, less side effects. 

Cons of Vasectomy 

  • It's a permanent form of birth control so only have a vasectomy if you are absolutely sure you don’t want to have children in the future.
  • No protection against STI/STDs. You’ll still want to use a male condom if having sex with multiple partners. 
  • There might be pain, swelling and discomfort immediately after the procedure. But it does go away after a week or so.

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