Vasectomy is an effective birth control procedure for men. Listen to board certified urologist Dr. Christopher Adams discuss the procedure and its benefits on Mason City Clinic podcast.
Listen to the podcast (transcript below):
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 641-494-5280
Welcome to Mason City Docs On Call, a podcast series with Mason City Clinic specialists who help educate us how to stay healthy. I’m your host, Carol Gifford.
Vasectomy is a highly effective birth control procedure for men. Here with us today to help educate us about vasectomy and if it may be a good option for you is board-certified urologist Dr. Christopher Adams who, along with the other Mason City Clinic urologists, perform vasectomies at the Mason City Clinic office and the Mason City Ambulatory Surgery Center. So welcome to the program, Dr. Adams.
Thank you for having me.
So, describe vasectomy for us, and why is it so effective for men for sterilization?
Vasectomy is technically a surgical procedure. That being said, it’s a minor surgical procedure. It involves basically cutting the tubes that carry sperm to the ejaculate, which leads to sterility.
And so what, in your experience, and you have a lot of experience, what leads a man to want a vasectomy?
It’s a personal choice, but it’s a form of birth control. Men don’t have a lot of options for birth control, whereas you think about females, there’s different pills, shots, tubal ligation. So, this allows a man to take birth control into his own hands. It is a permanent procedure. So, unlike having to take a pill or a shot and have to be faithful with it, once you have the procedure, theoretically it’s permanent.
The other thing is we see a lot of couples where once the female gets about 35 years of age there’s actually increased risk of blood clots and other complications from taking oral contraceptives. So, because of that, couples have to decide amongst themselves if the man will get sterilized.
Well, it sounds like that you talk to men about this procedure, but you maybe talk to the couples about this procedure as well.
Absolutely, yeah. So when we do consultations for vasectomy, a lot of times both partners are in the room just so they can hear all the different options for birth control and make a conscientious decision whether vasectomy is right for them.
So what are the most common questions that you get about vasectomy?
A lot of guys ask are they put under anesthesia? Is it done in a formal operating room? Is it done in a clinic? How painful is the procedure?
We do the vasectomy in one of our procedure rooms here at the Mason City Clinic, takes about 30 minutes from start to finish for the vasectomy. We obviously use lidocaine, which is a form of numbing medication to numb the areas where you make the very small incisions.
Recovery time is usually only about three or four days. We usually do this procedure on a Thursday or Friday, so by Monday or Tuesday of the next week, they’re back to work.
The procedure is very well tolerated. We do give them some medications before the procedure, which acts as an anxiolytic so basically makes you calmer for the procedure to be done. So, very well tolerated. Rarely are there any major type of complications.
And also, I’m sure this is a question you get, how soon after this procedure can men go back to a sexual life?
We recommend one week of abstinence after the procedure.
And I’ve heard this before. You said that vasectomies are permanent, but are they reversible?
Yeah. So, once we do a vasectomy, the overall risk of failure is about one in 2,000. So, it’s very, very, very effective. Even though we do the vasectomy and we do counsel men that it is permanent, theoretically within usually the first 10 years or so, it can be reversed, albeit that is another surgical procedure.
Wonderful. So is there anything else you want to say about vasectomy?
Yeah, vasectomy is safe. It’s an excellent form of birth control. It’s something that we do regularly here at the Mason City Clinic. Not a lot of pain involved with the procedure itself. I mean, I think a lot of men have the stigma of any type of surgery down in the genital area is going to be painful and scarring and traumatizing, and it’s just not the case.
So if a man or a couple are interested in talking to you or any of your partners about vasectomy, how do they get in touch with you?
Sure, so there’s four board-certified urologists at the Mason City Clinic. We can be reached at 641-494-5280.
Another thing that I will just say as well is a lot of couples also decide between whether they’re going to do a tubal ligation, which is a permanent form of sterilization in a female versus a vasectomy. Tubal ligation in a female is actually major abdominal surgery. It’s actually a much, much more involved surgery with a lot higher risk of complications as compared to the vasectomy. So I’ll say that as well.
Wonderful. Well, thank you for being on the program.
Well, thank you for having me.
Thank you for listening to Mason City Docs On Call. For more episodes go to mcclinic.com/radio-podcasts.