The Center for Male Fertility at Shady Grove Fertility offers a range of services including basic evaluation and testing for male factor infertility, as well as surgical interventions: microsurgical varicocele repair, microsurgical or open testicular sperm extraction, percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration, testicular sperm extraction, and vasectomy reversal. For those patients interested in permanent contraception, state-of-the-art vasectomy techniques are available.
The program’s team includes reproductive urologists, Paul R. Shin, M.D., Cori Tanrikut, M.D., and Russell Hayden, M.D., who care for patients in our Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. locations.
Patients outside of Shady Grove Fertility may be referred directly to Drs. Shin, Tanrikut, or Hayden for infertility evaluation and treatment, or for vasectomy services.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A VASECTOMY?
A vasectomy is a procedure performed to achieve permanent birth control for men. During the outpatient procedure the physician cuts and blocks off the tube (vas deferens) that carries sperm from each testicle; when those tubes are cut sperm cannot leave the man’s body and cause a pregnancy once the man has been cleared to resume sexual activity without contraception.
HOW IS A VASECTOMY DONE?
A vasectomy can be performed in the office under local anesthesia or in an outpatient surgery center under sedation. The procedure usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
WHY CHOOSE SGF FOR VASECTOMY SERVICES?
The Reproductive Urology team at SGF offers a no-needle, noscalpel approach to vasectomy. First, you’re given a numbing medication using a jet injector to numb the skin and the underlying vas deferens. Many patients say that feels similar to getting flicked in the scrotal skin. Once you’re numb, the physician will make one tiny puncture in the middle of the scrotal skin, allowing access to both tubes. The tubes are then cut and blocked off, and the tiny puncture heals quickly so in many cases no skin stitches are needed. Once the procedure is complete, an antibiotic ointment is applied to the site, gauze is applied to the scrotum, and you’re fitted for a compression garment that provides scrotal support.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
For the 2 days after the procedure it is important to keep the dressing in place and dry. You may consider going back to work the day after the procedure if you can arrange for a quiet day mostly sitting or doing desk work. You may shower approximately 36 hours after the procedure.
WHAT KIND OF PAIN CAN I EXPECT?
Bruising and swelling of the scrotum are normal after the procedure. Most men describe roughly 1 week of discomfort afterwards, which can be alleviated by using an ice pack on and off the scrotum the first day or two. Tylenol is usually sufficient for pain management but we will give you prescription pain medication as well.
ARE THERE ANY ACTIVITIES I SHOULD AVOID?
For the first week after the procedure avoid lifting anything over 20 lbs. You should also avoid any strenuous activity like working out or sports. Finally, you should abstain from sexual activity of any sort for that first week after the procedure.
WHEN CAN I RESUME SEXUAL ACTIVITY?
You may resume sexual activity 1 week after your vasectomy but you need to be sure to use some form of contraception because there will still be sperm stored on the other side of the vasectomy site. You should continue contraception until you are told you may stop using it.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE PROCEDURE WAS EFFECTIVE FOR BIRTH CONTROL?
You will provide a sample for semen analysis approximately 3 months after the procedure. You should continue to use contraception until you have heard from your SGF team regarding the outcome of the test results.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF VASECTOMY?
Any surgical procedure has a risk for bleeding or infection. Vasectomy is very low risk in these regards. There is something specific to vasectomy called the post-vasectomy pain syndrome that is rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in 4,000 patients. Symptoms generally resolve on their own. It is described as a dull, aching sensation in one or both testes that develops within a month or so after the procedure. Finally, there is a very low risk for birth control failure once your semen analysis shows no sperm.
WILL A VASECTOMY AFFECT MY SEX DRIVE?
Vasectomy will not negatively impact your sex life. It does not impair your ability to get or maintain erections. It does not impair your sex drive nor your orgasmic experience. Your erectile and ejaculatory function will not change, although there will be no sperm in the ejaculate.
IS A VASECTOMY REVERSIBLE?
A vasectomy should be considered a permanent form of contraception. If you were to change your mind down the road there are procedures that could be done to either reverse the vasectomy or surgically extract sperm to use during fertility treatment. The issue is neither of these treatment modalities works 100% of the time and anything that you do for family building after having had a vasectomy becomes an out of pocket expense that is quite costly. If you think that there is any chance that you may change your mind down the road, we would encourage you to consider freezing sperm at a sperm bank. Both vasectomy reversals and sperm extractions for in vitro fertilization (IVF) are offered at SGF.
IS VASECTOMY COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Vasectomy is covered by most insurance plans. Our Reproductive Urology team can assist with confirming coverage through your insurance carrier.
IF INSURANCE COVERAGE DOES NOT FULLY COVER, HOW MUCH DOES A VASECTOMY COST?
HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A VASECTOMY AT SGF?
To schedule a consultation with a reproductive urologist at SGF, please call the SGF New Patient Center at 888-761-1967 or click here.