No-scalpel vasectomy

What is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes (vas deferens) that carry a man’s sperm, which means he can no longer make a woman pregnant. It stops sperm from getting into the man’s semen. When the man ejaculates, the semen has no sperm in it meaning the woman’s egg cannot be fertilised. A traditional vasectomy requires a scalpel to make two incisions into the scrotum. The difference between a traditional and no-scalpel vasectomy is how the surgeon accesses the vas deferens.

What is the no-scalpel vasectomy?

No-scalpel vasectomy is now the recommended technique in the UK, recommended by the Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health guidelines in 2014, rather than a standard traditional technique vasectomy. The minimally invasive procedure is safe and has a low complication rate. With a no-scalpel vasectomy, the vas deferens are held with a clamp from outside the scrotum and a needle is used to make a small hole for access to the ducts.

What are the benefits of no-scalpel vasectomy?

The no-scalpel vasectomy is quicker than a standard vasectomy and usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes. There is less discomfort and no stitches are needed. There are ten times fewer complications than the conventional technique.

Is no-scalpel vasectomy painful?

As the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, it is an almost painless experience. A very fine needle is used to numb the skin and once that takes effect, the patient feels no sharp pain. The surgeon asks at every stage whether the patient is comfortable. The patient may feel a slight tugging sensation during the procedure.

Will I be sterile straight after a no-scalpel vasectomy?

Following a vasectomy, there is always some sperm that is left in the system. It takes up to at least 20 ejaculations to clear them and birth control is recommended until the patient is tested to check that they are free from semen. The test is usually 16 weeks after the procedure.

How can I be sure I need a vasectomy?

A vasectomy should be considered a permanent method of contraception. It may not be the correct decision for a patient who is young or whether the patient is under stress and pressure from a partner to have one. A patient should also not rely on being able to have a vasectomy-reversal later.

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