Vasectomy is a surgical procedure performed on males to eliminate the possibility of getting a woman pregnant. In fact, a vasectomy is one of the most effective contraceptive methods we have.
Basically, a part of the male reproductive mechanisms consist of vas deferens, which are long tubes of muscle, spreading between epididymis and the pelvic cavity. These tubes serve the purpose of transporting the sperm, mixing it with other semen components. Once these tubes are blocked or cut, male ejaculation results in no sperm, making impregnation impossible.
This simple procedure it is very effective and, therefore, it is one of the most common contraceptive surgeries in the world.
Before the surgery starts, a patient is given a local anesthetic in order to remove pain, then, a small incision is made on the scrotum. Sometimes, two incisions may need to be created. Through these openings, the surgeon accesses the vas deferens tubes, cutting and sealing them by tying them up, cauterizing them, stitching or clamping them. Either way, one's sperm production is halted and one cannot have children.
Like most other procedures, vasectomy does not take place without risks. Bleeding, bruising and possibility of infections all may happen. Also, sperm granulomas and congestive epididymitis may appear as side-effects.
Regardless, about 15% of all married males undergo vasectomy, making this procedure more popular than all oral contraceptives together. As far as the effectiveness is concerned, statistically, vasectomy may fail in only one of 2000 cases. A female version of this procedure is called tubal ligation and this surgery is much less effective, failing in 200 of every 300 cases. The only period of possible pregnancy after vasectomy is the early post-operative period, since the sperm remains present in the male semen for about a month. Yet, if a skilled and experienced surgeon performs the surgery, chances of vasectomy failing are microscopic.
If you have heard that vasectomy increases your chances of developing cancer or atherosclerosis, rest assured that these stories are not true. The only thing vasectomy grants you is possibility of enjoying your sexual intercourse without having children. So, many couples decide to do this when they are sure that they do not want any more children, leading a healthy sex life without any worries of this type, since vasectomy provides effective contraception in 99% of cases.