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A vasectomy is a procedure during which the vas deferens, which transport sperm from the mans scrotum to the penis, are cut. A vasectomy is a relatively minor intervention which, if performed correctly, renders the man infertile. For many couples, it represents the easiest way to achieve permanent birth control. What are the pros and cons of a vasectomy, as a form of permanent birth control?

Benefits of a vasectomy

  • If a couple has thoroughly explored their feelings and decided that they do not want any more children, now or in the future, a vasectomy is one of the least invasive procedures to achieve permanent birth control. It is quicker and less invasive than a tubal ligation, which some call its female equivalent. The procedure can be carried out under local anesthesia.
  • Once confirmed by semen analysis, a vasectomy is an extremely effective way to ensure pregnancy prevention.
  • The cost of a vasectomy is minimal compared to a tubal ligation.

And the cons?

  • Reversals can be carried out, but they are not always effective and tend to be very expensive. This procedure should only ever be carried out if a man is very sure he wants to be sterile no more children with his current, or any future partners.
  • After a vasectomy, a swelling of the scrotum can occur. In some men, vasectomies lead to long term genital pain. Though this is rare, you might want to take this into account during the decision-making process. For some men, post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS) leads to continuous discomfort. Others only experience pain at certain times, like during intercourse, or after strenuous physical activity.
  • Some men experience loss of libido after a vasectomy. Estimates, percentage wise, vary from six percent to 20 percent of all men who underwent the procedure.

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