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"Snip-Snip Hooray": The Facts About Vasectomies

For some, it’s a few kids and done. For others, it’s none. Whatever your route, there is one great way to keep things safe in the reproductive department—and that’s with a vasectomy. Here’s what you need to know about the procedure.

Even if you’re ready to stop stressing about more kids, there are very few men who relish in the thought of closing up shop. “In fact, most men are concerned about pain or the unknown when asked about vasectomies,” shares Richard Paul, MD, urologist with Beebe Urology. But he assures his patients there’s really no need to worry—the biggest factor to consider is how confident you are about not having more kids. Once you and your partner have arrived at a decision, here’s what you need to know.

 

Procedure

A vasectomy takes the tubes that carry the sperm and blocks them so the sperm can’t be released—known as permanent sterilization. This prevents any sperm from leaving the body, ultimately preventing pregnancy. “The procedure itself only takes 10–20 minutes and can be completed in the comfort of a doctor’s office,” Dr. Paul says.

 

Effectiveness

According to Dr. Paul, a vasectomy is the most reliable form of birth control. It eliminates the need for any other form of birth control and removes the stress of unwanted pregnancy—and nearly everyone is eligible for this procedure, unless you have a history of a bleeding disorder.

 

Recovery

There is limited pain during the recovery process—the biggest thing to keep an eye on is any excessive bleeding. “It typically takes around two weeks to get back to feeling unrestricted and up to a month to feel totally back to normal,” Dr. Paul says.

Dr. Paul encourages the following tips for his patients as they recover:

>Use ice.

>Take all prescribed medicines—especially anti-inflammatories.

>Avoid heavy activity and lifting for two weeks.

>Don’t listen to other friends about their recovery time—everyone is different.

Choosing the “Big V” should be a family decision.

 

Planning Your V-Day Vacation

Follow these tips to make your recovery more comfortable.

>Help relieve the pain with VasectoPeaz (a post-vasectomy cold therapy system) or just regular frozen peas. Also be sure to stock up on over-the-counter standbys like Tylenol or Advil.

>Stock up on your favorite sweet treat. Chocolate makes everything better!

>Healthy Snack foods like berries and nuts to munch on while you’re off your feet.

>Rent a few of your favorite movies since you’ll be stuck in bed or on the couch for a few days.

>Pick up a new book, movie, or video game.