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.
What is the Procedure Like?
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.
How Effective is it?
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.
What is Recovery Like?
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.