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Have questions about vasectomy? We have answers.

Man and doctor discuss vasectomy surgery.

Have you been considering a vasectomy? As you consider this option, questions are sure to arise. We have gathered a few of the most popular questions related to having a vasectomy and have compiled the answers here. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider for specific information and recommendations that apply to your personal health needs.

UT Health East Texas Urology offers vasectomy procedures in Tyler, Athens and surrounding communities. For more information on this procedure, or to schedule an appointment, visit uthealtheasttexas.com/vasectomies.

What happens during a vasectomy procedure?

In the male reproduction system, the two testicles produce the sperm that will travel through the vas deferens (Latin for "carrying-away vessel") to mix with the semen in the penis and into a woman to fertilize the egg. During a vasectomy, the urologist will cut the vas deferens connected to each testicle, remove a small segment and then close the two ends, which prevents the sperm from getting into the semen.

Vasectomies are typically performed in an outpatient setting under light sedation, taking between 10 – 30 minutes to complete.

What are the benefits of a vasectomy?

Effective birth control – Vasectomies are a form of male birth control that has an almost 100% chance of preventing pregnancy. These high odds make vasectomies more reliable than other forms of birth control.

Easy procedure – Vasectomies can be performed in a doctor’s office under light sedation. You will get local anesthesia to numb the scrotum during the procedure.

Cost-effective – This procedure is much simpler and costs less than when a woman goes into the operating room for a tubal ligation, also known as ‘tying the tubes,’ in which the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus, are closed. A woman who has this procedure can no longer get pregnant.

No impact on sex life – While some men fear their sex drive will be diminished after a vasectomy, in fact, the opposite often occurs because patients are no longer concerned with impregnating their partner. The vasectomy does not change a man’s hormones, sex drive, erection, ejaculation, etc. It just prevents sperm from traveling into the semen.

What are the risks of a vasectomy?

Side effects – In most cases, the procedure is safe and effective with minimal side effects. Patients may experience some swelling in the groin area, which can be treated with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications. Blood may accumulate in the scrotum causing painful swelling, but these cases do not happen regularly.

Not always reversible - Vasectomies are intended to be permanent, therefore they are not always reversible. The success rate of a vasectomy reversal is based on individual factors, such as the length of time since the procedure and the patient’s overall health.

No prevention from STDs – Vasectomies do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as a man’s ejaculated semen can still transmit disease to a partner.

How to schedule an appointment for a vasectomy

UT Health East Texas urologists are available for vasectomy consultations. Patients can request an appointment by calling 903-262-3900 (Tyler) or 903-676-9339 (Athens).