A Vasectomy in March is not Madness

News Image

Get the snip and enjoy the tipoff.

If you love basketball in March but hate all the distractions that keep you from enjoying the games, we have some advice.

Get your vasectomy.

We know what you’re thinking: the only way I can be left alone to watch basketball is to do THAT?

Actually, it’s not as weird (or extreme) as it sounds.

“Recovery from the procedure is usually two or three days,” according to Adam Esham, MD, a urology specialist at Adena. “Taking it easy and sitting around and watching TV is the best place to recover quickly and effectively. Late winter to early spring is a great time to get a vasectomy done because of multiple sporting events. You actually have a medical excuse to sit around and watch all weekend long.”

The Big V and the big games

We’re not making light of vasectomies. But you can make the most of the procedure by scheduling around sporting events like March Madness or the Masters Tournament so you can enjoy the downtime doing something you love: watching sports for hours at a time with zero responsibilities.

After a vasectomy, most men can:

  • Return to work in two to three days
  • Resume normal exercise in seven days
  • Start having sex again in seven days

    Are thoughts of brackets or the greens of Augusta dancing through your head?

The procedure itself

A vasectomy is a routine medical outpatient procedure that can be done either under local anesthesia or conscious sedation (also known as twilight anesthesia). If you use local anesthesia, you will stay awake for the procedure, and pain medicine will be injected into your scrotum to numb the area. With conscious sedation, you will receive medications to sedate you and relax you during the procedure. You’ll also receive local anesthesia directly to your scrotum.

During the procedure, a physician will disconnect the tubes that transport sperm from the testicles (also called vas deferens). After the surgery, your sperm will not be able to leave your testicles.

 There can be slight bruising and swelling afterward, but it should go away within a week or so. 

Make sure it’s the right choice

If you and your partner are looking for a permanent method of birth control, you have likely considered a vasectomy. The decision to have a vasectomy shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should take time to really think about whether it is the right choice for you.

 Consider the reasons to have a vasectomy:

  • You are 100% sure you do not want more (or any) children.
  • Your partner shouldn’t get pregnant due to health issues
  • You and/or your partner are carriers of a genetic disorder you don’t want to pass on to your children.

Then consider the reasons not to have one:

  • You or your partner still aren’t sure you want to have children.
  • You are interested in temporary birth control.

Don’t Assume You Can Change Your Mind Later

A vasectomy is a 20-minute procedure. A vasectomy reversal is not. In fact, it can take four to six hours because a vasectomy reversal is a much more complicated, delicate procedure. There’s also no guarantee it will lead to pregnancy.

If you and your partner decide you want children after you have had a vasectomy, there are other options. These procedures, known as a testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) have a very high success rate when used with in vitro fertilization. Both procedures involve extracting sperm through a small incision in either the testes (TESE) or epididymis (PESA).

“Patients need to consider the vasectomy a permanent procedure,” said Dr. Esham. “Reversal options are usually not covered by insurance. Depending on the length of time from the initial vasectomy, reversal may not be successful.”

Form and Function Aren’t Affected

A vasectomy shouldn’t lower your sex drive or impact your ability to perform sexually. Only a small percentage of ejaculate originates in the testicles. The rest comes from other areas of the body, such as the prostate. Because of this, sex should feel the same. The only difference is that there’s no sperm in your semen.

Results aren’t immediate

After a vasectomy, your sperm count in your ejaculate will start to decrease, but it’s gradual. You will need to use other birth control methods and have semen samples tested until you are completely sperm-free. It usually takes about two months or 20 ejaculations.

Rest Up and Enjoy the Games

For the first 48 hours after the procedure, you will need rest to recover. The area will be tender and sore, so you’ll have to ice it several times a day. Beyond that, you should avoid activity, including lifting anything over 10 pounds. Fortunately, your TV remote is well under that weight, so sit back, ice up, take some Tylenol and let the (televised) games begin!