Vasectomy

Summary:

Vasectomy is a permanent procedure for men/people with a penis
Effectiveness: 99.8% effective
Cost: Covered under BC medical insurance (Care Card)

What is vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a permanent and highly effective form of birth control for men/people with penises. It is a minor procedure that takes less than 10 minutes and prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates. It results in no longer being able to get someone pregnant. Vasectomy is covered under MSP, except at some private clinics. It can happen in a clinic or hospital.

What should I consider before getting sterilized?

A vasectomy is permanent, and so you should only have one if you are absolutely sure that you do not want children in the future. This procedure can sometimes be reversed, however, reversal procedures are expensive, can carry health risks, and are not always successful.

Because a vasectomy is permanent and a significant number of people regret being sterilized later in their lives, many health care providers are reluctant to refer for or perform these procedures if someone is younger in age or does not have children. You may want to consider storing your sperm prior to the procedure.

It is important to use another form of effective birth control up until the procedure and afterwards as a vasectomy does not take effect right away – a second appointment is required three months later to confirm that it has worked.

Please note: If you are in a long term relationship and deciding which of you should be sterilized, vasectomy is usually recommended if possible. It is safer, more effective, easier to get and less invasive than tubal sterilization. Recovery is also faster.

How does it work?

The vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm) is closed, preventing sperm from getting into ejaculate (semen). This is usually done under local anesthetic. The success of the procedure must be confirmed three months later.

How effective is it?

Vasectomy is 99.8% effective.

How much time does it take to recover?

Recovery tends to be quite fast, but it is recommended not to do any heavy lifting or exercise for one week after.

How do I get an appointment?

You can get a family doctor or a walk-in clinic to provide a referral to a specialist (a urologist). You can also self-refer if you have a local vasectomy clinic. In the Lower Mainland, MetroVan Urology Group is a good place to go:  604-273-4320 www.metrovanurology.com 

How fast can I get an appointment?

You can usually get in within a week or two. It can be longer if the procedure is done in a hospital.

How will it affect me?

Vasectomy does not affect sex – it has no effect on erections, orgasms/ejaculation, or hormones. There is no way for someone to know you’ve had a vasectomy. Unless there is a rare complication, it will not impact your overall health. Rates of complication are low at around 1 to 2 percent.

Am I protected right away after?

No. It is very important to go for a follow up appointment around three months after the vasectomy to make sure it was successful.

Questions? Contact the Sex Sense Line at 604-731-7308 (1-800-739-7367) or www.sexsense.org

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