A vasectomy is the least invasive and most effective form of permanent birth control. The procedure is by far a more competent and safer method of sterilisation than the tubal ligation procedure performed on people with uteruses, as it is less physically invasive and much less likely to result in unwanted pregnancy.
Though a traditional vasectomy already only requires a small incision by scalpel, a scalpel-free vasectomy makes an already simple procedure even less intrusive, safer, and easier. A scalpel-free vasectomy has become a popular option for those who desire a permanent birth control method with a swift recovery and little to no negative reactions afterward. Read on for a helpful guide to better understand this procedure.
A no scalpel vasectomy is no less effective than a conventional vasectomy, which makes it an attractive alternative to traditional procedures. In any vasectomy procedure, a surgeon administers a local anaesthesia to dumb the area, and then accesses the vas deferens and performs the vasectomy to prevent sperm from combining with semen, effectively preventing pregnancy.
Unlike in a traditional vasectomy in which a scalpel is used to create a small incision on either side of the scrotum to access the vas deferens, a small needle is used in no-scalpel vasectomies, sometimes only on one side, to reach the vas deferens. In many no-scalpel vasectomies, sutures are not even necessary, and there is little bruising and pain.
A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure, so you will not need to plan on a hospital stay and can go home after the surgery is completed in your doctor’s office. Some providers will suggest that you wear loose, comfortable clothing, remove hair from the scrotal area, and bring wearable groin support to put on after the procedure is finished.
After you have stripped down and put on your hospital gown, you will go to the operating room where you will receive the local anaesthetic in your scrotum. Some practitioners also offer an oral sedative to help you relax.
Your doctor will then locate your vas deferens and hold them in place via a gentle clamp outside of your scrotum. A small puncture will be made to allow your doctor to draw out your vas deferens, make an incision, seal them off, and reposition them in your body as normal.
Like with any other medical procedure, you should avoid any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs within 48 hours of your appointment. While it may seem like these pain relief medications may help with discomfort and pain during or after your procedure, the presence of these drugs can worsen some side effects or increase the risk of complications. These medications are often prescribed only after the procedure is finished.
Recovery for any vasectomy procedure is typically quick, but the recovery for no-scalpel vasectomies is even quicker. This is because only a very small puncture is made that requires no stitches or staples and heals on its own. This small puncture does mean a small amount of bleeding may occur, but it rarely lasts longer than one day.
After you no longer need gauze dressings, which should be within the first 24 hours, you will need to ensure that the area is kept clean. Be a little more gentle with the area and apply ice to reduce any swelling and pain in the first few days following the procedure. You will be instructed to avoid heavy exercise, intense activities, sex, or ejaculation for approximately a week afterward.
Most vasectomy patients can return to their normal activities within 48 hours. Talk with your doctor if you experience any lingering side effects, including:
- trouble with urination,
- pain that doesn’t go away with medication,
- signs of infection such as oozing, swelling, or redness,
- and any unusual lumps or areas of discomfort in your scrotum.
Vasectomies do not immediately make you sterile. Often, your semen after a vasectomy can contain sperm for weeks, or even months, after a procedure. You should use another form of birth control for approximately three months after a scalpel-free vasectomy, or at least until a semen analysis indicates that you no longer have sperm in your semen.
Bring any additional concerns to your doctor before, during, or after the procedure, but the vast majority of patients need only a few days to relax afterward and are back to their normal routines in no time.