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The Truth About a Vasectomy

By on October 20, 2012
Male Urogenital anatomy lateral view

A vasectomy is a procedure that prevents the release of sperm during an ejaculation; thereby, avoiding unplanned pregnancies. The process involves a snip to the vas deferens, the two tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urinary tract. There are few complications, but men still seem to be uneasiness when it comes to having a vasectomy. Are the fears about a vasectomy real or are they just barber talk?

There are no physical changes of the testicles after a vasectomy. Also, the sex drive is not affected. The hormones which control performance continue to be produced. Whatever his stamina was before the procedure will be his staying power afterwards. Sorry, can’t blame that on the vasectomy. In fact, the American Medical Association reported that some men said there was greater sexual pleasure after having a vasectomy because the worry about an unwanted pregnancy was no longer there. By the way, don’t fret over a decrease in the amount of ejaculation; since only about three percent of the volume of ejaculate is made from sperm.

What Should I Expect?

A vasectomy involves a doctor’s visit. A shot is given to numb the area. Small cuts are made in front of each scrotum.The sperm tube is moved to the surface where it is clipped, tied, and returned to the scrotum. Afterwards, men are encouraged to use condoms until the semen is tested and no sperm is detected. The entire procedure takes approximately thirty minutes (the same amount of time it would take to impregnate a woman). The recovery consists of resting for a couple of days and full activity in two weeks. If the man is up to it, sex in one week! The most common complication is infection.

A vasectomy is also an opportunity for men to be supportive of their significant other as well as share some of the responsibility for birth control. The woman’s body is under continuous stress from puberty to menopause. It begins with her initiation to womanhood with the menstrual cycle, to birth control, to pregnancy, to childbirth, back to birth control, and then “the change” also known as menopause.

According to a study published on the National Institutes of Health’s website,”Does vasectomy explain the difference in tubal sterilization rates between black and white women?”, among women whose partners had not undergone a vasectomy, black women are more likely to have tubal sterilization than white women. In the United States, approximately 14% of white men opt for vasectomy for contraception versus only 2% of black men. What is preventing men from having a vasectomy, especially black men? If the question is “does a vasectomy affect manhood?”, the answer is only if manhood is defined as the inability to have children.

The bottom line is men are sterile after a vasectomy which simply means they cannot father children. A vasectomy doesn’t prevent an ejaculation or cause impotence in men! Don’t let the myths associated with having a vasectomy deter your from this safe effective birth control option. Take one for the home team!

Dr. Bernadette Anderson is a co-owner of Faith Family Health, Inc in Columbus, Ohio. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and  serves on community boards to improve healthcare disparities. Dr. Anderson is a regular Contributor to healthyblackmen.org.

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