March means making time for basketball, brackets and vasectomies

Published February 14, 2017

By Christopher Deibert, MD, Urologist
Published

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The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament is just around the corner. Not only might you be working on filling out your basketball bracket picks, but you also might want to think about scheduling a vasectomy.

You heard me right! Scheduling of vasectomy procedures surge right before a long holiday weekend or before annual sports events like the NCAA tournament.

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Make an appointment with our Men’s Health Program or Urology clinic to discuss whether vasectomy is right for you. Please call us at 800.922.0000.

That’s because the 20-minute office procedure is quick, easy and will have you back on your feet within a few days. Many men have the procedure performed at the end of the week, relax and watch their favorite sports through the weekend and are ready to go back to work the following week.

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Christopher Deibert, MD, urologist

So why bother with a vasectomy when there are so many other forms of birth control available? Vasectomy is one of the most underutilized forms of birth control and is also one of the most effective. It has a 99.85 percent effective rate but only about 6 percent of married households choose vasectomy.

It is also permanent and long-lasting, and your wife or significant other no longer needs to take a pill or have any procedures done.

A local injection of a numbing medication is administered before the procedure so you can walk out of the office afterward on your own. The procedure involves making two small openings in the scrotum, through which the two vas deferens tubes are cut. This helps prevent sperm from mixing with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis. The two ends are then cauterized closed. Scar tissue from the surgery helps block the tubes from reconnecting again. You may feel some pressure and discomfort during the procedure and for a few days afterward.

After a vasectomy, it is important to remember that you can still get a woman pregnant for several months until remaining sperm are completely flushed from your system. I recommend you continue to use other forms of birth control until you come back for a follow-up visit three months later. At this time, I will test a semen sample to verify there’s no sperm in the semen anymore.

Once you’ve been cleared, it’s extremely rare for the procedure to fail. According to the American Urological Association, the risk of failure is less than 1 in 2,000 (less than .05 percent), while other contraceptives like the pill and patch have a 0.2 percent failure rate and the condom, a 2 percent failure rate.  

Before I will approve you for the procedure, I generally like to meet with you or you and your significant other together to ensure you are both 100 percent committed, understand the risks and benefits and are on board with using a local anesthetic.  

This is a great option for long-term, monogamous relationships or any man who is certain he is done having children. Vasectomies can be reversed, but it’s important to remember that it is meant to be a permanent procedure and reversal is a more complex procedure.

The Mens’ Health Program, located at the Nebraska Medicine Village Pointe Health Center at 110 N. 175th St., is a physician-directed program designed to treat the unique health care needs of men.