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Your Guide to a No-Scalpel Vasectomy

Did you know that a vasectomy is more effective than a woman’s tubal ligation? One out of 100 women get pregnant after they have a tubal ligation, while one out of 1,000 become pregnant after their partner has a vasectomy.

Though men know a vasectomy is an effective and safe option when they don’t want to have more children, thinking about having the procedure often causes a range of emotions, especially anxiety.

Men often tell us they’re anxious over the potential for pain and the discomfort of undergoing a procedure on such a sensitive part of their body.

You can put aside your concerns because a no-scalpel vasectomy is done without making an incision. And in many cases, you don’t even need to worry about a needle for the local anesthetic.

Mike Hsieh, MD, has years of experience performing no-scalpel vasectomies in the comfort of his office, giving you the ability to take charge of your reproductive health without worrying about the procedure. And if you change your mind down the road, we have great success performing vasectomy reversals

How a vasectomy prevents pregnancy

Whether you get a no-scalpel vasectomy or a conventional vasectomy (that’s performed through incisions), the procedure prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from reaching your semen.

During a vasectomy, we block the vas deferens. The vas deferens is the tube that carries sperm from your testicle to the urethra, where the sperm mix with semen right before you ejaculate. Blocking the vas deferens prevents sperm from leaving the testicle.

You don’t need to worry about sexual problems following a vasectomy. You will still have normal sexual function and ejaculation, but your semen no longer contains sperm.

About your no-scalpel vasectomy

This procedure is called a no-scalpel vasectomy because we don’t need to make an incision. Instead, we use a specialized tool that pokes a tiny hole in the scrotum. The hole is so small that it doesn’t require stitches and heals quickly. 

We begin by cleaning the area, and then we apply a local anesthetic to be sure you don’t have any discomfort. Though anesthetics are traditionally administered with an injection, we can spare the needle by using an anesthetic spray.

Once the area is numb, we can easily find the vas deferens by the way it feels and create a tiny hole near the tube. The skin covering your scrotum is stretchy, so it’s easy to slightly spread the hole open, use a narrow instrument to secure the vas deferens, and gently pull it up through the opening.

As soon as the vas deferens is exposed, we cut the tube and seal the two ends, using one of several possible techniques, such as heat, clipping, or stitches. Then the vas deferens is placed back inside the scrotum and the procedure is finished.

After your no-scalpel vasectomy

Though you won’t have the pain associated with a conventional vasectomy, you may experience some discomfort, so you should plan on taking the rest of the day off.

You may also have some swelling because it’s the body’s natural response to an injury, even if it’s only a tiny hole. You can take care of any swelling with ice and wearing a supportive jockstrap. 

Most men can return to work the next day and they’re fully healed in less than a week. That means you can get back to all your normal activities, including sex, within a week.

Precautions to prevent a pregnancy after a no-scalpel vasectomy

Sperm are still in the vas deferens above where we made the cut, which means you can still get your partner pregnant for a time after your vasectomy. It takes about three months or 20 ejaculations to clear the remaining sperm out of the vas deferens.

We check your semen samples during follow-up visits, and we let you know when your sperm count is down and you can have unprotected sex. In the meantime, be sure to use another form of birth control.

If you have any questions about having a no-scalpel vasectomy, call our office in La Jolla, California, or request an appointment online.

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