When it comes to birth control, a vasectomy is more than 99% effective.
There may be a host of reasons why a man may be considering undergoing a vasectomy.
Regardless of the reasons there are a number of important aspects to be aware of before 'getting the snip'.
When it comes to deciding when it's best to get a vasectomy, urologist Dr Sarah Vij believes it's pretty straightforward.
“The right time is when you’re sure that you do not want to have more children.
“It’s considered a permanent form of sterilisation, so if you’re not totally sure, it’s not the right option.”
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting or sealing the tubes that carry a man's sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy.
It's a minor operation which blocks sperm from reaching the semen that is ejaculated from the penis.
The semen still exists, but as it has no sperm in it, the woman's egg can't be fertilised.
Vasectomy usage is between 17% in the UK, and varies globally, with Canada recording the highest usage at 22%.
Around the world, men are looking to play a bigger role in family planning, so vasectomies are becoming more commonplace, thanks to big awareness campaigns such as World Vasectomy Day.
Here in the UK, a vasectomy is free of charge through the NHS, but you might have to wait a couple of months for the procedure.
When should you get a vasectomy?
When it comes to being too young for a vasectomy, the main concern would be for those who may change their mind.
“It isn’t so much the number of candles on your cake that matters, but whether you’ve given it serious thought and are sure you don’t want to father children,” says Dr Vij.
“If you’re confident, it’s responsible to take that step to avoid an unintended pregnancy.
“While vasectomies can be a good option for men of any age, there are times you might want to hit the brakes,” said the Cleveland Clinic.
The health site added: “If you have any hesitation about whether you might want a child someday, that’s a good reason to stick to other forms of birth control for the time being. New dads, too, might want to press pause. “
Dr Vij explains: “If you’re in the thick of the postpartum period, it’s a really stressful time.
“It’s often a good idea to wait before making the decision.”
Can you reverse a vasectomy?
Once you've had a vasectomy, it's very difficult to reverse it, according to the NHS.
It is possible to get a vasectomy reversal is surgery, but it isn't usually available on the NHS and isn't always successful.
There's a better chance of the reversal being successful if it happens soon after the vasectomy.
If the procedure is carried out within 10 years of the vasectomy, the success rate is about 55%, which falls to 25% 10 years after that.
During this procedure, the surgeon will attempt to join up the vas deferens tubes.
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