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Birth control is an essential consideration in couple’s lives. There are many contraceptive choices available and all have significant pros and cons. There is not one perfect contraceptive option and each couple will need to consider all options available to them and decide what they feel is their optimal solution. All couples want to simply choose when they will and won’t have children. It is as though our childbearing ability should be automated but that’s simply not how the body works. All to often people joke that they spent some many years avoiding pregnancy, then years trying to fall pregnant and then they avoid it all over again. Permanent contraceptives are positive options for individuals in long term, stable relationships. They provide a simple solution that solves the stress and anxiety of other methods of contraception. Offering these choices is highly beneficial and I’m grateful that today’s medicine provides these options.

When you consider permanent contraception logically one of the partners will have to undergo a procedure. Either option means the days of worrying about contraception are over (technically). Couples often consider vasectomy as the best option as it poses the least risk for either partner when compared to female sterilization (tubal ligation).

Men often need to get over the hurdle of worrying about impotence and surgery ‘down there’ but a vasectomy is a simply an operation that blocks the tubes that carry sperm to the penis. There should be no effect to erection or enjoyment of sex.

After a vasectomy there is no turning back unfortunately and the procedure should be considered permanent. There is a slight chance of rejoining of the tubes naturally, and 80% of these failures occur within 2 months of the procedure. As such, only consider the procedure if you’re in a long-term, stable relationship and if you don’t want to have any children. There is a procedure known as a vasovasectomy (reversal) however, success is variable and often other fertility complications can ensue. It is important to remember that it is a surgical procedure and that all surgeries have inherent risks. It does not offer any protection from STDs so some men will go through the procedure and still need to use condoms.