Vasectomy – Male Sterilisation in South Africa
A vasectomy is a permanent contraceptive method for men who have completed their families or do not want any children. It is a quick and easy procedure with no effect on sexual function or performance.
The Vasectomy Procedure
The procedure requires approximately 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Firstly, the surgeon will locate the vas (tube) in the scrotum (sac) on both sides. A local anaesthetic will then be injected under the skin on both sides of the scrotum to prevent pain.
Once the area is completely numb, the surgeon makes a small cut in the skin (on both sides) to expose the vas deference. Using the latest, scalpel-free vasectomy method, both tubes are reached through a single tiny puncture made in the skin (also known as key-hole surgery). Next, the vas deference is closed on each side by tying and cutting it. Finally, the skin is closed with a few stitches. It is very important to note that the operation is not immediately effective.
The male, with his partner, must continue to use an effective method of contraception until the laboratory results indicate that there is no longer any sperm present in the semen.
After the procedure
Rest assured, the testicles will continue to produce the male hormones giving the man his normal feelings for sex and normal ability to have erections and make love, but because his semen contains no sperm he will no longer be able to impregnate a woman.
When considering permanent contraception, it is vital that you are 100% sure of your decision. A vasectomy (sterilisation) is considered a permanent method of contraception. A decision to be sterilised should be taken seriously as it will almost entirely eliminate the possibility of future conception.
What are the benefits?
- No unwanted pregnancy
- No need to use another method of contraception
What are the limitations?
- It is a permanent method
- 1 in 2000 lifetime risk of pregnancy
- There is no protection against sexually transmitted infections, therefore a condom must be used to prevent possible infection
What are the criteria for male sterilisation at a Marie Stopes clinic?
- Age 18 years and older
- Not obese
- Healthy male
What can a man do to prevent pregnancy until he is sterilised?
- Use a condom every time he has sexual intercourse.
- Together with his partner consult a health professional regarding an appropriate contraceptive method for his female partner in the interim.