More than 500,000 men in the United States choose to have a vasectomy every year. It's a simple procedure, yet it prevents pregnancy better than any other method of birth control. Dr. William Holvik, at Holvik Family Health Center, has extensive experience performing vasectomies. Call his office in Visalia, California, or schedule an appointment online for a confidential consultation about vasectomy

Vasectomy Q & A

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that stops sperm from getting into semen. Your body still produces semen so you can have a normal ejaculation, but it won't contain sperm, so there's no chance of your partner getting pregnant.

During a conventional vasectomy, a small cut is made in the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. Dr. Holvik cuts the vas deferens, removes a small piece, then both ends of the tube are sealed with heat or tied with stitches.

Your doctor uses an instrument to make a tiny puncture in the scrotum, then gently lifts out the vas deferens. Then it's cut, tied or cauterized closed, and put back in place. The no-scalpel procedure only takes about 20 minutes. It causes minimal discomfort, has fewer complications, and you'll have a quicker recovery compared to conventional vasectomy.

How effective is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is the most effective form of birth control other than abstinence. In fact, it's even more effective than female sterilization. These procedures rarely fail. Only one out of every 1,000 men who have a vasectomy need a repeat procedure because sperm continues to appear in their semen.

How long does it take for a vasectomy to take effect?

A vasectomy doesn't work right away because it takes time to clear out sperm that were already in the vas deferens. A semen test is done three to four months after your surgery to determine whether the sperm are gone and you're sterile. You'll need to use another birth control method until Dr. Holvik lets you know that your semen analysis is negative.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

You may be a candidate for vasectomy reversal, but you should always consider the procedure to be permanent. Surgery to reconnect the two ends restores sperm to semen in 75-99% of vasectomy reversals. However, successful surgery doesn't guarantee pregnancy. Your ability to conceive ranges from 20-75%, depending on whether there's a blockage in the tube near the testes and the type of reversal procedure. Please contact Dr. Holvik if you have any questions about getting a vasectomy. He's available to help you understand the procedure so you can decide if it's the best option for you and your partner.

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