VASECTOMY (MALE STERILIZATION)
A vasectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure that involves cutting and tying the tubes that carry sperm. It is a permanent method of birth control available to men who are absolutely sure that they do not want to father children in the future.
Sullivan County Regional Health Department offers vasectomy as a birth control option for men through the Family Planning Program. Fees for service are based on income.
Whether or not to have a vasectomy can be a tough decision. Sterilization may not be the right choice for you if:
- You are very young. (You must be at least 21 years of age)
- You are considering sterilization only to please your partner.
- You might want to have children in the future with another partner should something happen with your present relationship.
- You would want to father another child in the future if one or more of the children you now have died.
- You plan to have the operation reversed if you should change your mind in the future. (A reversal is expensive and not always effective)
However, vasectomy is a nearly 100% effective method of birth control that might be appropriate for you if:
- You have all of the children you want.
- You want to enjoy sex without the fear of an unintentional pregnancy.
- You and your partner cannot (or do not want to) use a temporary method of birth control.
- Your partner has health problems that may make pregnancy unsafe.
- You do not want to pass on a hereditary disease.
If a man has any doubt about having future children a vasectomy would not be recommended. In that case, temporary methods of birth control should be used during sexual activity. The condom is the only temporary male option available at this time. A spermicide used with a condom increases it’s effectiveness to 90% if used correctly. Several temporary methods of birth control are available for women. (link to FP) A condom should be used along with female temporary methods to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (link to STD).
Even a man who has been sterilized should use a condom to prevent the spread of disease if he or his partner has multiple sex partners.
Do not assume that your partner is using a birth control method. Talk to your partner about birth control before having sex so you both can avoid an unintentional pregnancy. Remember that abstinence is the only 100% effective birth control method.