Across Australia and other countries, vasectomies are becoming much more common. While most men aren’t quite as open about their vasectomies as this former NFL player who live-tweeted his own procedure play-by-play, more and more Australian men are “getting the snip”. According to Medicare data, the total number of vasectomy procedures have increased by approximately 4,000 per year, even among those in their 20’s. But what’s behind the increase and what should you know when considering one for yourself. As of the last financial year, over 25,000 men had undergone a vasectomy procedure. Shared responsibility for contraception One of the driving factors behind the increases is a greater emphasis on contraception from the man’s perspective. A recent Sydney Morning Herald article noted that more and more men were reporting a desire to take more responsibility for contraception and family planning. For these men, they recognised that other than condoms, much of the contraception effort rests on their partner. One 35-year-old man named George described how after 2 condoms broke, he wanted a system that was “100 per cent guaranteed”. Already with 2 children, he described how having more children would give his wife “no chance to pursue her career”. While many women are able to use long-term, traditional forms of female contraception, many can suffer from significant side effects. As a result, vasectomy remains the only viable and effective long-term solution for these couples and families. Support against stigma In the US, there has also been a notable increase in men getting vasectomies together. Colloquially described as a “brosectomy”, friends are supporting one another to get over the mental hurdle involved by getting their procedures back to back and then recovering together. For men who want the procedure done, but still feel a sense of stigma associated, getting the procedure done at the same time has proven to relieve some of the anxiety involved. Most even schedule the procedure in for a Friday in order to have the weekend to recover together watching movies and sports. So, what should you consider before getting a vasectomy? The procedure Although it’s stereotypically portrayed as quite invasive, modern technology has meant the procedure can be performed ‘scalpel free’. This is done by making a single small puncture no wider than 3 millimetres hole in the scrotum and using a specialised instrument to cut the vas deferens (the small internal tubes that connect the testes to the penis). Traditional methods are also commonly used, i.e. scalpel vasectomy, in which a scalpel makes a small incision to gain access. Generally, this can be carried out within half an hour, with the patient only requiring local anaesthetic. In some cases, patients can be put under general anaesthetic. Safety and effectiveness A vasectomy is very safe and has a high success rate. The vast majority of vasectomies are performed without complication and have a success rate of 99%. After a vasectomy, you will require some downtime to recover, although not for long. You’ll most likely be able to return to work within two or three days and resume your normal exercise routine a week or so later. You can even have sex again within two weeks after the operation. However, if you do it’s recommended to maintain traditional contraception methods for at least three months until it’s certain the operation has been successful. Is a vasectomy reversable? Despite it considered a “permanent” procedure, in certain instances, a vasectomy procedure can be reversed. It will simply involve reconnecting the disconnected vas deferens. However, this can be both costly and has a high risk of being unsuccessful. The chance of successful vasectomy reversal declines the longer it’s been since the original vasectomy. Vasectomy at Gold Coast Vasectomy Centre At our Gold Coast Vasectomy Centre, each of our patients receives extensive counselling and consultation prior to the procedure to ensure ample opportunity to reflect on the implications of a vasectomy. As a permanent method of contraception, it’s vital to weigh up your choices. If you have any questions related to vasectomy, for example how much health insurance coverage you may be able to claim, or would like to book a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us at our vasectomy clinic today. Don’t forget to share this via Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.