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For decades, the responsibility of taking birth control to avoid pregnancy has fallen on the shoulders of people with uteruses, or female reproductive systems. More recently, there has been a stark increase in interest among people with penises and testicles to take on more of the responsibility in birth control efforts.

Enter the vasectomy— a simple, safe, and extremely effective form of permanent birth control that prevents sperm from entering the semen.

Health News Hub recently reported findings from Innerbody Research, a telehealth and health research company, that recorded an 850% increase in online searches for terms related to vasectomies after the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

From this research, it seems that now more than ever, people with male reproductive systems are ready to participate equally in the responsibility of birth control. If you find yourself considering a vasectomy, your local Planned Parenthood is here to help. We’ve pulled together information on vasectomies to provide insight on what to expect if you decide to move forward with getting one.

What are the advantages of a vasectomy?

In terms of birth control, a vasectomy is nearly 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, making it similar in effectiveness to an IUD. There are also little to no long-term side effects after vasectomy procedures. Patients that get vasectomies have no change in erections, sex drive, performance, hormones, amount of semen, or climax sensation. Typically, there isn’t even a noticeable change in semen at all. Plus, a vasectomy is a low-risk, outpatient routine procedure. After a vasectomy, there is no need to use other forms of birth control. Keep in mind that vasectomies do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so condom use is still important to ensure safe sex.

What is a vasectomy procedure like?

A vasectomy is a simple procedure done by a doctor in an office, hospital, or health center and usually takes about 15 minutes. During the procedure, the small tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm are cut or blocked off, so sperm can’t leave the body and cause pregnancy. The procedure is very quick, and patients can go home the same day

How well does a vasectomy work?

A vasectomy is one of the most effective kinds of birth control out there and is THE most effective method for people with penises and testicles. Starting about 3 months after a vasectomy, the semen won’t contain any sperm, so it can’t cause pregnancy. Once a doctor confirms there’s no longer sperm in the semen, you don’t have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy round the clock for the rest of your life. 

Is a vasectomy right for you?

Vasectomies are meant to be permanent. Even if you get a vasectomy reversed, fertility may never come back. Vasectomy reversal surgery is complicated and expensive, and doesn’t always work. So people should only get a vasectomy if they’re totally certain they don’t want to get someone pregnant for the rest of their life.

If you’re interested in learning more about vasectomies, or are ready to book an appointment, call your local Planned Parenthood at (714) 922-4100.