Yearly Archives: 2018

11 Reasons to Gift Yourself a Vasectomy This Christmas | Minneapolis & St. Paul

The holiday season is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s than by scheduling that vasectomy you’ve been thinking of doing for months? But just in case you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons to consider this low-risk, rewarding procedure.
 

13 Reasons to Get a Vasectomy This Christmas

1. Most importantly: A vasectomy is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy.
While it’s not 100 percent effective (just like any other form of contraception or birth control that isn’t abstinence), a vasectomy yields a 99+ percent success rate.

2. It’s reversible.
Maybe you decide later on that you DO, in fact, want children. Whatever your reasoning, a vasectomy can easily be reversed, so you can enjoy its long-lasting benefits without the fear of permanent sterility.

3. It’s affordable.
Here at One Stop Medical Center, we keep our Easy VasectomyⓇ costs as transparent and fair as possible. For patients who pay with cash, check or charge card, we offer a discounted rate that’s significantly lower than those of other clinics.

4. The risks are low.
Our no-scalpel procedure is incredibly safe with very few potential risks or complications. While a very small percentage of patients experience post-surgery bleeding, infection or pain, a vasectomy is one of the safest procedures performed overall.

5. Your sperm count remains unaffected.
Vasectomies don’t halt sperm production. The procedure merely prevents your sperm from having access to being released. However, some sperm may remain in the semen for a small window of time immediately after the surgery, so be sure to use a form of birth control during this phase.

6. The procedure only takes a few minutes to complete.
The actual snipping takes about 10 minutes, while the entire surgery from start to finish (including setup and cleanup) requires about one hour. That’s basically one episode of Black Mirror!

7. It doesn’t change your hormones or sexual functioning.
A vasectomy does not affect the penis or a man’s ability to perform sexually. Most couples report that they do not experience changes in sexual activity or function following the procedure.

8. A vasectomy is very straightforward and easy to understand.
The whole thing is quite simple. Performed in a doctor’s office, the scrotum is opened before the two vas deferens are cut and stitched shut. Done.

9. The recovery process is pretty quick.
Downtime only takes about 7-10 days, with most men returning to regular activities (except heavy lifting) within two weeks. Other than keeping the area iced and avoiding straining, the recovery period is pretty chill and gives patients an excuse to lie on the couch for a few days.

10. You and your partner can have sexual freedom.
Think about it—never having to worry about birth control or contraception again. No more concerns about whether your partner took her pill on time, or if a last-minute run to the pharmacy is needed. So much less stressful.

11. More vasectomies encourages more family planning worldwide.
Our planet doesn’t have enough resources to accommodate our growing population, and many areas of the world are still being introduced to family planning. As vasectomy procedures become more accessible and culturally accepted, more men will hopefully choose the vasectomy route and participate in family planning.

 
For a vasectomy consultation, please call us at (952) 922-2151 or stop by our Edina office. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

In Case You’re Still Worried, Latest Research Shows Vasectomy Reversals Aren’t Related to Prostate Cancer | Minneapolis & St. Paul

The fear of increasing one’s risk of prostate cancer has stopped some men from undergoing a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, thanks to old ’90s research that has since been refuted. We touched upon this topic in an earlier blog post, but new research has surfaced to confirm, once again, that prostate cancer and vasectomy-related procedures are NOT correlated.

Curtin University in Western Australia recently released research in The Journal of Urology that observed 10,000 men worldwide who had undergone vasectomy reversals. The paper, spearheaded by Dr. Sean Randall of Curtin University’s Centre for Data Linkage, examined the theory that “if a vasectomy is considered a cause of prostate cancer, then vasectomy reversal should hypothetically decrease the risk of prostate cancer.”

However, Randall confirmed that his team’s studies failed to find any sort of link between vasectomy reversals and prostate cancer, thereby also concluding that there is “no clinically meaningful relationship between men who had had vasectomies and the rate of prostate cancer.”

The paper studied 684,660 men with vasectomies in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 9,754 men with vasectomy reversals, from 1972 to 2016.

Thanks to Curtin University’s research and similar studies from other institutions, the myth of increased prostate cancer risk following a vasectomy is quickly fading away. For those considering a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, this is an extremely significant development that can help more men accurately weigh their options.

Looking for a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal consultation? Let us know! Call us at (952) 922-2151, or visit our Edina office at 6545 France Avenue South, Suite 290.

 

Managing the Unpleasant Effects of Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome (PVPS) | Minneapolis & St. Paul

One of the biggest risks and potential effects of undergoing a vasectomy procedure is to succumb to post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS), a condition affecting roughly one out of every 1,000 men who opt for the surgery. Unlike acute post-surgical pain that can last two to four weeks, PVPS symptoms can persist for months or even years after completion of the vasectomy.

This long-term pain, as you can imagine, can be truly debilitating and impact one’s quality of life. Defined as “constant or intermittent testicular pain for three months or longer with a severity that interferes with daily activities prompting the patient to seek medical treatment,” PVPS becomes even more frustrating when you consider how little is known about its treatment options. Despite a recent increase in men suffering from PVPS, a widely accepted protocol for evaluation and treatment has yet to be implemented.

However, there are a few ways to go about managing PVPS symptoms based on the severity of the patient’s pain. There are both non-surgical and surgical options, the latter typically being a last resort.
 

Non-Surgical Options

Oral Anti-Inflammatories – Ketorolac or ibuprofen can help with pain and inflammation of the vas deferens and epididymis (sperm duct)

Physical Therapy – Can help ease pelvic pain and discomfort that arises from testicular pain

Spermatic Cord Anesthetic Block (SCAB)– Combines numbing medicine and a steroid anti-inflammatory to work as an anesthesia for scrotal pain
 

Surgical Options

Vasectomy Reversal – Straightforward method to undo the intended effects of the original vasectomy procedure, which should include any related side effects/pain (but this will make the patient fertile again)

Epididymectomy – Removes the epididymis (sperm duct) entirely so that any sperm blockage/inflammation is no longer a factor (but this also permanently prevents any chance of fatherhood or vasectomy reversal)

Microscopic spermatic cord denervation – Newer surgical method that decreases PVPS pain by removing all nerves that run adjacent to the spermatic cord, almost like a surgical version of the SCAB method above (maintains patient’s sterility)
 
If you think you’re suffering from PVPS or experiencing any prolonged post-vasectomy pain, contact your doctor immediately for an evaluation.

 

Is Ouabain the Key to Male Birth Control? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

A safe, oral contraceptive pill for men has yet to be made available, but recent research on ouabain, an ancient African arrow poison, may be the key to developing the ever elusive male birth control.

Led by a small team of scientists from the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development at the University of Minnesota, the search for a non-hormonal male birth control pill ultimately zeroed in on the toxic substance known as ouabain. Found in two types of African plants, ouabain was traditionally used as poison on hunting arrows and is sometimes medically used to treat heart arrhythmias.

In addition to disrupting ion-transporting proteins in cardiac tissue, ouabain is known to affect a transporter subunit found only in sperm cells, an integrin called α4. Because α4 plays a major role in male fertility, research has focused on developing an ouabain-based contraceptive that would specifically bind to the α4 protein and disrupt sperm motility.

This newly created derivative compound, designed to target α4 proteins in sperm cells, has successfully interfered with the cells’ ability to swim and fertilize eggs—without any signs of toxicity when tested on rats. Moreover, the contraceptive effect should, hypothetically, also be reversible since the α4 protein is only found in mature sperm cells.

While there’s still plenty of testing left to do before this pill hits the market, current studies have been extremely promising. The University of Minnesota researchers plan to test the effectiveness of their ouabain-based compound in animal mating trials before moving on to toxicology and safety pharmacology studies. If all goes well, human clinical trials may launch within five years.

A safe, reversible male birth control pill is clearly within reach!

 

This One Nutrient May Help Improve Male Fertility | Minneapolis & St. Paul

If you’re looking for a natural, inexpensive way of boosting sperm quality and overall fertility, the answer may lie within…tomatoes?

Recent studies have shown that lycopene, a natural, plant-derived carotenoid pigment that provides the red color of tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits, contains powerful antioxidants that protect the body’s cells—including sperm. Lycopene acts to prevent free radicals from attaching to and harming our cells, which in turn can help increase sperm count and improve the body’s overall immune system. On the flip side, men who consume low amounts of lycopene tend to have lower overall sperm quality.

According to Life Extension magazine, one study showed that after being given two milligrams of lycopene twice daily, male subjects with impaired fertility showed improved sperm concentration, improved motility and improved numbers of normal sperm forms. Furthermore, 23 percent of the subjects achieved fatherhood.

Found mostly in sun-ripened tomatoes, lycopene can be consumed through processed tomato products (contains the highest amount of lycopene), pink grapefruits, watermelons, apricots, guavas, papayas and rose hips. Canned tomatoes used to make pasta or pizza sauce, as well as ketchup, may be your best bet in consuming a larger amount of lycopene in one sitting. In terms of manufactured options, lycopene is mostly available in capsule and softgel form, with dosage guidelines from manufacturers ranging from 10-30 mg twice daily. Multivitamin and multimineral products are also available.

 

Vasectomy Procedures Predicted to Increase By 30 Percent in 2019 | Minneapolis & St. Paul

As the sixth annual World Vasectomy Day quickly approaches, it’s no surprise that more men around the world are becoming increasingly informed about vasectomy options and family planning. With vasectomy global awareness rapidly rising, it’s only a matter of time before we see a spike in procedures performed.
 
VasectomyStore.com, a New York “web-based surgical instrument and information store” that has promoted vasectomies for over two decades, recently predicted that US doctors will see a whopping 30 percent increase in vasectomy procedures in 2019. As public perceptions and knowledge of male contraception slowly change, more men and couples are expected to consider the underutilized vasectomy procedure.

“Vasectomy has experienced a popularity surge in recent years,” the company said in a statement. “It’s partly the economy but also events like World Vasectomy Day that really spotlight the value of men taking responsibility in family planning.”

World Vasectomy Day celebrates responsible men who rise up out of love for their partner, their family and our future. Please join One Stop Medical Center in supporting this movement—our clinic will offer a gift card for one free large pizza to all patients who undergo a vasectomy on November 14, 2018.

For more information on our clinic’s vasectomy services, please click here or call us at (952) 922-2151.

 

Robot-Assisted Vasectomy Reversals: Are They Reliable? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

From self-order kiosks to robot vacuum cleaners and robot cafes, the rise of robot-assisted experiences in recent years has been undeniable. But would you ever consider participating in a robot-assisted surgical procedure?

In a previous blog post, we detailed the pros and cons of electing a robotic vasectomy reversal over a traditional vasectomy reversal performed by a surgeon. While a robot would provide more precise cuts and deliver a more efficient process overall, actual results seemed to show that patient outcomes were simply comparable to, rather than improved from, those of traditional reversals. And since robot machines are quite expensive, most surgical centers are sticking to traditional reversals for the time being.
 
However, costs aside, it’s still noteworthy to highlight the reliability and effectiveness of robot-assisted vasectomy reversals. A 2014 study conducted by urologist Parviz K. Kavoussi concluded that “transitioning from MVR (microsurgical vasectomy reversal) to RAVR (robot-assisted vasectomy reversal) is feasible with comparable outcomes.”
 
Comparing 27 men who elected MVR and 25 men who elected RAVR, Kavoussi found that there was “no statistically significant difference” between the two groups in “overall patency rates (89 percent vs 92 percent), six weeks post-VR mean sperm concentrations (28 million ml−1 vs 26 million ml−1), total motile counts (29 million vs 30 million) or mean operative times (141 min vs 150 min).”

Interestingly, the study also found that for men who were in the 0–8 years obstructed interval, RAVR had a 100 percent patency rate compared to an 89 percent patency rate for MVR. This particular finding could be a game changer in the development of robotic vasectomy reversals and significantly influence some patients’ preferred techniques.

As more research on robot-assisted procedures surfaces in the coming years, we may see shifts in how doctors and patients perceive such methods. One thing’s for certain, though—the use of robots in everyday life will surely become more common than ever.

 

Celebrate World Vasectomy Day on Nov. 14 With One Stop Medical Center | Minneapolis & St. Paul



From Bali to Kenya to Mexico, the World Vasectomy Day (WVD) movement has rapidly spread across the globe with the crucial mission of engaging men in family planning conversations. This year’s WVD celebration, held in Kigali, Rwanda, on November 14, is set to feature the movement’s most comprehensive and innovative event lineup to date.

By teaming up with local NGOs and the Rwanda Ministry of Health, WVD aims to not only provide high-quality vasectomies to men whose families are complete, but to also promote family planning through a broad media campaign. This dynamic, exciting two-week lineup showcases everything from doctor training programs and vasectomy-focused lectures to a reproductive health fair and an all-day vasectomy-athon.

Dr. Shu and One Stop Medical Center are proud to support WVD for a sixth straight year. Our clinic will offer a gift card for one free large pizza to all patients who undergo a vasectomy on November 14, 2018. Through our collaboration efforts, we hope to make vasectomies more accessible worldwide while helping more men explore family planning options.

World Vasectomy Day celebrates responsible men who rise up out of love for their partner, their family and our future. Please join us in supporting this movement.

 

8 Foods That Boost Sperm Health and Male Fertility | Minneapolis & St. Paul

If you’re trying to conceive, good diet and nutrition habits are essential for healthy sperm development. While overall sperm count is an important aspect of male fertility, the sheer number of sperm shouldn’t be the only factor considered. Sperm vitality is what we’re after, so the following must all be factored in:

  • Sperm Count: The number and concentration of sperm cells in a sample
  • Semen Volume: A minimum amount of semen needed to actually deliver the sperm cells
  • Sperm Morphology: The size and shape of sperm cells
  • Sperm Motility: Ability of the sperm cells to properly “swim”
  •  
    To improve sperm quality and boost your chances of conception, eat more of the eight nutrition-packed foods below:

    1. Walnuts

    Walnuts are PACKED with omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. While omega-3 helps enhance sperm count, morphology and motility, zinc works to regulate overall sperm count and quality. Just one handful of walnuts daily can help boost sperm quality.

    2. Tomatoes

    We detailed the link between tomatoes and male fertility in a previous post and continue to stand by this food’s high amount of Vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to improve sperm motility and can be found more in cooked tomatoes.

    3. Green, leafy vegetables

    Spinach, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, asparagus—they’re full of folate, a B vitamin linked to healthy sperm DNA and higher sperm densities.

    4. Fish

    Fish and seafood contain lots of Vitamin B-12, a nutrient that enhances sperm motility, increases sperm count and reduces damage to sperm DNA. Fish also provides Vitamin D and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

    5. Dark Chocolate

    In addition to tasting great, dark chocolate can help increase sperm volume and sperm count. After consumption, the chocolate transforms into nitric oxide, which promotes sperm function.
     
    6. Meat/Poultry

    Meat and poultry contain an amino acid known as D-aspartic acid, which is believed to help regulate testosterone. There’s research suggesting that sodium D-aspartic acid supplements can increase sperm count and motility.

    7. Lentils

    Just like green vegetables, lentils are rich in folate. Men with lower folate intakes have been shown to have higher rates of sperm chromosomal abnormalities.

    8. Ginseng

    It has long been believed that ginseng root and ginseng supplements can improve sperm development. Ginsenoside, an active ingredient in ginseng, may stimulate nitric oxide production, and men who take ginseng supplements appear to have higher sperm counts and increased sperm motility.

     

    Shake Off Your Concerns About Vasectomy-Related Birth Defects | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    A question that occasionally comes up regarding vasectomy reversals is whether or not the reversal increases the chance of future birth defects. Considering the lack of studies on this topic, it’s a completely warranted concern for couples who are planning their futures and who might find the potential risk unsettling.

    While there have indeed been studies suggesting that men who previously underwent a vasectomy may experience higher rates of sperm abnormalities, follow-up studies have NOT been conducted to successfully link birth defects to vasectomy reversals. Furthermore, studies have suggested that the rate of birth defects may actually be higher among babies conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). At the Scott Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine, researchers found that the rate of birth defects in conventional IVF was nine percent, while that of ICSI was roughly the same at 8.6 percent.

    In a landmark study from the Vasovasostomy Study Group (VVSG) published in 1991, Dr. Arnold Belker and four other expert microsurgeons examined various facets of vasectomy reversal, including the risk of birth defects. Their trial, which followed 291 children born post-vasectomy reversal, found that only three of the 291 subjects displayed birth defects. That’s a one percent birth defect rate.

    Compare this number to the overall birth defect rate in the entire U.S. population, and you’ll find that it compares quite favorably. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), approximately three percent of children born in the US are born with major birth defects. After accounting for birth-related developmental abnormalities by the age of one, this number rises to about six or seven percent.

    All in all, the risk of post-vasectomy reversal birth defects shouldn’t stop you from planning your future, as the odds don’t vary too much from that of the general population.

    For more information on One Stop Medical Center’s no-scalpel vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact us for a consultation.

     

    The Curious Case of Vasectomy Late Failure | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    After undergoing a vasectomy procedure, patients typically aren’t declared sterile until a post-surgery semen examination comes back negative. While early failure of a vasectomy—where semen is detected in the ejaculate soon after the procedure—has been recorded and recognized as a possibility for nearly 50 years, late failure of a vasectomy wasn’t considered until years later.

    Late failure of a vasectomy occurs when semen reappears in the ejaculate even after two previous negative specimens. In an eight-year span between 1984 and 1992, six spontaneous late failure cases were recorded. All six cases resulted in DNA-proven fatherhood despite previously consistent negative semen analyses that confirmed patients could forego secondary contraception.

    In one case, a patient who underwent a vasectomy in March ’84 recorded one positive semen analysis before recording two consecutive negative analyses later that year. Despite his negative semen results, he conceived a child in November ’85 while still showing a negative sperm count post-conception.

    How does late failure of a vasectomy even happen? Based on study results from Churchill Hospital in the UK, it’s assumed that patients must have intermittently produced small amounts of viable semen either in between semen analyses or after the final analysis. Furthermore, results showed that even when post-conception semen analyses came back negative, paternity was still possible and, in these cases, actually confirmed via DNA.

    All in all, a vasectomy is still the most reliable method of permanent male contraception. However, it’s important for all patients to note that late failure and/or pregnancy after a vasectomy, while rare, is still a possibility.

     

    Study Finds Limited Use of Post-Vasectomy Secondary Contraception | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    Last month, we published a post emphasizing the importance of using contraception even after a vasectomy, as patients are NOT completely sterile immediately following the procedure. Because “a series of follow-up tests is required to first confirm that sperm are no longer present in the patient’s semen,” using some form of birth control in the first few months post-surgery is strongly advised.

    However, a study conducted within the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) found that over half of the study’s couples (57.8%) did NOT use secondary contraception after undergoing a vasectomy postpartum. All couples had recently given birth and had reported a partner vasectomy four months following the live birth. Conducted in 15 states and New York City, the study assessed both the election of post-vasectomy birth control and the method of birth control used.

    Essentially, this means that the 57.8% of couples who chose not to use secondary contraception relied solely on the vasectomy itself as their birth control method. Of the remaining 42.4% who opted for secondary contraception, 50% used condoms, 26.5% used oral contraceptive pills, and 9.5% chose the withdrawal method.

    Based on these results, it seems that doctors and clinics need to better communicate to patients the necessity of secondary contraception in the months immediately following a vasectomy. In order to reduce the chance of unintended pregnancy, it is also important to understand the complexities surrounding why some couples choose not to use secondary contraception, despite being advised to.

    For more info on our vasectomy procedures, please refer to our FAQ page or schedule an Easy VasectomyⓇ consultation.

     

    Can Sperm Antibodies Affect Vasectomy Reversal Results? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    You may be familiar with the term “antibodies” as “something that helps the body ward off disease,” but the notion of sperm antibodies might seem counterintuitive. After all, why would the body want to destroy perfectly good sperm?

    Antibodies, small molecules that the body naturally produces to fight off infections, essentially stick to and kill off invading/unfamiliar cells. Sperm, however, are protected from being targeted by these antibodies via the blood-testis barrier, which physically prevents sperm from interacting with the blood stream. The body normally isn’t even aware of the presence of sperm.

    However, when the blood-testis barrier is compromised due to surgery, trauma to the area, or abnormal development of the testis, sperm may be detected and targeted by antibodies. In the case of a vasectomy, the vas deferen is cut and may leak sperm, potentially allowing the body to “see” and detect sperm for the first time. As a result, the body naturally produces antibodies to fight the sperm, which can affect sperm function and overall motility. Research suggests that at least 70 percent of men have detectable antibodies following a vasectomy, with 50–80 percent of cases occurring in the first year after the procedure. A small percentage of patients who do not develop antibodies in the first year develop them in the second or third year.

    While antibodies can cause problems for some patients, they aren’t usually responsible for post-vasectomy reversal infertility. A recent study published in Urology concluded that patients who experienced poor sperm quality actually had partially blocked vas deferens following a reversal. The patients’ initial post-reversal low motility wasn’t a result of sperm antibodies. After correcting the blockage issue, most patients were able to successfully conceive.

    Furthermore, despite some research suggesting that antibodies may decrease the chance of pregnancy after a reversal, the high overall post-operative conception rate (50-70 percent) and the uncertain correlation between antibody testing and post-operative pregnancy rates make antibody presence a controversial predictor of fertility.

     

    A Brief History of the Eugenics Movement in America | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    If you haven’t heard of eugenics (meaning “well-born”), it is the study of or belief in societal and scientific intervention to bring about the “fittest” population through means such as forced sterilization, abortions, euthanasia and discriminatory marriage laws. The movement’s intent was to improve the quality of the human population by discouraging reproduction by people with genetic defects or what were thought to be inheritable undesired traits.

    The origin of eugenics in the United States began in 1899 with Albert Ochsner, future Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois. In his published paper Surgical Treatment of Habitual Criminals, Ochsner described a new procedure that sterilized a male subject by cutting his vas deferens, a procedure that became known as a vasectomy. He advocated for the use of vasectomies on criminals, believing that:

  • It would dispense with hereditary criminals from the father’s side
  • Aside from being sterile, the criminal would be unchanged (unlike after castration)
  • It would protect the community at large without harming the criminal
  • The height of the eugenics movement (1920s to mid-20th century) saw compulsory sterilization programs established in over 30 states, resulting in over 60,000 sterilizations of often healthy people. Criminals and prison inmates were especially targeted, as well as those deemed “feeble-minded,” mentally deficient, or simply capable of passing on undesirable genes.

    Planned Parenthood, a global reproductive health care provider, was actually a product of the eugenics movement. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a prominent eugenicist who argued that this “new weapon of civilization and freedom” could solve “race problems” and result in “racial regeneration.” This belief in ensuring “racial purity” typically involved laws that aimed to prevent interracial marriage, taking the concept of eugenics and population control another step further.

    If any of this sounds familiar, history’s most infamous admirer of America’s eugenics policies was Adolf Hitler, who modeled the Third Reich after American eugenic institutions. As he expressed in Mein Kampf, Hitler was determined to prevent “defective people” from “propagating equally defective offspring,” a mission that he firmly believed required a systematic execution. In response, the American Eugenics Society issued a statement of praise in 1937 to the Nazi scientists who hoped to cleanse the gene pool.

     

    What Exactly Is a Post-Vasectomy Scrotal Hematoma? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    While a No-Scalpel Easy Vasectomy® is one of the safest procedures, there are still chances of minor complications, such as bleeding and infection. One potential post-surgery complication is a scrotal hematoma—a collection of blood inside the scrotum—and it occurs in approximately two to five percent of vasectomies.
     

    Symptoms

    Scrotal hematomas typically occur within a few days following a vasectomy procedure. They’re often accompanied by swelling, bruising and pain around the scrotum. The severity of one’s symptoms mainly depends on the size of the hematoma: a small hematoma may not have any symptoms at all or simply cause minimal swelling and discomfort, while a larger hematoma can result in extensive bruising and severe pain. After the swelling reduces, a hematoma generally feels like a hard lump in the scrotum.
     

    Treatment

    If you experience post-vasectomy discomfort such as significant bruising, swelling and unexpectedly intense pain, you may have developed a scrotal hematoma and will need to see your doctor immediately.

    Depending on size, hematomas may gradually resolve on their own after a few weeks, and symptoms should diminish as the hematoma shrinks. Your doctor may recommend pain medications, a scrotal supporter, and hot baths to alleviate discomfort and speed up recovery. Surgical intervention may be necessary in cases of very large hematomas or arterial hematomas.
     

    Prevention

    While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of developing a hematoma after your vasectomy, there are two crucial factors that can potentially help minimize the odds of it occurring.

    Firstly, experience matters. In general, the more vasectomy operations a doctor has performed, the lower the chance of patients developing hematomas. One study found that “the incidence of hematomas was 4.6 percent for physicians performing 1–10 vasectomies annually, 2.4 percent for those performing 11–50 annually, and 1.6 percent for those performing >50 annually.”

    Secondly, the no-scalpel vasectomy technique offers a number of benefits over the traditional vasectomy method, one of those being a lower risk of developing a post-vasectomy hematoma.

     

    Dr. Steven Shu Launches Surgeon Volunteers, Aims to Bring Medical Relief to Haiti and Cambodia

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Dr. Steven Shu, founder of Medical Volunteers International (MVI), has started a second international medical mission group, focusing on underserved communities in Haiti and Cambodia. Called Surgeon Volunteers, the non-profit, US-based group recruits highly-skilled medical professionals from around the world to deliver affordable, accessible health care to third world countries.

    Officially launching this year, Surgeon Volunteers plans to complete its first two mission trips to Cap Haitien, Haiti, in December and Phnom Penh, Cambodia in January 2019. Consisting of cosmetic surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, general surgeons and urologists, the volunteer organization will perform hernia repairs, hydrocele repairs, vasectomies, breast surgeries, hemorrhoidectomy, skin surgeries, varicose vein removal and various other surgical procedures.

    Requiring very few resources to complete its surgeries, Surgeon Volunteers will not only deliver safe and effective care, but also efficient care. “Because these procedures are done under local anesthesia or regional nerve blocking, we only need basic facilities and resources,” Dr. Shu explains.

    Dr. Shu, MD, MBA, is a cosmetic surgeon and proceduralist and founder of MVI and Surgeon Volunteers. Since joining No-Scalpel Vasectomy International, Inc (NSVI), an international medical volunteer organization led by urologists Dr. Doug Stein and Dr. Ramon Suarez, in 2014, Dr. Shu has completed six mission trips to Haiti and the Philippines.

    Surgeon Volunteers is set to carry out several mission trips to Haiti in the following years, as well as an annual mission trip to Cambodia starting January 2019.

     

    Here’s Why Using Birth Control After a Vasectomy Is Crucial | Minnesota

    Being told to use contraception after undergoing a (hopefully successful) vasectomy may seem counterintuitive, but the patient is NOT completely sterile immediately following the procedure. A series of follow-up tests is required to first confirm that sperm are no longer present in the patient’s semen, a process that can take many weeks. There is also the chance that the vasectomy procedure failed. In either case, patients must err on the side of caution and use birth control during intercourse in the first three months following a vasectomy.
     

    How a Vasectomy Affects Sperm Travel

    Before joining the semen, sperm must first make their way through several tubes, including the two vas deferens. Both vas deferens—one attached to each testicle—are cut during a vasectomy procedure, preventing new sperm made in the testicles from traveling through the vas deferens and being ejaculated.

    Despite the vas deferens being severed, leftover sperm may still remain in the upper part of the vas deferens near the penis. It may take anywhere from 15 to 30 ejaculations before all the leftover sperm are cleared from the tubes, and it’s not uncommon for patients to wait at least three months before becoming completely or nearly sterile. Therefore, it’s important to use birth control during intercourse until your doctor confirms that you are, indeed, free of motile sperm.
     

    What to Expect From Follow-Up Testing

    Your doctor will test your semen approximately 12 weeks after your vasectomy to examine for presence of motile sperm. If test results show that your semen is sperm-free, then the vasectomy was successful, and additional birth control will no longer be necessary. Some patients’ semen may show a small number of non-motile sperm, whereby the risk of pregnancy is very low, and additional birth control may not be needed.

    If follow-up testing shows that sperm are still present in your semen, your doctor will talk to you about your options. This may include further testing, in which case you will need to use some form of contraception during intercourse until you receive the green light that you’re sperm-free. Your doctor may also decide that the chance of pregnancy is low enough that birth control is no longer necessary.
     

    Yes, A Vasectomy Can Fail

    While the failure rate of vasectomies is extremely low, there is still a chance that the procedure fails to make you sterile. A vasectomy failure essentially means that sperm continue to be present in the semen after a notable amount of time has passed following the procedure. This can be due to sperm that existed pre-surgery, or the severed ends of the vas deferens rejoined to form a complete tube (recanalization) and resulted in an increased count of motile sperm.

    If a vasectomy fails, patients can either undergo another vasectomy or continue using a different form of contraception.

     

    Recovering After Your Vasectomy Reversal | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    After undergoing a vasectomy reversal, patients can expect a recovery process similar to that of their original vasectomy. Pain and swelling in the groin is to be expected for about 1-3 weeks, but most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within one week. Below is a breakdown of what to expect for post-surgery care and recovery:
     

    Incision Care After Surgery

  • Thin, clear, pink-colored fluid may drain from the incision site for about 12-24 hours following surgery.
  • Your doctor may ask you to wear an athletic supporter (jockstrap) or supportive underwear for three weeks after the procedure.
  • After surgery, you may take a quick shower in 2 days. Make sure to pat the incision dry. Do NOT take a bath for about 7 days.
  • If a drain is placed in the mid of scrotum, it is expect to have it removed in 24 hours, unless your doctor instructs you not to. Any stitches should dissolve in 7-10 days.
  • An ice pack can help ease discomfort following surgery, but your scrotum is packed with thick dressing after procedure, therefore, it is not convenient to apply ice pack. If you do, place it against your scrotum (ideally wrapped in a thin cloth) for 10-20 minutes at a time, every 4 hours.
  •  

    Pain Medications

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) should suffice in helping control any discomfort in the first few days. Try not to take Ibuprofen in the first 2 days to reduce the chance of bleeding
  • Take all pain medicines exactly as directed by your doctor.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Continue taking them even if you start feeling better.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, your doctor will let you know when it’s appropriate to restart those medications again.
  • If your pain medicine is making you feel sick and unable to stomach food, take your medicine after meals (unless instructed not to), Or switch to over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol OR ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  •  

    Returning to Regular Activities

  • Lie down and stay off your feet as much as possible in the first four days. Make sure to rest whenever you feel tired. Do not overexert yourself!
  • After four days, you can start easing back into walking everyday. Increase your walking distance bit by bit each day to regain circulation in your body. Again, rest immediately if you feel tired.

  • Most patients are able to drive and return to work in a week after surgery. However, if your work requires more physical strain on your body, it may take at least two to three weeks before you return.
  • For approximately 3-4 weeks after surgery, avoid strenuous activities like biking, jogging, weight training and high-impact exercises.
  • In the first two weeks, avoid lifting anything heavy that may strain your body. This includes heavy groceries, children, boxes and heavier household items.
  • Ask your doctor when it is appropriate for you to have sex again. Patients are typically advised to refrain from sex for about 3 weeks after surgery.
  •  

    Food/Diet

  • You’re free to return to your normal diet after surgery.
  • If your stomach bothers you for any reason, try eating plain, low-fat foods like rice, broiled chicken, toast and yogurt.
  • Unless otherwise directed, drink plenty of fluids!
  •  

    Follow-Up Appointments

    You are not required to have an office visit for follow up less you develop complications. Our staff will call you next day to check how you are doing. About 6 weeks after surgery, you should go to a local lab for semen analysis to see if the operation was successful.

     

    The Dos and Don’ts of Preparing for a Vasectomy | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    So you’ve finally made the decision to go for that vasectomy procedure—congrats! Knowing what’s best for your body and future is the first step, and now it’s time to make sure you’re well-versed in preparing for the surgery. The outcome and success of your vasectomy can depend on how well you prepare yourself pre-surgery, so we’ve compiled a list of essential pre-operation dos and don’ts.
     

    DO

    Do let your doctor know if you’ve undergone previous scrotal surgery.

    Do inform your doctor about any other medications you may be taking.

    Do follow a diet that’s high in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, green tea).

    Do eat a normal breakfast/lunch on the day of your procedure to avoid becoming lightheaded later on.

    Do fully shower and clean the area around the scrotum on the day of your procedure.

    Do shave your genital area if your doctor instructs you to.

    Do arrange for a friend or family member to help drive you home after the surgery. Driving yourself may put pressure on the surgical area.
     

    DON’T

    Don’t take any aspirin, anticoagulants, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve or Advil starting two weeks before your procedure. These medications can thin your blood and cause bleeding afterward.

    Don’t drink alcohol starting 2-3 days before your surgery.

    Don’t shave the scrotum the day before your surgery, as any nicks and cuts will not be fully healed by the next day.

    Don’t apply any lotions, colognes or deodorants prior to surgery.

    Don’t wear any jewelry or piercings to the surgery.

    Don’t bring a jockstrap or athletic supporter to wear post-surgery. Our office will provide you one.

    Don’t forget to sign a consent form before surgery. This is to protect both you and your doctor to ensure that you’re aware of what the operation entails and its potential risks.
     
    For more on how to prepare for your vasectomy, check out our earlier post on how to prepare for an Easy Vasectomy®.

     

    Clearing Up Vasectomy Reversal Myths | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    You may have contemplated whether or not a vasectomy reversal is the right option for you. But even after weighing the pros and cons, you may still be wondering if you have all the facts—after all, there’s a ton of information out there. It’s crucial to know what’s true and false about vasectomy reversals, so let’s break down some of its most common myths below.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are NOT effective for older men.

    It is entirely possible for an older patient to successfully undergo a vasectomy reversal and conceive a child. However, just as women may have more difficulty becoming pregnant as they advance in age, older men can also experience lower quality sperm that affects their overall chance of conceiving.

    Myth: After 10 years, a vasectomy reversal will NOT work.

    While it’s true that higher success rates are associated with vasectomy reversals performed closer to the original vasectomy date (within five years), the average success rates for ALL reversals—including those performed even 15 years after—are still fairly high. Your chances of a successful reversal increase greatly by finding a highly-skilled doctor to perform the procedure.

    Myth: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is quicker and easier than having a vasectomy reversal.

    Many couples tend to assume that IVF is both easier and more cost-effective, but IVF can be extremely draining and time-consuming. In fact, the cost of IVF is actually more expensive than that of vasovasostomy (the most common type of vasectomy reversal) performed in an office setting. IVF often requires multiple cycles and treatments, potentially becoming much more expensive than initially believed.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are 100 percent guaranteed to work and lead to fatherhood.

    Success rates change depending on individual patient circumstances and do not solely rely on whether or not a reversal procedure was performed. Important factors to consider include the time between the original vasectomy and the vasectomy reversal, the type of vasectomy originally performed, and the surgeon who performs the reversal. Furthermore, what should be considered a “success” is evidence of responsive sperm—not simply the intended result of having a child.

    Myth: Couples should not try to conceive right after a vasectomy reversal for fear of a “leftover, defective sperm.”

    New sperm are constantly created and reabsorbed by the body, meaning they don’t stick around and “age” and grow defective. Immediately following a reversal, any “older” remaining sperm from pre-reversal that are still being broken down will quickly lose their motility and have little chance of meeting the egg. There is also no evidence to suggest that an early pregnancy following a vasectomy reversal is linked to higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects or health problems in babies.

    Myth: Some vasectomies are not reversible due to how they were originally performed.

    This is simply false. While there are different ways to perform a vasectomy, it is very rare for one to be irreversible in the hands of a skilled surgeon, regardless of how it was originally performed. However, it’s important to note that if the long segment of a patient’s vas deferens is cut away, or the position of the cut in the vas deferens is either too high or too low, then the reversal procedure and success rate could potentially be affected.

     

    Getting Back Into Exercise & Fitness After a Vasectomy | Minneapolis & St Paul

    Great news—so you underwent a vasectomy, and everything went smoothly. Now, it’s time to talk recovery process, downtime, and the timeline for easing back into your usual activities. For many patients, a regular routine involves some form of fitness and exercise, be it lifting weights at the gym, running, a pick-up basketball game, or biking.

    But returning to your regularly scheduled programming takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and rushing into strenuous activities too soon can cause extreme pain/discomfort in the surgical area. The key is to regain your fitness routine while being extremely mindful of anything that may cause infection in or reopen the surgical wound. Below is an overall guideline for regaining fitness levels after undergoing a vasectomy:

    Immediately After Surgery

    As soon as you complete a vasectomy procedure, you should not engage in any form of physical activity for 48 hours. This includes any form of exercise, sports, sexual activity, prolonged periods of standing, or even walking. Try to stay off your feet as much as possible, and follow care instructions provided by your doctor. Just turn on Netflix, ice the surgical area if you prefer, and rest. That’s it.

    First Week After Surgery

    In the 3-7 days following surgery, you can gradually increase your amount of physical activity ONLY if necessary. Rigorous exercise and sports should still be avoided, and do not lift objects (and babies!) heavier than 20 pounds.

    If you feel fine after approximately four days and aren’t experiencing any discomfort/pain, walking or light exercises are allowed. Avoid anything more intense like weight-lifting, running, or biking, as this can cause significant build-up in pressure in the treated area. Furthermore, biking puts pressure on the penis and could hinder the healing process.

    Two Weeks After Surgery

    After two weeks of downtime, most men are able to resume their usual workouts (except extreme heavy lifting…more on that below). Non-contact sports such as golfing, bowling, tennis, and biking are allowed, but again, be extra aware of any pain or swelling. Stop activities immediately if aching occurs.

    3+ Weeks After Surgery

    While three or more weeks sounds like an excruciatingly long period of downtime, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Contact sports such as football, boxing, wrestling, hockey, basketball, martial arts, etc should not be resumed for at least three weeks after surgery.

    **ATTENTION, WEIGHT LIFTERS: Wait at least four weeks before attempting heavy weights in low-repetition sets. Stick to lighter weights for now, as intense spurts of heavy lifting can significantly build up pressure in the surgical area and lead to massive internal bleeding in the scrotum. Not fun.

    Ultimately, follow your doctor’s guidance on what is appropriate for your post-surgery timeline. Keep a close eye on signs of pain, swelling, and discomfort and judge your fitness abilities accordingly. In the event of any unpleasant side effects due to exercise, contact your physician immediately.

    18 Vasectomy Facts | Minneapolis & St Paul

    • factsA vasectomy is one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States and worldwide. Each year, more than half million men in the US choose to get a vasectomy.
    • The No Scalpel Vasectomy procedure was developed in the early 1970s in China. About 50 million No-Scalpel Vasectomies have been performed around the world.
    • The introduction of no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the needle and scalpel.
    • Vasectomies are nearly 100 percent effective, the failure rate is estimated to be one out of every 2000 if 3 steps of occlusion is used during vasectomy:
      1. cuts the vas deferens
      2. destroys the lining of the tube
      3. places small titanium clips (or sutures) in the vas fascia to separate the opened ends of vas deferens.
    • They don’t reduce a man’s sexual drive, virility, or ability to have or enjoy sex.
    • Most vasectomies are done in the doctors’ offices. A No-Scalpel Vasectomy takes only about 10 minutes.
    • Most patients can go back to work in two days.
    • Non-scalpel vasectomy is very safe office procedure. The incidence of complications from a vasectomy is very low due to minimal invasive non-scalpel technique.
    • Sterilization for a man (vasectomy) is significantly less expensive than for a woman (tubal ligation), which may be up to five times more costly. A vasectomy can cost between $700 and $2,000. There may be little or no cost to you since most health care insurance programs cover vasectomies.
    • A vasectomy has very little effect on ejaculate itself. Semen consists of sperm, fluid from the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. Sperm is the only thing missing from the ejaculate, so removing them has little or no effect on the volume (2-5 percent ),, appearance, color, or consistency.

    Limitations of Vasectomy:

    • Not 100% reversible
    • Must use other forms of birth-control for three months until sperm-free.
    • Does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

    Advantages of Vasectomy…

    • Low one-time expense often covered by insurance companies
    • More dependable than any other form of contraception including female sterilization.
    • Eliminates risks associated with birth control pills or shots and the IUD.
    • Vasectomy reversals are less costly and more successful than tubal ligation reversals (see Vasectomy Reversal).
    • No need for inconvenient and less dependable methods, so there are…
    • no more worries!!!!

    What Type of Vasectomy is Most Reversible? | Minnesota

    Fundamentally, what a vasectomy does is to prevent the flow of sperm from the testicle to the urethra by cutting and blocking off the ends of the vas deferens, the tube which carries the vasal fluid. There are many ways to block off the vas deferens.

    Suture is very common, where a thread is tied around the end of the vas to prevent the flow of sperm.

    Cauterization is also a common method, using heat to create scar tissue that will block the flow of sperm.

    Another very common method is the use of metal clips, which clip off the ends and are embedded in the scar of the vasectomy site.

    It’s not uncommon to have a small portion of the vas removed as well- up to an inch.

    Dr. Shu uses 3 steps to insure complete occlusion: he cuts the vas deferens and destroys the lining of the tube on upper end with cautery (scarring it) and places small titanium clips in the vas fascia to separate the opened ends of vas deferens.

    No-scalpel vasectomy is performed by making the tiny opening in the middle of scrotum with a pointy hemostat. The vas is then pulled out, severed, and blocked off.

    Another method is open-ended vasectomy, where the vas end closer to the testicle is left open instead of being blocked off in order to reduce the post vasectomy. It also save more vas to make a reversal easier.

    Vas crimping with VasClip or Pro-Vas was not favorable because of the high failure rate. These still require surgery for a vasectomy reversal, so the idea of crimping rather than severing is a moot point.

    Ultimately, none of these ways seem to affect the chances of a reversal being successful. The type of vasectomy, how it was blocked off, how the incision was made, etc, will not actually have an effect on the success rate of the reversal.

    What really makes a difference when it comes to success of the reversal is time (years after vasectomy). Time is the single most important factor. Each year after vasectomy patency gets lower.

    There are two metrics when looking at success rate: sperm patency and pregnancy rate. Sperm patency has to do with the motility of the sperm, that is, how much sperm is present and how much of the sperm in the semen is moving and healthy. The pregnancy rate is typically lower, since not everyone chooses to have a child after a reversal, and sometimes there can be issues on the woman’s end, or there is simply not enough motile sperm.

    No Scapel Vasectomy Versus Other Birth Control Options | Minnesota

    spermAll birth control methods work the best if used correctly and every time you have sex. Your choice of birth-control method is a personal one and depends on a number of variables, including short or long-term family planning, personal health, associated risks, failure rate and cost.

    The vasectomy is one of the lowest failure rates among the birth control methods. The study showed the traditional vasectomy failure rate is 1-3 per 1000 cases; the failure rate would be less than 1 per 20000 in no scalpel vasectomy with the fascia clipping technique.

    Dr. Shu uses 3 steps to insure complete occlusion: he cuts the vas deferens and destroys the lining of the tube on upper end with cautery (scarring it) and places small titanium clips (or sutures) in the vas fascia to separate the opened ends of vas deferens. The lower end keeps open without cauterization (open-ended technique). The vas deferens are then placed back into the scrotum in its normal anatomic position.

    Birth Control Methods Comparison

    Contraception Cost Failure Rate Duration Availability Advantages Disadvantages
    Condom <10 18% one time OTC prevent STIs; no hormonal side effects local reaction & breakage
    Vasectomy $700 – $2000 0.2% Permanent Office procedure No effect on hormones and sex drive No protection in the first 3 months, Surgical side effects
    Female Condom $2-$4 21% one time OTC prevent STIs; use during menstruation local reaction & breakage
    Spermicide $5-$10 28% one time OTC Lubricate, use with other BCP forms local reaction
    Sponge $3-$5 24% Up to 24h OTC Lasts 24 hours Local effects and infections
    Diaphragm $50-$300 5-20% Reusable Prescription Lasts 24 hours, reusable Insert challenging,local reaction
    Cervical cap $50-$75 14-30% 48-72 hours, reusable Prescription Protect 48-72 hours Abnormal Pap smear, local reaction & infection
    Birth Control Pill $15-$50/month 9% A month Prescription Regulate menstruation; reduce cramps and ovarian cysts Take daily, weight changes, and medical /risks/side effects*
    Vaginal ring $15-80/month 9% Wear monthly Prescription Regulate menstruation; reduce cramps and ovarian cysts Weight changes and medical risks/side effects*
    Contraceptive Patch $15-80/month 9% A month, replace weekly Prescription Regulate menstruation; reduce cramps and ovarian cysts Weight changes and medical risks/side effects*
    Birth Control shot $35-75/injection 6% 3 months doctor’s visit 4 shots/year; reduces menstrual cramps and the risk of ovarian cysts/cancer and PID Take up to 8 months to return; medical risks/side effects*
    Intrauterine device (IUD) $500-$1000 1% 5-12 years Doctor’s visit immediately effective Migrates, ovarian cysts, PID, and ectopic pregnancy
    Hormone Implants $400-$800 1% 3 yearse Doctor’s visit reduce menstrual flow, cramping, and PID office procedure, local reaction, Medical side effects**
    Tubal Ligation $1500-$6000 1% Permanent Outpatient surgery Permanent and immediate; does not impact sex drive More invasive, complicated than vasectomy, surgical side effect
    Essure $1500-6000 1% Permanent Outpatient surgery Less invasive than tubal ligation 3 months to take effect; side effects:cramping,irregular menstrual cycle, GI reaction, and infection

    * Medical risks and side effects: may increase risk of blood clots, stroke, breast cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety; may decrease sex drive; other side effects include weight gain, breast lumps, and hair loss or excessive growth.

    **Medical risks and side effects: can cause loss of bone density and sex drive, and mood swings, weight gain, breast and abdominal pain, and allergic reaction.

    References: Birth Control Guide. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health.

    Is the Chance of Birth Defects Higher After a Vasectomy Reversal? | Minnesota

    Some patients are concerned over the possibility of birth defects being higher after a vasectomy reversal. The decision to continue having kids after a vasectomy can be a big one and it’s natural to want all your bases covered. So, what does the science say about it?

    A landmark study known as the Vasovasostomy Study Group (VVSG) trial sought to answer to that question. Published in 1991 by Dr. Arnold Belker, he and four other surgeons conducted the trial accross five different centers. Described by Herrel as a landmark surgical study in “Meta-analysis of the Microsurgical Vasovasostomy literature”, this study holds quite a bit of weight.

    The study followed 291 children born after a vasectomy reversal, tracking their development and medical histories to see what effects, if any, vasectomy reversal had. The study found that, out of the 291, 3 had birth defects- or about 1%.

    So how does that compare to the prevalence of birth defects across the nation? Well, according to the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, published in Pediatrics by Hoyert in 2006, the annual birth defect rate is said to be 3%. Other studies fluctuate between 3% and 5%. The defect rate was actually lower for children born post-vasovasostomy.

    Now, does vasectomy reversal reduces or increases the risk of birth defects?
    Probably not. Based on what we know, vasectomy and vasovasostomy does not affect the genetic quality of the sperm. In actuality, there is almost certainly no difference in the rate of birth defects regardless if you had a vasectomy reversal or not.

    Back in 2006, a study conducted at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok showed that chromosomal abnormalities of sperms were more common in vasectomized men than men with healthy fertility. However, the authors of the study acknowledged that they were unsure whether these findings would support the theory that the risk of birth defects was higher after vasectomy reversal. So far, there have been no follow-up studies to confirm that such a link exists.

    Although vasectomy reversal birth defects are among the possible risks discussed during the consultation, most men are pleased to hear that there is no definitive evidence to suggest that the rate of birth defects after vasectomy reversal is significantly higher than that among the general population. In fact, the rate of birth defects may actually be higher among those who achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which has been indicated in many researches.

    Based on the available scientific literature and our own experiences, if you are looking for a vasectomy reversal, you have nothing to worry about as far as having healthy children go.

    How Long After a Vasectomy Will the Patients Become Completely Sterile? | Minneapolis & St Paul

    The patients in Minnesota offer ask how long after a vasectomy they become completely sterile and how they can get cleared faster for unprotected sex after a vasectomy. This blog will address these two questions.

    Every man produces the sperms that are reabsorbed back into the body. In fact, it is estimated that up to 50% of sperms a man produces is reabsorbed. Sperm travels to the epididymis for storage and maturing. While maturing in the epididymis, some sperms die and break down and reabsorbed through the membranes of tubules by macrophages.

    Sperm continues to be produced in the testicles after the procedure. The sperm continue to be stored in the epididymis and are eventually dissolved and absorbed by the body. With the increase of stagnant sperms, the membranes of the epididymis increase in size to absorb more liquid. The immune system increases the amount of macrophages to handle an increase of solid waste.

    The life cycle of sperm is 63 days. 80% of men will be sterile after 15 ejaculations or 6 weeks after a vasectomy. By 10 weeks, 85% of men will have no sperm in the ejaculate. Therefore, a safe time period to say would be approximately 3 months (12 weeks) after vasectomy with about 20 ejaculations.

    It is important to have a semen analysis after vasectomy to confirm absence of live sperm before stopping contraception. Keep in mind, there is a small chance of re-canalization even after no sperm is seen after 12 weeks.

    Should the patients be ejaculating a lot in order to clean the pipes out? That’s what some doctors recommended.

    The policy in our clinic is that all patients need to do semen analysis in 3 months after vasectomy with about 20 ejaculations.

    How to Prepare Before the Easy VasectomyⓇ ?

    The introduction of Easy VasectomyⓇ with no scalpel, no needle has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel and needle. It is safer, less invasive, and has fewer complications and quick recovery. Under local anesthesia, only a tiny puncture is made at the midline of the scrotum skin. It can be done in less than 10 minutes. You don’t need to do any special preparations except simple consideration and common sense as listed below.

    Instructions

    Before the Easy VasectomyⓇ :

    • Review the information on vasectomy in our website. Read and Understand the “Post Vasectomy Instructions”in the website, so that you know what to expect.
    • To prevent the possibility of increased bleeding, do not take aspirin or other blood thinners for 7 days before the procedure.
    • Please shave the front wall of scrotum and underside of the penis, then take a good shower before you leave home for vasectomy. You will be asked to refrain from doing so again until 2 days after your procedure.
    • Shower and Use no powder or deodorant in the genital area on the day of your procedure.
    • Don’t bring an athletic supporter, we provide you a free athletic supporter on the day of the procedure.
    • Be prepared to sign the operative consent sheet upon your arrival in the office. Think of any questions you may want to ask your doctor.
    • You are able to drive home by yourself after the surgery although a flat tire or fender bender could lead to complications.
    • Eat before your procedure, a normal breakfast or lunch. Nervous men who do not eat beforehand are more likely to become lightheaded during or after their vasectomies.
    • If you are extremely nervous about it, please call us or come half hour early. You may need a sedative to relax, then you should arrange a driver.

    How do the Sperm Retrieval Techniques Affect the Qualification for Vasectomy Reversal? | Minnesota

    It is estimated that about 2 million couples each year face the problem of infertility. While assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have helped many couples conceive, vasectomy reversal is the main option for restoring fertility for the vasectomized men. Small percentages of couples who fail in ARTs change their mind and would like to have vasectomy reversal. The common questions they ask are how the sperm retrieval techniques affect their qualification for the vasectomy reversal. This blog specifically answers this question.

    ARTs requires the collection of both egg and sperm to increase the likelihood of conception. The sperm-extraction methods vary depending on the men’s fertility, the ability of the surgeon to retrieve sperm and the needs of the couple.

    The five main types of sperm retrieval techniques are:

    Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA): a small incision in scrotum is made to identify the epididymal tubules, then the sperms in epididymis are aspirated with a small needle.

    Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA): no incision is made, and a small needle is used to aspirate sperm percutaneously.

    Testicular Sperm Extraction (TeSE): a small incision in the skin of the scrotum is made to explore the testicle. Small pieces of tissue from the testicle are havested and the sperm is extracted from that tissue.

    Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TeSA): no incision is made, and a needled is used to percutaneously aspirate small amount of testicular tissue, then sperm is ten retrieved from the tissue.

    Testis Perc-Biopsy: a larger gauge needle is used to harvest sperms from the testicles. The process is similar to that of TeSA, but allows for the collection of a greater amount of sperms.

    The men with MESA and PESA are not good candidates for vasectomy reversal since both procedures could damage the vas tubules inside epididymis, and the tubules are easily blocked by the scar.

    The men with TESE, TESA and Testis Perc-Biopsy are still good candidates for vasectomy reversal since these procedures cause small damage in the testicular tissue, and the vas tubules inside epididymis usually remain intact.

    Male Birth Control: The 3 most promising new methods | Minnesota

    Traditionally, us guys don’t have a lot of options when it comes to contraception. There’s condoms, vasectomies, “pulling out”, and that’s about it. However, all of these methods have major setbacks. Condoms take a while to put on and can kill the mood. Vasectomies are convenient, but are not reversible without invasive surgery. And pulling out, well, is the hallmark of bad decision making.

    Every now and then, there are headlines that give hope to all the men looking to avoid children in their lives. Like the Italian guy who invented a magical “switch” implant that is now on permanent hiatus. Headlines like those, which never seem to go anywhere.

    Luckily, there are some new options in development for these men.

    Gel contraceptive

    This form of male birth control is closest to being put on the market. Called Nestorone-Testosterone, the gel contains two hormones, testosterone and progestin. The key ingredient here is the progestin, a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progesterone, which shuts down testosterone production by suppressing the gonadotropin hormones. Lower testosterone means lower sperm production, which means a lower chance of pregnancy.

    Of course messing with hormones can have very negative consequences, which is why the gel contains some testosterone to ensure levels are not too low, which can cause low libido and delayed ejaculation.

    A study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and human development revealed that 90% of men who used the gel had a sperm concentration lower than one million per milliliter, which is low enough to prevent pregnancy with minimal side effects.

    Still, there is a long road to go. Right now trails are being performed on 420 couples around globe- if successful, the contraceptive could move onto the next stage, which involves trials on an even larger scale. It might be another ten years- but it’s a start.

    Birth Control Pill

    The problem with male BC pills is the short half life of sperm-suppressing hormones, meaning the drug decays very quickly, and so do its effects. However, a new study featuring an experimental male BC pill seems to show promise.

    Dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, is a drug that works in a similar way to the gel contraceptive. Like the gel, it contains both testosterone and progestin. While its effectiveness and reducing sperm count is still unknown, the trials show that the drug is safe to take every day for a month, with minimal side effects.

    Researchers at the UCLA and University of Washington are beginning a joint study that tests the efficacy of a DMAU injection, which could work several months at a time, which would be more convenient and more similar to injectable female birth control methods.

    RISUG

    RISUG, which I have written about previously, is a promising new procedure that is like an advanced form of vasectomy. The method was pioneered by biomedical engineer Sujoy Guha from the Indian Institute of Technology, and involves injecting a gel into the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm to the semen), preventing sperm flow without affecting production or hormone levels. Unlike a vasectomy, this process is (theoretically) easily reversible, requiring only one other injection to dissolve the block. This avoids the inconvenience and possible failure of a vasectomy reversal, which is like stitching together the ends of two wet noodles. Not to mention, it’ll be a lot cheaper

    It will be a considerable amount of time before this product hits the US market. The rights to the technology have been sold to the Parsemus Foundation, a nonprofit based in California, but there are unfortunately no human trials coming in the near future.

    Regardless, we can expect to see many of these inventive new technologies in pop up in the next decade or two. Adoption of new birth control methods could mean a major reduction in unplanned pregnancies, especially in more developed countries as birth controls cheaper and more convenient worldwide.

    Challenges of the Difficult Vasectomies | Minnesota

    Easy VasectomyⓇ is a minimal invasive office procedure with no scalpel, no needle and no stitches techniques, and it takes less than 10 minuets. Dr. Shu performs about 400 vasectomies every year, some of them could be very challenging.

    The common reasons of the difficult vasectomies:

    1. Large scrotum with obesity
    2. Tight and thick skin with small scrotum
    3. Short Vas Deferens
    4. Small size of Vas Deferens
    5. Previous history of scrotum surgeries
    6. Scrotum with hydrocele, hernia or other diseases

    Dr.Shu has extensive experience of doing no scalpel vasectomy, and he loves to do the challenging vasectomies. He has never referred any vasectomy patients out. Dr.Shu has never had a chance to tell any vasectomy patients that they need general anesthesia because he always can finish it under the local anesthesia regardless how difficult it is.

    Yesterday, we had a vasectomy case with the hydrocele and extensive scars inside the left scrotum. Dr.Shu successfully performed it although it did take extra 10 minutes to do it. He was telling the patients that, during his vasectomy missions trips in Haiti, some Haitian patients with huge hydroceles were much more challenging ones.

    Here is the testimonial published by one of our patients with the difficult vasectomy last month.

    “I highly recommend Dr. Shu and the EZ Vasectomy. It is refreshing to have a clinic that takes the patient experience into consideration. Everything from scheduling, to the follow up sample testing is done in a way that puts value on my time and makes it easy for me. Not to mention I received a consultation from a urologist before I saw Dr. Shu. They recommended general anesthesia that would have come at a $6,000+ cost to me plus the extra recovery time from the more invasive procedure. Dr. Shu was able to complete the procedure in 7 minutes with local anesthesia at 10% of the cost. For the recovery, I was able to function like normal, just took it a little easy for 2 days. I wouldn’t even call it a painful recovery. A sunburn is more painful than the recovery I experienced.”

    If you are told by any urologists or family physicians that

    1. You are a very difficult vasectomy case, or
    2. You need a sub-specialist to do it in the operating room, or
    3. You need to be done under general anesthesia in the hospital.

    Please come to the Procedure Clinic and try Dr.Shu’s vasectomy skills. You will be surprised to know that how much time and money you will save, and how much pain and suffering from vasectomy can be avoided or reduced. Easy VasectomyⓇ is your choice!

    Is a Vasectomy Reversal the Best Option for You? | Minnesota

    Vasectomy is a permanent sterilization surgical procedure. But at some point in the future, life circumstances may change:

    • Some couples may simply regret it.
    • Some couple may have a much different situations in their health or finance now.
    • With a 50% divorce rate in the US, a new partner may have a much stronger desire for children than his ex-partner does.

    When this happens, you and your partner will need to look at the options available and decide whether a vasectomy reversal is the best option for you. These options include vasectomy reversal, in vitro fertilization, donor sperms, and adoption.

    If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, you need to know several important factors that affect the success rate.

    Years after vasectomy
    The single most important factor in whether a vasectomy reversal procedure will be successful is the interval in time (years) between vasectomy and vasectomy reversal. Studies have consistently shown that vasectomy reversal procedures have a higher rate of success when the procedure is performed closer to the date of vasectomy. Theoretically, the sperm recovery rate drops two percent every year after vasectomy. This is because the likelihood of obstruction due to scar formation in the epididymis increases—especially after 7-10 years. Additionally, the anti-sperm antibodies in man’s body may limit or reduce sperm production.

    Type of reversal procedure
    There are two types of reversal procedures—vasovasostomy (VV) and vasoepididymostomy (VE). The aim of VV is to reconnect the vas where it was severed at the time of vasectomy, whereas during a vasoepididymostomy the surgeon connects the severed end of the vas deferens directly to the epdidymis (the tube attached to the testicle where sperm mature). A VE is more complex and technically demanding than a VV, and it a lower rate of success than vasovasostomy.

    Experience matters
    The vasectomy reversal procedures are usually conducted by urologists and other surgeons. You need to check surgeons’ credentials. Besides basic medical credentials, the most important questions you need to ask are:

    • How many vasectomy reversal does the doctor performs every year?
    • How many years has the doctor been performing vasectomy reversal?
    • Are the minimal invasive procedure with no scalpel and no needle techniques?
    • What are the failure rate and the complication rate?

    Cost
    Most vasectomy reversal clinics charge expensive facility and anesthesia fees. If you are one of the few for whom vasectomy reversal does not succeed, it will be difficult enough, without a $7000-$10,000 bill!

    One Stop Medical Center provides premium reversal services with affordable price by not charging any facility and anesthesia fees.

    Reversal tends to be the least expensive choice, but the costs of IVF and other Assistive reproductive technologies (ARTs) could be much higher than that of vasovasostomy, and IVF may require several cycles before conception is achieved and has a lower overall success rate.

    ARTs may be a better alternative if vasectomy reversal is not a viable option, or if you don’t want to undergo a second surgery, or your reversal procedure fails.

    Age
    Although age is not the main factor for considering a vasectomy reversal , but a woman’s fertility begins to decline more sharply after age 35.

    General Information on Vasectomy Cost | Minnesota

    Vasectomy costs are usually affordable and often covered under health insurance plans in Minnesota. Typically, vasectomy costs will be in the range of $900 to $2000 in Minneapolis and St Paul areas, the suggested price range of a vasectomy includes your initial consultation, vasectomy procedure, and post semen analyses. The price can fluctuate based on where you live in Minnesota, the method of procedure, and other variables. Some clinics will include all of these in one price, while many may charge for each individually, so make sure to inquire about the price of consultation and post-op analysis when looking for potential doctors. In most cases, the cost is the same for the no-scalpel vasectomy or a conventional vasectomy.

    Vasectomy costs may differ depending on where the procedure takes place. Getting one at a doctor’s office under local anesthesia is usually the cheapest, as hospitals or surgical centers, while still a valid option, may cost more due to anesthesia or facility fees. Vasectomy in men is significantly less expensive than tubal ligation in women, which may be as much as five times more costly. Generally, this is because tubal ligation is a more complex surgery, performed in a hospital or surgery center and requiring a general anesthesia. A vasectomy is simpler, safer office procedure.

    Health insurance companies in Minnesota often cover vasectomy costs, but you should check it to make sure that your insurance company includes vasectomy benefits. Within the same company, some plans may cover and others may not. (Dr. Shu is a contracted provider under many plans offered by, among others, the following companies: Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Medica, Preferred one, Select Care/Laborcare, United Healthcare.)

    Your exact out-of-pocket cost will depend on your plan’s: , Co-payment, deductible, and coinsurance.

    In addition, vasectomies are often a qualified health savings account (HSA) expense. If your insurance plan won’t pay for the procedure and you contribute to an HSA, you may be able to get reimbursed that way.

    If you don’t have medical insurance or you have high deductible, One Stop Medical Center is your best choice since we charge very affordable price ($690 only) for the self-pay patients.

    Understanding of the Risks, Complications, and Side Effects Related to Vasectomy Reversal Procedures

    Similar to Easy Vasectomy, the complications from Easy Vasectomy Reversal are rare because of minimal invasive approach, but any surgery carries some degree of risk. Vasectomy reversal is much longer and more complicated microsurgery than a vasectomy, it has a greater chance of side effects.

    Most common vasectomy reversal complications include bleeding and infection following the procedure.

    Anesthesia: Dr. Shu performs the vasectomy reversal under local anesthesia which avoids the risks and complications from general anesthesia. If it is performed under the intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, patients must be cleared medically prior to the surgery. Anesthesia-related complications include reaction to the anesthetic medications, breath diffculty, and cardiac problem.

    Postoperative pain: The patients usually have mild or moderate pain for a few days after surgery. The pain can be managed with prescription narcotics or over-the-counter pain medications. The patients should avoid anti-inflammatory pain relievers (such as ibuprofen and aspirin) for the first 48 hours after the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding, but Tylenol is fine to use. A small number of men experience long-term pain (more than three months) in the area of the scrotum or testicles after a reversal.

    Hematoma (collection of blood): Bleeding under the skin that may cause scrotum area to look bruised, and bruise shows commonly in a few days after surgery, but pooled blood can be occasionally caused by bleeding in the surgery site inside the scrotum. The patients should report any unusual scrotal swelling and bruise to the surgeon.

    Infections: Infection after vasectomy reversal is not common, and it occurs more common when there is a hematoma beneath the skin. Infection occurs in the wound or inside scrotum, can be treated with hematoma evacuation (I&D drainage) and antibiotics.

    Hydrocele (Fluid Collection): Fluid can build up inside scrotum and cause swelling. This may resolve on its own, but may sometimes need to be drained with a needle. Check with a doctor if there is any unusual swelling.

    Sperm granuloma: If sperms leak into the scrotum, the immune system can react to the sperm. The local tissue gradually forms an inflamed mass. It is much more common with vasectomy than vasectomy reversal. If it happens, it indicates that the vasectomy reversal is probably not successful.

    Testicular atrophy: Testicular atrophy occurs when the blood supply of the testicle was injured, which results in permanent damage to that testicle. This can lead to scarring and dysfunction of testicle with diminished sperm and testosterone production. In general, the other testicle produces enough sperm and testosterone to compensate.

    Low sperm count: After a vasectomy reversal, the initial sperm count might be lower than that before vasectomy. This may be caused by many factors such as scar tissue blocking the sperm in the connecting sites, or the reaction of the body’s immune system to the presence of sperm, or epididymal dysfuction.

    Sexual difficulties: There is no physiological reason that a vasectomy or a vasectomy reversal should affect the patient’s sex drive, or their ability to have sex or an erection, but these procedures can occasionally cause significant psychological and emotional response in some men.

    Why Procedure Clinic for Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal procedures | Minnesota

    1. No-scalpel and no needle technique that only requires one micro incision, which minimizes trauma, pain, and risk of complications, and it allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel and needle

    2. Local anesthesia: Not having to use general anesthesia or IV sedation greatly reduces the risks associated with it.

    3. High success rate: The success rates of our operations are up there with the best, thanks to the extensive past surgical experience and high volume practice.

    4. High quality, personalized medical care: Being in an office allows for a more personal, patient oriented approach. Our team of professional and friendly staff go the extra mile to ensure patient satisfaction.

    5. Enjoy an accredited, private surgical center with a premium clinic environment.

    6. Affordability: At $690 for a vasectomy and $2590 for a vasectomy reversal, our prices are only a fraction of the cost of the same procedure done in a hospital or public surgical center. We do not charge facility fees or anesthesia fees.

    7. Website: Our website is full of information and resources for prospective patients. For those that want to learn more about the procedures, our practice, and our mission, our site is the right place to be!

    8. Online Registration: Using online registration makes scheduling appointments convenient and easy!

    9. We offer consultations on the same day as the surgery and the phone consultation.

    10. One trip system: An initial face-to-face consultation is no longer required. We also developed a mailer system to eliminate another trip for patients. This is especially good for those that live far away or out-of-state.

    11. Only 10 Minutes from the Minneaplios-St Paul airport (MSP)

    12. Located in the famous high end town of Edina, France Avenue is enriched with hospitals, medical offices, commercial and business centers, as well as hotels.

    Why Should You Get No-scalpel Vasectomy Instead of Tubal Ligation | Minnesota

    There are a lot of people out there that are trying not to have kids. In fact, there are so many people trying not to have kids that there’s a global market worth tens of billions of dollars. These include condoms, the pill, spermicide, IUDs, diaphragms, implants, and many more. Most of these are very effective, but none of them are permanent, and they are subject to human errors (e.g. forgot to take the pill, forgot a condom, incorrect diaphragm placement). Hormonal birth controls often cause a myriad of side effects for women, including menstrual pain, acne, nausea, weight gain, decreased libido, vaginal discharge, mood changes, and the list goes on.

    For couples that do not wish to have kids in the future, what options are available? Well, there are two main forms of permanent birth control: vasectomy and tubal ligation.

    If you’re reading this, you probably already know what a vasectomy is. But in case you don’t, vasectomy is a procedure in which the tube that transports sperm from the vas deferens to the urethra, the vas deferens, is surgically severed and the ends are blocked off, preventing any sperm from entering the semen. Vasectomies are permanent procedures, so it will last your entire life, though they are reversible depending on the time passed since the vasectomy. If you’re considering a vasectomy it’s important to be absolutely sure that you want it.

    The refined no-scalpel Easy Vasectomy® with no needle and no suture techniques minimizes trauma, pain and complications. New and minimal invasive vasectomy techniques have successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel.

    In a tubal ligation, often known as “having your tubes tied”, the doctor will sever and block off the fallopian tubes which transport the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. Like vasectomy, it is a permanent procedure. Either of these options will prevent a baby from entering your life, but which is the better options?

    If you guessed vasectomy, you’re completely right. For one, tubal ligation is far more labor intensive and invasive. A surgeon must make two small cuts in the abdomen and use what is called a laparoscope to severe and close up the ends of the fallopian tubes. A tubal ligation must be done in the hospital, may require several hours or an overnight stay in the hospital, while a vasectomy can be done in the office in under 10 minutes. Most men can return to work within 48 hours but women who undergo tubal ligation may require four to seven days. Not to mention that tubal ligation costs at least $5,000 to $8,500 on average.

    Side effects and complications are also more likely with tubal ligation. This includes nausea, vomiting, infection, bleeding, bruising and side effects from anesthesia. With vasectomies, especially no-scalpel vasectomies, there are minimal side effects (mild pain and bruising) and complications such as hematoma and infection are exceedingly rare, since the procedure is minimally invasive. The failure rate is 0.02%-0.2% for vasectomy while the failure rate for tubal ligation is 0.73%-1.85%. Despite this two thirds of couples still opt for the tubal ligation.

    While both of these methods are effective, it’s clear that vasectomies are safer, quicker, more convenient, and less costly than a tubal ligation. In our patriarchal society we often place much of the responsibility of birth control on the woman’s shoulder, despite the fact that doing so is less ideal. It’s time we make a change.

    Sexual changes post-vasectomy | Minneapolis & St Paul

    One of the reasons many men are hesitant to undergo a vasectomy is fear of reduced sexual function. It’s definitely not unreasonable by any means- most men value their sexual ability highly. After all, vasectomies are ultimately a form of sexual contraception for men. So, does undergoing vasectomy affect sexual function?

    In a survey done by Dr. Doug Stein, vasectomy patients from an secure database were asked to rate their sex drive, ability to obtain and maintain erections, stiffness of erection, strength of orgasm, semen volume, and frequency of testicular discomfort compared to prior the vasectomy. 119 responses were obtained. The table below outlines the results:

    Since your vasectomy, how have the following changed? Much Less Slightly Less No Change Slightly More Much More
    Sex Drive (Libido) <1 (1%) 6 (6%) 81 (75%) 18 (15%) 4 (4%)
    Ability to obtain and maintain erections 1 (1%) 6 (6%) 96 (89%) 5 (5%) 0
    Rigidity (stiffness) of erections 1 (1%) 5 (5%) 94 87%) 7 (6%) 1 (1%)
    Strength of orgasm (climax) sensation 0 3 (3%) 95 (88%) 6 (6%) 4 (4%)
    Semen volume (the amount of fluid that comes out when you ejaculate) 0 17 (16%) 80 (75%) 7 (7%) 2 (2%)

    The majority of those that responded to the survey reported no change in sexual function, which is expected. Detrimental effects to sex drive, erections are incredibly rare. In these cases, it’s probably the vasectomy that caused the effects, and it could be psychological. Vasectomy only prevents sperm from entering the semen- the other functions of the testicles which regulate sexual drive are not affected. Likewise, those that reported higher sex drive, stronger orgasms, stiffer erections, etc, were probably not linked directly to vasectomy, as there is no physical reason for vasectomies to effect these things. Most likely, it was a result of no longer having to worry about the fear of pregnancy.

    Sperm Banking | Minnesota

    Around 500,000 vasectomies are performed a year in the United States. For many men in the US, vasectomy is the most effective method of contraceptive due to its permanent, hands-off nature. However, it’s not uncommon for people have regrets when it comes to permanent procedures such as vasectomy. Maybe you remarried and want more kids, or maybe you decided that living child-free wasn’t for you after all.

    Vasectomy reversals are very effective (~97%) when performed within three years of the initial vasectomy. This drops to 91% from three to eight years, 82% from nine to fourteen years, and 69% beyond fourteen years. For those who decide that they want kids much later in life after a vasectomy, there’s some uncertainty as to how effective it might be. One way around this is sperm banking.

    The role of a sperm bank is to take healthy sperm and freeze it in a process called cryopreservation. The sperm is stored at very low temperatures, around -196 degrees. Once frozen, sperm can be stored almost indefinitely, though it may not be as effective after 12 years depending on how it was frozen.

    Before freezing, a sample of the semen is analyzed to determine the quality of sperm. If the sperm count and motility is good, it will be divided into batches and frozen. One ejaculation is about 1-6 vials of frozen sperm, and most opt to save multiple ejaculations. This process costs $500-700, and storage is about $300-$1000 per year.

    When it’s time to use the frozen sperm, the patient notifies the bank, who release it to the patients physician. The sperm can also be destroyed or donated. The sperm can then be used for artificial insemination, where the sperm is transferred to the uterus in a process called intrauterine insemination (IUI).

    A vasectomy is one of the best ways to prevent pregnancy without sacrificing physical well being and sexual pleasure. Because it’s permanent, its probably a good idea to have a back up plan. A vasectomy reversal is usually very effective but as time goes on, its effectiveness goes down. Sperm banking is a viable, if costly, alternative that allows one to save their sperm for future use should a vasectomy reversal prove to be impossible.

    Why don’t More Men in the World Get Vasectomies? | Minnesota

    Vasectomies have the potential to be a powerful tool to curb population. By nature, they serve as a more effective, long-term solution than other methods of contraception. The procedure is a one time ordeal, as opposed using a condom or birth control pill, and avoids the negative side effects of hormonal birth control for women while have very few side effects itself. This could be especially effective in areas with low resources that have poor access to other contraceptives. However, despite being the most effective form of male contraception, only 2.4% of men use vasectomy worldwide. Why are vasectomies so unpopular? And how can we change that?

    For one, many people are simply uninformed about vasectomy as a birth control method. Studies of vasectomy awareness in Ethiopian, Nigerian, and Turkish men and women range from a lowest of 15.6% to highest of 39.6%. This extends to doctors as well- many care providers in low resource areas are not well informed about vasectomy, and do not provide the service. This lack of awareness is a major barrier to making vasectomy a more popular form of birth control.

    Another reason is negative attitudes toward vasectomy. Surveys showed that some participants felt that a vasectomy results in a loss of masculinity, or that they would be judged by others if they found out about the procedure. In India, men felt that a vasectomy would make them subservient to their wife, and that female sterilization is preferred because men contribute more economically (note that tubal ligation is far more invasive, costly, and dangerous that a vasectomy). These attitudes ultimately stem from deeply ingrained sexism. Getting rid of these erroneous notions would go a long way in making vasectomy more prevalent. In Africa, 0.1% of men have undergone vasectomies. Myths and misconceptions stop African men from going for a vasectomy, and vasectomy is often associated with de-masculinisation, framing it in terms of castration.

    One of the most effective ways of both increasing awareness and correcting negative attitudes toward vasectomy is through education, both within the community and through mass communications. Programs such as the ACQUIRE Project’s “Get a Permanent Smile” campaign sought to address myths regarding vasectomies in low resource areas in Bangladesh and Ghana through posters, radio and television broadcasts. These types of campaigns are quite effective, and have been shown to cause spikes in demands for vasectomies.

    Employer based promotion is another method of making vasectomies more popular. Once again education is key here. In one Indian study, employees from several workplaces were allowed to attend educational workshops on long acting birth control methods. Companies also trained health coordinators, provided health service desks, and providing a family planning hotline. Participants were reportedly more likely to discuss family planning, as well as make the switch from short-term contraceptives to long term ones. Incentivising employers to provide such services to their employees would encourage more men to get a vasectomy.

    Vasectomies have been sorely underutilized as a form of contraception. It may be a long road ahead before worldwide adoption of vasectomy as a birth control method is reached, but as information becomes more widely available, more men will opt for vasectomies.

    Dr. Shu Participating in International Medical Mission in the Sixth Time | Minneapolis & St Paul

    Minnesota surgeon Dr. Steven Shu, medical director of One Stop Medical Center, lead a group of Chinese American doctors from the United States going to the Haiti in the mid of January, 2018 to provide free medical care for local residents. This is the sixth time that he has been active in international medical mission since 2015, and it is the fourth time that he goes to the Haiti.

    Dr. Shu and another surgeon Dr. Dean Currie performed about 40 office procedures. Three other team physicians (Keyi Yang, a neurologist from Seattle, Ming He from New Jersey, a neuro-ophthalmologist and Jerri Mao, an internist from San Jose) went to the mobile clinic with other medical mission group and provided general care to the hundreds people in the villages.

    Over the past 14 years, Dr. Shu has been enjoying making his contributions to local communities. Since 2015, he has been focusing more on his international volunteer work in Haiti and Philippines. In 2017, he became a founding president of Medical Volunteers International (MVI), a new non-profit organization for the Chinese American physicians dedicating the medical missions in the poorest countries around world. The MVI collaborated with the faith-based non-profit organization Mission of Hope Haiti and carried out the first Haitian International Medical Program.

    Dr. Shu’s medical mission dream is to establish the surgical centers in Haiti.

    Second Attempt After Unsuccessful Vasectomy Reversal

    Success rate for vasectomy reversal is generally reported in two ways: sperm recovery rate (patency success rate) and pregnancy rate. Patency rate refers to the likelihood of the vas deferens remaining open and providing unobstructed flow of sperm cells. High patency rate means that flow is unobstructed and sperm has a high likelihood of returning to the seminal fluid. Pregnancy rates are always lower than patency rates, as there are multiple factors that affect pregnancy.

    The single most important factor in whether a vasectomy reversal procedure will be successful is the interval in time (years) between vasectomy and vasectomy reversal. Primary failure after a vasectomy reversal means no sperm is seen in the post semen analysis tests. If the sperms showed up in the initial semen analysis after the procedure, but is not seen in the follow up semen analysis, it is called secondary vasovasostomy failure.

    If you have been frustrated and disappointed with an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal, you may want to ask a microsurgeon whether another attempt might be worth it.

    In general, first-time vasovasostomy failures often occur in patients that are more prone to develop heavier scars, which can narrow at the location of the reversal. In some cases, the tissue in the ends of vas deferens could be dead due to ischemia. Other reasons include an undetected epididymal blockage and epididymal dysfunction. Of course, the surgeon’s experience and techniques matters. This is why it is particularly important to choose your surgeon carefully. The success rates for a second reversal are slightly lower than for first-time procedures.
    Second-attempt Vasectomy Reversal Techniques

    If the patients showed evidence of healthy sperm in their seminal fluid during the first reversal procedure, or had the positive result in the initial semen analysis, they are probably the good candidates for a repeat vasectomy reversal When the vas deferens appears healthy and doesn’t have a lot of scar tissue from the previous procedure, a surgeon will usually do another vasovasostomy, and the chances of a successful second attempt are fairly good.

    If the vas fluid is not favorable and no sperm was seen, if the first reversal left the vas deferens too short, if injury to the vas deferens is more extensive, or if a surgeon believes that the epididymis is scarred or blocked, a vasectomy reversal re-do becomes more complicated. In some cases, the more effective approach is a vasoepididymostomy, which is a more complex procedure than a vasovasostomy. Dr.Shu doesn’t perform vasoepididymostomy, but he will refer you to see a urologist who performs vasoepididymostomy. In other cases, however, there are a number of effective alternatives to vasectomy reversal that are worth investigating, such as In vitro Fertilization (IVF), donor sperms, and adoption.

    Risks of NOT Getting a Vasectomy | Minnesota

    A lot of men worry about the risks of getting a vasectomy. If you’re reading this you might be one of them. It’s only natural – the decision to get a vasectomy is not one to be taken lightly. You’ve probably spent hours googling things like “how long will I be out of work vasectomy” or “vasectomy pain” or “vasectomy recovery time” But have you ever considered the risks of not getting a vasectomy?

    If you’re not planning on having another a child, and I mean really, really not planning to have a child, you have to ask whether the risks and possible consequences of using reversible forms of contraception outweigh the benefits of pregnancy. Hint: it doesn’t.

    If we’re just talking about the man’s health, it’s better to just not get a vasectomy. But by not getting a vasectomy, you accept all the risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, most of which are put on your partner’s shoulders.

    “But what if I use other contraception?” Well, sure. But if you’re having any kind of sex, there is always an inherent risk. Yeah, condoms work. But maybe, one night you’ve had a little too much wine and suddenly not using condom seems like a better and better idea. With a vasectomy that’s not a problem.

    Other birth control methods have their own problems. Hormonal birth control often results in adverse reactions, including abdominal discomfort, weight gain, menstrual irregularity, decreased libido, headaches, edema, vaginal dryness, rash, fatigue, dizziness, and many more that vary depending on the birth control. Not to mention the failure rate- Nuvaring has a 9% failure rate. The patch has an 8% failure rate with typical use. The shot? 5%. Birth control pills is 0.3% with perfect use, but because it’s so easy to forget it’s 8% in reality.

    Now let’s say you decide to use contraception and it does fail. Here are the risks of surgical abortion:

    – Infection of the womb: One in ten abortions
    – Some of the pregnancy left in womb: one in twenty abortions
    – Continuation of pregnancy: Less than 1% of abortions
    – damage to cervix: one in one hundred abortions
    – Excessive bleeding: one in one thousand abortions

    That’s not including the emotional and psychological trauma of having an abortion.

    Now, if you do decide to go through with having the baby, you’re putting a lot of risk on your partner. Pregnancy can result in:

    – Hypertension: 6-8% of pregnancies
    – Preeclampsia: 2-6% of pregnancies
    – Ectopic pregnancy: 2% of pregnancies
    – Miscarriage: 10-20% of pregnancies
    – Gestational Diabetes: 2-10% of pregnancies
    – Rupture of the uterus: 1-8% of pregnancies
    – Severe vomiting: 20% of pregnancies
    – Uterine rupture: Less than 1% of pregnancies
    – Hyperthyroidism: 2.5% of pregnancies

    None of these conditions are fun. Of course, then comes childbirth:

    – Vaginal and perineal laceration: Majority of pregnancies
    – Puerperal infection: 1-8% of pregnancies
    – Fecal/Urinary incontinence: 28% of pregnancies
    – Post partum depression: 10-20% of pregnancies
    – Post partum hemorrhage: 18% of pregnancies
    – Stretch marks
    – Hemorrhoids
    – Mastitis
    – Clogged Ducts
    – Kidney infections

    And that’s not even the entire list. Then of course, if your pregnancy comes to term and you successfully have a child, you now have an entire human being to raise for the next two decades.

    Or, you could just get a vasectomy.

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