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!

 

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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

     

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Birth Control Comparison Chart | Minnesota

    All 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.

    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.

    Find a Qualified Vasectomy Doctor | Minnesota

    A vasectomy is a simple office procedure that most doctors can complete within 30 minutes. Dr. Shu of One Stop Medical Center usually completes a non-scalpel, no-needle, no-suture vasectomy within 10 minutes. A vasectomy usually requires only 1% Lidocaine for local anesthesia with either a needle injection or the no-needle technique with Madajet. The patient usualy relax and take things easy for a couple of days, and the no-scalpel vasectomy typically has few complications. However, for very nervous patients with significant anxiety issues, vasectomies can also be performed under oral sedation.
    The vasectomy procedures are usually conducted by urologists, other surgeons, and family physicians. Here are some tips to help find a qualified doctor who can perform vasectomies.

    1. Check doctors’ credentials; besides basic medical credentials, the most important questions you need to ask are:

  • How many vasectomies does the doctor performs every year?
  • How many years has the doctor been performing vasectomies?
  • What is the failure rate?
  • What is the complication rate?
  • Experience matters.

    2. You may ask if the doctor uses the new no-scalpel techniques. It makes a big difference in many aspects between modern no scalpel vasectomy and traditional vasectomy. Some doctors claim they perform no-scalpel vasectomy, when their actual techniques are not necessarily the best. For example, spending 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and even 60 minutes to perform a vasectomy will result in very different experiences. The recovery is related to how much trauma the scrotum experiences during the procedure. The two day recovery time from no-scalpel vasectomy is another big difference compared to a 1-2 week recovery from traditional vasectomies. Moreover, the complication rate is much lower than traditional vasectomies.

    3. There are a multitude of sources that offer information on vasectomy doctors in a patient’s area. These include Google searches, insurance companies, and primary-care doctors. If the patient knows any friends, family members and colleagues who have had a vasectomy, ask them about their personal experience with that particular doctor and clinic. This information may be more in-depth, and can also provide the patient with a better understanding of the whole process and what to expect.

    4. Once a number of vasectomy doctors have been identified, try to find out more about them. While credentials and clinical experience are important to consider, there are also practical considerations to take into account. These factors indirectly indicate how much the doctors are committed to vasectomy care and quality of vasectomy care.

    a. You should review their website to see if:

  • It is an informative and well-designed website
  • The contents are frequently updated
  • There is a user friendly online registration.
  • It is a dynamic website with ongoing blog posting
  • There are positive testimonials. There is a big difference in the evaluation of patient satisfaction between a few outdated testimonials and hundreds of recent testimonials.
  • b. If the price is affordable, ask about the total cost (consultation fee, procedure fee, and semen analysis fee).

    c. You should find the whole vasectomy care system to be a friendly and patient-oriented service. For example, One Stop Medical Center offers online consultation through its convenient online registration and one trip care system.

    d. Consider the office location and convenience.

    e. Evaluate the quality of customer service: how the patient is treated on the phone during inquires, the cleanliness of the office, the attitudes of the staff during initial contacting, the level of the procedure room (simple office room or higher level of Surgicenter), and other less-tangible measurements should also influence your decision.

    More about Sperm Banking | Minnesota

    Sperm banking, in the simplest of terms, refers to the practice of storing sperm for future use. Sperm can be stored indefinitely when cryogenically frozen, and can be thawed and used to fertilize an woman’s egg. A pregnancy conceived using frozen sperm is no different from a normal pregnancy.

    There are two types of sperm banks- private sperm banks, and donor sperm banks. Donor sperm banks, which many of you may have heard of, purchase sperm provided by donors and sell it to those who want children. Donors are screened and added to a database, and buyers can select which donor they prefer.

    A private sperm bank, unlike a donor sperm bank, only cater to individual families. Private sperm banks may be associated with a fertility clinic, or may be a branch of a national corporation. The sperm sample is either collected locally, at a clinic, or mailed overnight through a home collection kit. Many doctors may recommend two samples taken on separate days, just to be safe.

    Before the sperm can be collected, the donor’s blood must be tested for diseases that could be transmitted through sperm. This includes HIV, hepatitis B and C, and many more. If the donor tests positive for any of these the sample may be unusable.

    Once collected, the a small portion of the sample is tested to see how well it holds up to freezing and thawing, and whether or not it will be viable for future use. If all goes well, the sperm is slowly frozen in liquid nitrogen tanks at -190C, where they can be kept stable almost indefinitely. Even twenty year old sperm can still be useable.

    When the time comes for the sperm to be used, the bank coordinates the transfer of the frozen sperm to the fertility clinic, where it is thawed and prepared for the insemination procedure. Usually, only a small amount of sperm is required. That way, if it doesn’t work the first time, there will be enough for future attempts.

    Why Sperm Banking?
    Private sperm banking is excellent for men who wish to conceive a child but have lost reproductive function or have issues with infertility. It is also great for men who are unsure if they want a child, but wish to have the option later on in life. Men who plan to undergo vasectomy are good candidates to have their sperm frozen. Sperm banking is highly effective and well established method of ensuring future reproductive success.

    5th World Vasectomy Day | Minnesota

    It might seem odd to dedicate an entire day to vasectomies, but for Dr. Shu and the other 1,000 doctors participating in World Vasectomy Day on November 17, it’s an important event that spreads awareness on the most effective but underutilized methods of contraception: the vasectomy.

    With industrialization and modern medicine making it safer and easier to give birth and raise children, the world population has skyrocketed- current projections predict the world population will plateau at 11 billion. High population puts a strain on resources like food, medicine, and energy. In many areas of the world that are seeing rapid population growth, sexual education and medical resources have not caught up to other areas in society. Vasectomies are excellent for family planning in areas that are not well developed and do not have the resources that most of us take for granted.

    At World Vasectomy Day, local Mexican and international doctors will provide free vasectomies, along with live-streamed interviews with family planning experts, patients, and their families. This will be Dr. Shu’s 5th year participating in the event, and the One Stop Medical Center will offer free large pizza.

    This year’s World Vasectomy Day is being held in Mexico. Doctors around the world participating in World Vasectomy Day will provide as many vasectomies as possible in a span of 24 hours. The goal of World Vasectomy Day is to spread awareness of vasectomies and to dispel myths associated with them through community outreach and open dialogue.

    Vasectomy and Sex Life | Minnesota

    Vasectomy is undeniably the most effective long term birth control for men, with half a million men undergoing the procedure in America every year, but some remain hesitant despite being assured of its safety and reliability. Faced with the idea of being infertile, the vasectomy can be a daunting proposition to many men. Fertility and sexual virility is heavily tied with the masculine identity, and to some vasectomy may be equivalent to surrendering some of it. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

    A fear of many men looking to get a vasectomy is the loss of sexual desire or satisfaction after getting snipped. What many people don’t seem to realize is that vasectomy rarely affects sexual pleasure physically- when men suffer erectile dysfunction or loss of sexual arousal after vasectomy, it is almost always psychological. Physically, vasectomy should not affect libido- vasectomy is simply the severance and obstruction of the vas deferens. Besides the semen containing no semen, there should be no difference in sexual function after a vasectomy. Of course, complications exist but with innovations such as no-scalpel vasectomy making the procedure increasingly less invasive, they are incredibly rare.

    Getting a vasectomy shouldn’t be seen as losing your manhood. Most men who are nervous about losing their manhood quickly realize that their sex is just as good as it was before, if not better. A study done on the effects of vasectomies on the sex lives of couples proved just that. In the study, a sample of 76 heterosexual couples were given a survey, one for the man and one for the woman, which score parameters such as sexual desire, coital satisfaction, erectile function, etc, before and after the procedure and the results were very interesting!

    In men, scores on the questionnaire revealed that quality of the sex was about the same before and after the procedure. Erectile function, orasm function, sexual desire, sexual satisfaction all either increased a slight amount or stayed level. The result, though unsurprising, should put some potential patients at ease. What was much more interesting was that in women, scores were higher in almost all areas, showing significant increase in sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and overall satisfaction. Women in relationships tend to be more satisfied sexually after their partner gets a vasectomy. This is further evidence that most issues with sex after vasectomy are psychological rather than physical.

    Another study examined the relationship between vasectomy and frequency of sexual intercourse in populations of vasectomized and non-vasectomized men. The results also seemed to support that sex is better after vasectomy- vasectomized men had sex an average of 5.9 times a month compared to 4.9 times per month in non vasectomized men. Furthermore, vasectomized men were 81% more likely to have at least once a week.

    So if the idea of losing sexual potency after a vasectomy scares you, don’t be- there’s really nothing to worry about. Studies have shown that vasectomy either has no effect or increases sexual satisfaction, and that vasectomy actually increases the frequency of intercourse.

    Introduction of Sperm Banking | Minnesota

    Cryopreservation (rapid freezing) is the method of preserving sperm for future use. There are many reasons an individual would choose to prepare for possible sterility, including

    1. Pending cancer treatments
    2. Elective vasectomy
    3. Infertility (use frozen donor semen)
    4. Initiating hormone therapy
    5. Having a high risk job.

    For some men, sperm banking is almost a necessity. Men diagnosed with cancer during their early 20’s face a course of chemotherapy likely to provide a cure but also likely to adversely affect sperm production. Their only hope of fathering children is with preservation and storage of sperm obtained prior to chemotherapy. For years, sperm banks have been providing this service.

    On occasion, a vasectomy candidate will ask about storing his sperm prior to undergoing vasectomy. The question is whether sperm freezing and storage (cryopreservation) might be considered a reasonable alternative to vasectomy reversal in the unlikely event that the individual wishes to father children in the future.

    For another group of men, infertility has necessitated use of donor semen. While these men may be infertile for a variety of reasons, use of donor sperm allows their wives to experience pregnancy and childbirth, obviously not part of the adoption process. Nearly all donor sperm used nowadays is obtained from frozen semen. Fresh semen is almost never used because infected donors may not test positive for hepatitis and AIDS until weeks after donation. Cryopreservation of semen provides the safety net needed to confirm that sperm donors are healthy and have negative tests weeks or months after donating.

    Frozen semen can be stored for an indefinite amount of time. It can be used effectively in different types of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).

    Why Male Sterilization Is the Way to Go? | Minnesota

    Around 2.4 percent of all men have had a vasectomy worldwide. Male sterilization is most common in developed areas of the world, especially North America, Asia, and Western Europe, where birth rates have declined. In America, 7 percent of men have had a vasectomy, 9 out of 10 of them married men. This number has been static since 1990s, and shows no signs of changing.

    The alternative to male sterilization is female sterilization, usually tubal ligation, wherein the fallopian tubes are cut and blocked up. It is commonly referred to as “getting your tubes tied”. This keeps eggs from being released into the womb, preventing conception.

    A similar method known as the tubal implant method involves placing spring-like coils into the fallopian tubes, causing scar tissue to form, which blocks the tubes. This can take up to 3 months to be effective.

    Vasectomy is both more effective and safer than tubal ligation. Vasectomies are nearly 100% of effective and less likely to fail compared to a tubal ligation. Furthermore, complications are less likely with a vasectomy. Part of this is due to vasectomies being inherently safer and less invasive than a tubal ligation due to where the vas deferens are located compared to the fallopian tubes. Thus, vasectomies are also more convenient and more affordable compared to tubal ligation.

    Despite this, tubal ligation is still more popular than vasectomy worldwide, by a factor of four or five times. Why is this the case? Well, historically reproduction was a duty that women were responsible for. In the past it was left to the woman to put on that condom, take her birth control pills, or get an abortion. Also consider, even today, that much of the male identity was tied with his fertility and ability to raise kids. Being sterile is not considered “manly”. So why would men get vasectomies when it was easier to just make women get a tubal ligation? The society we live in today is thankfully a little less sexist, and now it’s accepted that some of the responsibility lies on the man’s shoulders as well. Vasectomies are the best form of birth control, hands-down.

    What about Ejaculation After Vasectomy? | Minneapolis & St Paul

    Men in Minnesota who plan to have a vasectomy always wonder what their ejaculations will be like afterwards. This is not an unusual question’ many are simply curious, while others have anxiety about this sort of thing.

    Generally speaking, patients haven’t had any issues of ejaculation after vasectomy. Post-vasectomy ejaculation should be no different than it was before the procedure.
    This blog is going to address some common questions related to initial post-vasectomy ejaculations.

    1. When is the earliest time for the first ejaculation after the procedure?
    Most doctors recommend waiting for a week, other doctors recommend a few days. There is no “scientifically” correct answer. Regardless of when you start sexual activities, the most important thing is that you still use protection until you are cleared.

    2. Are the initial ejaculations painful after the vasectomy?
    Most patients should not have painful ejaculations after a vasectomy. A few patients reported mild discomfort in the first ejaculation. If the patient starts sexual activities very early (within a week), they may experience some discomfort due to local swelling, bruising, or tenderness.

    3. Do the ejaculations change after a vasectomy?
    No, the ejaculations after a vasectomy will be pretty much the same as they were before the vasectomy procedure. There are no noticeable changes in volume, color, or smell of semen. The force of your ejaculations will also remain same after your vasectomy.

    The only thing that really changes in post-vasectomy semen is that it no longer contain any sperm. Sperm only accounts for less than 5% of the volume of a man’s ejaculate, so the tiny change is not going to be noticeable. In fact, the volume of semen naturally varies at that rate based on fluid intake, diet, physical activities, frequency of ejaculation, etc.

    4. Should I be concerned about blood in ejaculations after a vasectomy?
    Blood in the ejaculate often causes great concern to the men who experience it after a vasectomy. This is due to a condition called hematospermia, or hemospermia. It could occasionally happen in the first month after a vasectomy. If you can imagine, the vas tube has been opened and any resultant blood from the wound or ruptured capillary vessels can pass through the tube during healing.

    Post vasectomy hematospermia is an uncommon finding after a vasectomy however it is not alarming. Most cases of hematospermia after vasectomy are generally self-limited, and it usually resolves within a few weeks. No further diagnostic workup is needed; however, in some patients, hematospermia may be the first indicator of other urologic diseases such as prostate or seminal vesicle (male sex glands). If it persists, it may be wise to consult with a urologist.

    Reasons of Vasectomy Failure | Minnesota

    While vasectomy has long been thought of as permanent, ending your ability to have kids, this is clearly not the case for Jets quarterback Antonio Cromartie, who had twins last year with his wife Terricka, conceived well after his vasectomy a couple years ago. The couple found out about the pregnancy completely on accident one day when his wife went to the ER with a bad stomach. However, it was clearly not an issue for the footballer and they kept the baby. He’s now welcoming their 14th child into their home.

    Why do vasectomies fail?
    Vasectomy failure is the occurrence of pregnancy or failure to achieve azoospermia after a reasonable period of time following vasectomy. The positive result of Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis (PVSA) can be stressful for couples looking forward to anxiety-free intercourse, without the threat of pregnancy.

    The most common reason is intercourse immediately after the vasectomy without protection. Even after the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm) is cut and sealed, sperm will still be in the tube and it takes some time in order to ensure the vas is completely cleared out. Men typically have to ejaculate 20-25 times before all the sperm is gone. Unprotected sex before this time can definitely lead to unintentional pregnancy. This is the reason that you continue to use protection for three months after your vasectomy.

    The second most likely, though less common, is recanalization failure. Actually, recanalization is the most common reason for technical failure in vasectomy, and it could happen even in a experienced surgeon. In vasectomies, the vas deferens is cut and the ends are blocked. Recanalization occurs when the sperm is still allowed to pass and go into the ejaculate. Sperm try and often succeed in penetrating through the end of the blocked vas. After a couple months of this, there can be many tiny holes in end of the vas deferens where sperm may flow out through pseudo channels.

    Recanalization following vasectomy should be suspected if motile sperms or rising sperm concentrations are seen after a initial or routine PVSA has shown azoospermia or Rare Non-motile Sperms (RNMS). Recanalization can be either transient or persistent based on the results of serial PVSAs. Pregnancy due to recanalization is estimated to occur after approximately 1 in 2000 vasectomies or less often. The incidence of recanalization is very likely greater than the reported rate of pregnancy after post-vasectomy azoospermia because not all recanalizations result in pregnancy.

    About half of the recanalizations will close (seal by scarrring) by itself in 6 months and contraceptive success will be achieved, the patients don’t need to repeat vasectomy. Other 50% patients who have persistent recanalization need to repeat vasectomy.

    The third and least common is technical failure resulting from a surgical error such as occluding one vas twice without occluding the other vas or failure to identify the very rare situation of vas duplication on one side. An extra vas is a very rare condition. Very occationally, the wrong tube (unusual large blood vessels) can be mistakenly blocked. Technical failure is characterized by persistently normal or nearly normal motile sperm counts and sperm motility after vasectomy, as if the procedure was never done! It happens more often in a inexperienced family physicians or surgeons.

    It is recommended to get sperm tested three months after the vasectomy to ensure that it worked. But our patients usually don’t need to have a semen analysis periodically if the vasectomy performed in our clinic is confirmed to be successful. Dr. Shu has performed about 1500 cases of vasectomies, all of them being successful!

    Vasectomy is a big life decision. It is important to know if the vasectomy was successful or not, so get your sperm tested after your vasectomy!

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