The majority of vasectomies performed are in older men, typically those over the age of 35. Although you are legally able to get a vasectomy once you turn 18, many doctors are hesitant to perform the procedure on most men aged under 30 years old.
What does this mean for you? Are you too young for a vasectomy? In this blog post we are looking to explore the idea of when the right time is for you to consider having a vasectomy.
What Is A Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is the most efficient form of birth control – over 99% effective – having higher success rates than conventional birth control methods. A vasectomy is a minimally invasive procedure involving the cutting and ligating (sealing or tying) of your sperm duct – the tube that carries sperm from your testes to the tip of your penis.
Most vasectomies are carried out under a local anaesthetic, meaning that the procedure can be carried out in the comfort of your doctor’s clinic and you can go home the same day. There is very little to no pain felt during the procedure.
And what does it mean into the future? In short, you will still be able to ejaculate. However, there will be no sperm contained in your semen. This means that you will be able to feel all the pleasurable sensations of ejaculations without fertilizing a woman’s egg during sexual intercourse.
How Old Do You Have To Be For A Vasectomy?
Whilst having a vasectomy at the age of 18 is completely legal, there are many physicians, including Dr. Cashion, who feels it is best not to perform this minimally invasive procedure on anyone under the age of 25 if they do not already have children. Although, if you have had children, over 18 is the legal requirement.
This is mainly due to the fact that it is common for young men to change their minds and evolve an interest around starting a family, especially during a relationship change. Vasectomy reversals are not a sure thing, their success rates are lower, and it is best for someone to approach having a vasectomy as if this was a permanent procedure.
Vasectomy Under 18 Years Old
Whilst 18 years old is the age of consent and the legal age to undergo a vasectomy, very few men of this age understand the true nature of a vasectomy. A vasectomy is a permanent form of sterility. Therefore, if you decide to have children later on in life, you won’t be able to.
There are limited documented cases of successful vasectomies performed in men aged younger than 18 years old, and in most cases any vasectomy performed on a man aged under 18 years old is illegal.
Vasectomy For 18-25 Years Old
Many 18-year-olds who opt for a vasectomy are lead under the false impression that vasectomy reversals are readily available. This is not the case. Many urological specialists and studies have shown that vasectomy reversals are only successful in 60% of cases, and they are very expensive.
Many doctors will still refuse patients aged 18-25 if:
- They believe the patient is not within a stable mental capacity to make a well-informed decision
- After an assessment, they believe that the individual may come to regret their decision
- The patient suffers from underlying health conditions
Vasectomies from the age of 18 are completely legal. However, a doctor can refuse to perform your procedure based on their assessment. Many doctors will often give patients a few days to read up on the information surrounding vasectomies before finalizing their decision.
Dr. Cashion is one of the most successful vasectomists in Australia. He has provided his services to thousands of satisfied clients each year, including those under 25, if they have already had children.
Vasectomy At 25 And Older
At 25 years old, the majority of individuals looking for a vasectomy have either already started a family, or are committed to a long-term relationship in which a vasectomy seems to be the most appropriate choice of birth control to prevent any unwanted pregnancies, for personal or medical reasons.
Most doctors will agree that those at the age of 25 are able to make a more well-informed decision. However, 25 is still a relatively young age, and so the majority of doctors will still give their patients a variety of vasectomy alternatives to consider.
Vasectomies are most common in individuals over the age of 25. Studies have shown that the average age of a vasectomy is 37, which closely resembles the figure of 35 years old given by the American Journal of Men’s Health. Additionally, vasectomies were most commonly performed on individuals who have between 1-3 children.
How Old Is Too Old?
Vasectomies do not discriminate. There is no upper age limit for an individual to opt for a vasectomy given that they are in good physical and mental health. However, as with all procedures, there are more common complications of a vasectomy associated with older age such as:
- Risk of infections
- Risk of bleeding (especially if the individual is currently taking blood-thinning medications)
- Granuloma (sperm may leak out of the sperm ducts that are cut during the vasectomy and form a small lump)
- Increased chance of a vasectomy failure
However, if you are of an older age, you should also take the fertility of your partner into consideration. Most women typically begin to experience natural causes of infertility when they reach the age of 45. In this case, a vasectomy is rarely needed.
However, if you have a younger sexual partner, then a vasectomy might be more suitable for you. If you are undecided, feel free to come into our clinic here at Vasectomy Australia and consult with Dr. Cashion to find out your best option.
Things to Consider Before A Vasectomy
There are many reasons why young men may wish to have a vasectomy. For many men, regardless of age, the ability to have carefree sex without worrying about a potential pregnancy feels very attractive.
If you are in a long-term relationship and both you and your partner share similar family views, then a vasectomy may be the right choice for you. However, if you thought a vasectomy will help you prevent contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections, then you’re wrong.
The first question you should be asking yourself prior to a vasectomy is “am I in the right state of mind for this procedure?”. A vasectomy can take a significant toll on your mental health. Ensuring you are mentally stable to understand fully the commitment of a vasectomy is essential.
Do You Really Not Want Children?
Just like a nice bourbon by the fireplace and the appeal of an early night, getting older makes some things just feel that little more desirable – like having a baby. The last thing you want to happen is for you to celebrate your 36th birthday and be hit by the sudden realization that you cannot biologically pass on your legacy.
Before opting for a vasectomy, have that thought in mind. Do you really see yourself having no more children? If this is the case, then a vasectomy maybe your best option.
Can A Vasectomy Be Reversed?
In short: yes. A vasectomy can be reversed. But considering a vasectomy only with the impression that you have an “out” with a reversal is not a good way to approach a vasectomy, and maybe a sign that you are not ready. You should consider a vasectomy to be a permanent form of contraception.
Vasectomy reversals are carried out as outpatient procedures using mild sedation. There are a few things your surgeon must take into consideration before carrying out the vasectomy, including;
- Assessing the quality of the seminal fluid.
- Assess if there is any sperm present in the area behind the vasectomy area
- How long it has been since the vasectomy and which method was used
REMEMBER, not all vasectomy reversals will work. Studies show that reversals are only successful in around 60% of cases, with 90% of cases seeing moderate sperm activity still.
We get it. It’s a tough call at any age, deciding to not bring another life into this world, especially one that could carry on your legacy. Many men, even from a young age, have come to terms with the fact they do not want to have children, and so a vasectomy is a way to bring them peace in that decision.
Whether or not their minds will change in a couple of decades is just as likely as knowing whether or not they’ll still have hair. And so, vasectomies can be legally performed on anybody over the age of 18.
To answer some of the most frequent questions, check out the section below.
When can I have a vasectomy by Dr. Cashion?
If you are aged 25 and under with no children, then Dr. Cashion will not perform a vasectomy. But if you have had children, Dr. Cashion is comfortable performing a vasectomy on someone between the ages of 18-25. If you are aged 25-29, you will need a phone consultation with Dr. Cashion at least 14 days prior to your procedure. If you are 18 or over and have children, then Dr. Cashion will perform your vasectomy.
Can I still get an erection after a vasectomy?
Yes, a vasectomy does not affect sexual function or sexual drive.
Can I practice contraception-free sex immediately after a vasectomy?
No. You must ejaculate a number of times, and use contraception for up to 8 weeks after your vasectomy before you can be considered completely sterile. Only your doctor will be able to assess that you are sterile, and that comes after a sperm count analysis is completed weeks following the vasectomy procedure. During this period, and until your doctor says otherwise, it is best to proceed if you are still fertile.