Answering Austin’s Vasectomy Questions: How Old Do You Have To Be For A Vasectomy?

September 12, 2022

In light of the increase in vasectomy inquiries after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, we’re here to answer any and all of Austin’s vasectomy questions. One common question: How old do you have to be to have a vasectomy in Texas? Before we dig into how old you have to be, let’s talk more about what a vasectomy entails.

A vasectomy is a form of permanent birth control with over a 99.9% success rate. The actual procedure is incredibly simple, taking about 20 minutes total. In fact some patients can receive their vasectomy the same day as their consultation. Most vasectomies are performed from the comfort of our office, and can be scheduled for any day, Monday through Friday.

We begin by offering you a mild sedative ahead of the procedure. If you’d like, we can call in a prescription to your local pharmacy for a mild anti-anxiety medicine that you’ll take 30 minutes prior to the procedure. Patients that opt for this will need a driver to take them home afterwards due to drowsiness. We also ask that patients shave their scrotum ahead of the procedure.

On the day of your procedure, we’ll spray a small amount of numbing medication on the scrotum to minimize discomfort. We make a small incision in the scrotum, tying off the vas deferens, removing an in-between segment and heat-sealing the ends. This prevents the sperm from getting from one side to the other. We close the incision with a stitch that disappears in 10 days, and then the incision should no longer be visible in 6 weeks. 

To help with healing, you’ll want to minimize any strenuous activity after your vasectomy – no biking, running for at least one week. More vigorous sports should be limited for two weeks. Patients are also asked to avoid showering the day after their procedure, and to not swim for at least two weeks. Additionally, you should avoid intercourse for about a week. Once you’ve had 30 ejaculations, you’ll perform an at-home test to make sure the “pipes are cleaned” and that there’s no more sperm. 

So, how old do you have to be to get a vasectomy? It depends on the age of legal consent in each state, but between 16 and 18 years old. In Texas, you need to be at least 18 years old. As a legal adult you’re free to decide whether or not you get a vasectomy. But just because you can get a vasectomy at 18, doesn’t necessarily mean you should; it is a big decision that might impact you later in life if you decide you want to have children. We believe that a vasectomy should be done with absolute certainty, often after a conversation with a partner, as adults when you are absolutely certain that you no longer want children. You never know if your feelings might change! And while vasectomies are reversible, it’s an expensive and complex process. Reversals aren’t always guaranteed to work: If reversed within a year of the procedure, there’s a 93-96% success rate but that rate goes down 3-6% every following year. 

If you’re looking to learn more about getting a vasectomy, let Dr. Shaw and the team at Austin Urology Institute help you out. Contact us online or via phone to schedule your appointment.