Sterilization as a means of contraception was practiced for a long time. After learning that castrating animals prevented pregnancy, early Chinese doctors did the same thing to men and were successful in their attempts.
By 1200 B.C., castration was performed on servants of the emperor. The Assyrians and Babylonians also castrated slaves which they kept in their homes. Most of the early procedures, however, were not only crude but dangerous, especially in the absence of antiseptic substances and effective anesthetics.
In the 20th century, doctors turned to X-rays as a means of sterilizing both men and women. This was later abandoned due to radiation's harmful effects and the risk of contracting cancer.
Today, sterilization is accomplished through vasectomy for men or tubal ligation for women. Both are considered non-reversible ways of contraception. Of the two, tubal ligation is more popular but vasectomy appears to be picking up.
Vasectomy was developed in the early 1900s and is one of the few birth control methods for men. In this minor surgical procedure, each of the vas deferens, the two tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis, is cut and sealed.
Compared to tubal ligation, vasectomy is less physically traumatic and less expensive. It takes only 20 minutes and the stitches usually dissolve in seven to 10 days. Strenuous activity should be avoided for the next 48 hours while sex can be resumed in a week provided there is no discomfort.
"You may notice some swelling and discomfort in the scrotum for a few days. However, if the pain persists for more than a few days or becomes severe or if fever develops, call your physician," said Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book."
Many people prefer a vasectomy because it can be done quickly and involves less time away from work, the reason why more than 42 million couples throughout the world rely on this method. In the United States, more than 15 percent of men over 40 have had a vasectomy. These include celebrities like Dean Martin, Abbie Hoffman and Lord Snowden.
But things were different in the past. There was a time when interest in vasectomy declined because it was thought to lead to serious health problems. Early repots in 1977 and 1978 blamed vasectomy for a host of ailments ranging from arthritis to heart disease. Subsequent studies have refuted these claims.
"The procedure in no way interferes with a man's ability to maintain an erection or reach orgasm. Nor does it impede the production of male hormones or of sperm in the testicles. The only change is that the sperm's link to the outside has been severed permanently. After a vasectomy, you continue to ejaculate about the same amount of semen because sperm account for only a small part of the ejaculate," Larson explained. (Next: Vasectomy and prostate cancer.)
To enjoy sex in your later years, keep fit, eat right and love life. That simple advice can go a long way in preserving your sex life. For extra help, take Fematril, a safe and natural female sexual enhancer that can stimulate your mind and body. For details, go to http://www.fematril.com/.
Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine [http://www.HealthLinesNews.com]
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sharon_A_Bell