Vasectomy is surgery a man may choose if he does not want to father any more children. It's permanent male birth control.
During the surgery, two tubes called the vas deferens are cut and sealed. The vas deferens carry sperm from testicles to the urethra (the tube inside the penis). Once they are cut, sperm can't get into the semen or out of the body. The testes still make sperm, but the sperm die and are absorbed by the body.
A man who's had a vasectomy still makes semen and is able to ejaculate, but the semen doesn't contain sperm. The level of testosterone and all other male sex traits stays the same. For most men, the ability to have an erection is unchanged.
The procedure to reverse a vasectomy doesn't always work. So this procedure should not be done unless a man is certain he does not want to father any more children.
Types of vasectomy
Choosing a vasectomy as a form of birth control may be a good choice if:
Vasectomy may not be the best choice for you if:
Vasectomy is very safe, but all surgeries carry some risks. Some potential risks of vasectomy include:
Although a man can often start having sex again soon after vasectomy, another form of birth control should be used. This is because some sperm may stay in the vas deferens for some time after surgery. Other birth control should be used until the surgeon tests the semen to be sure there are no sperm left. This is usually about 3 months after surgery.
There may be other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have.
Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparation.
Vasectomy is almost always done under local anesthesia. That means the area is numbed, but you are awake. It takes about 30 minutes and is done as an outpatient.
Generally, vasectomy follows this process:
You will likely be able to go home right after surgery. Ask your surgeon what type of medicine you may use for pain. You may be told to use an icepack for the first day to reduce pain and swelling. Here is what you may expect during recovery from vasectomy:
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the procedure, depending on your situation.