A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that causes sterility and inability to father a child. Before a vasectomy you would receive a mild sedative to help you relax. The area on both sides of the scrotum is numbed by injecting medication that may feel like a sting. Two small incisions or two small openings (no-scalpel vasectomy) are made in the scrotum, which contains thin tubes that carry sperm. The thin tubes are lifted through the incisions or openings, and sealed, tied, or clipped. This prevents sperm from entering the semen. The body absorbs the sperm. However, following a vasectomy it takes about twelve weeks before the semen is clear of active sperm. It is important for a couple to take reliable measures to prevent pregnancy until a test of the semen shows no sperm.
Following the procedure avoid strenuous labor or exercise for about one week. Talk with your health care provider about any other restrictions or measures that you need to take. You can typically return to work in a week or less. Some men have the procedure on Friday and return to work on Monday.
Will I live longer if I have this procedure?
Scientific evidence has not shown that having a vasectomy affects your length of life.
Will having a vasectomy improve my quality of life?
Possibly. Removing the chance of an unplanned pregnancy with the additional responsibilities could improve the quality of life for a man who chooses to have a vasectomy.
Does having a vasectomy make my symptoms better?
There are no medical symptoms before a vasectomy. A vasectomy will not prevent or improve the symptoms of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.
How safe is this procedure for me?
A vasectomy is considered safe, simple, effective and permanent. It does not affect sexual drive, sensation or function.
Minor reported complications:
Most reported complications after a vasectomy are minor and should last no longer than two weeks. Discomfort will vary from man to man depending on various factors including individual tolerance. Your physician may recommend a mild pain reliever, an athletic support, sitz bath, and ice packs to the incision and avoiding hard work.
Major reported complications:
Major reported complications are rare. Contact your physician if you experience any of the complications listed above.
Failure of the vasectomy resulting in the pregnancy of a partner is rare. Failure occurs when the tubes are not completely sealed off during the surgery, the cut ends of the tubes join together by themselves, or an opening develops that lets sperm pass through.
Alternative treatments (behavioral modification) include:
The cost of a vasectomy is about $1,000 - $3,000. The cost will vary depending on the physician’s fees, medication, counseling, clinic and follow-up fees including the laboratory fee for the sperm count. The costs will also vary depending on the part of the country where the procedure is performed. You can ask for an estimate prior to the procedure.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
Mayo Clinic. (2011, February). Vasectomy. Retrieved August 27, 2012 from
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (2011). Vasectomy. Retrieved August 27, 2012 from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control/vasectomy.htm.
Vasectomy.com. (2012). How vasectomy procedure is done. Retrieved August 27, 2012 from http://www.vasectomy.com/ProcedureDetail.asp?id=3#generally.
This document has been classified as public information.