What is Vasectomy?
A vasectomy (male sterilisation) is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry a man’s sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy.
When is Vasectomy needed?
Before getting a vasectomy you need to be certain you don’t want to father a child in the future. Although vasectomy reversals are possible, vasectomy should be considered a permanent form of male birth control.
What should you know before undergoing Vasectomy?
Vasectomy may be a good choice for a man who:
- Is in a relationship, and both partners agree that they do not want children or additional children. They do not want to use, or cannot use, other forms of birth control.
- Is in a relationship and a pregnancy would be unsafe for the woman partner because of health problems.
- Is in a relationship, and one or both partners have genetic disorders that they do not want to pass on.
- Does not want to be bothered by having to use other forms of birth control during sexual activity.
Vasectomy may not be a good choice for a man who:
- Is in a relationship with someone who has not decided on whether to have children in the future.
- Is in an unstable or stressful relationship.
- Is considering the operation just to please a partner.
- Wants to have children later by storing sperm or by reversing the vasectomy.
- Is young and may want to make a different decision in the future.
- Is single when deciding to have a vasectomy. This includes men who are divorced, widowed, or separated.
What are the complications and side effects?
Side effects right after surgery can include:
- Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) inside the scrotum
- Blood in your semen
- Bruising of your scrotum
- Infection of the surgery site
- Mild pain or discomfort
For most men, a vasectomy doesn’t cause any noticeable side effects, and serious complications are rare. Delayed complications can include:
- Chronic pain (rare)
- Fluid buildup in the testicle, which can cause a dull ache that gets worse with ejaculation
- Inflammation caused by leaking sperm (granuloma)
- Pregnancy, in the event that your vasectomy fails (rare)
- An abnormal cyst (spermatocele) that develops in the small, coiled tube located on the upper testicle that collects and transports sperm (epididymis)
- A fluid-filled sac (hydrocele) surrounding a testicle that causes swelling in the scrotum
It is important you understand the precautions and know the possible complication and side effects before having this Vasectomy. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.
What should you do after Vasectomy?
You should be able to return home as soon as you feel well. You can return to work the next day if you do not do heavy physical work. Most men return to work within 2 to 3 days. You should be able to return to your normal physical activities in 3 to 7 days.
You should wear a scrotal support for 3 to 4 days after the procedure. You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling. Pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), may help relieve discomfort. You can have sexual intercourse as soon as you feel ready, most often about a week after the surgery. You must use some form of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy until you know your semen is free of sperm.
The vasectomy is considered successful only after your doctor has tested the semen to make sure no more sperm are in it. It is safe to stop using other forms of birth control at this point.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Vasectomy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vasectomy/about/pac-20384580. Accessed June 17, 2018.
Your contraception guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/vasectomy-male-sterilisation/#recovering-after-the-operation. Accessed June 17, 2018.
Vasectomy: What You Should Know. https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/vasectomy-overview#2. Accessed June 17, 2018.
Vasectomy. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002995.htm. Accessed June 17, 2018.
Review Date: October 12, 2018 | Last Modified: October 12, 2018