What is vasectomy?
A vasectomy is an operation which blocks the tubes (the vas deferens) which
carry a man's sperm to the penis. This operation should be considered
permanent. You must be certain you want no more children and will not change
Complete information about this surgical procedure is available from
- A vasectomy is a minor operation. It is safe, effective, and permanent.
- It is an excellent form of contraception for men in stable relationships
who do not want any more children.
- It is less expensive and involves fewer complications than tubal ligation.
- You can have your semen checked at any time to see if your operation
is "still working." If your semen has no sperm, your vasectomy
- A vasectomy gives the man the opportunity to play a responsible role
in the contaceptive process.
- It does not affect a man's ability to enjoy sexual intercourse.
- A vasectomy requires surgery. Some men are afraid of having an operation
on their testicles.
- Some men fear that the operation will affect their ability to have intercourse
or will interfere with erection.
- A vasectomy may involve some pain or discomfort and scrotal discoloring
(usually not severe) for several days after the operation. Pain can usually
be relieved with mild pain medications. An ice pack must be kept on the
scrotum for at least 4 hours after surgery to reduce the chances of swelling,
bleeding and discomfort. Scrotal support must be worn for 2 days after
the operation (jockey shorts are adequate).
- The operation is not effective immediately. You will need to use condoms
until the sperm clears from your tubes (15-20 ejaculations). To find if
you are sterile, have your semen examined under a microscope after about
- Regret after vasectomy is greater if the man's partner is under 25,
he divorces or remarries, a child dies, or when vasectomy is done immediately
after having a new baby.
- The operation to reverse a vasectomy does not always work. It is highly
technical, expensive, and its results cannot be guaranteed.
- A vasectomy offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections
including HIV (the AIDS virus).
Where can I get this operation done?
return to Mississippi County Health Department
- Most urologists, many family practitioners and some nurse practitioners
- You can get a referral to a clinician who does vasectomies from your
primary care provider, health department, family planning clinic or
local medical society. Or you can call the national organization involved
in sterilization training and service (AVSC) at 212-561-8000.