Vasectomy

WHAT IS IT?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure to close or block the vas deferens (the tubes that carry the sperm to the penis)

HOW DOES IT WORK?

There are a few different options. A conventional vasectomy is when one or two incisions are made in the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. Another option is a no-scalpel vasectomy, in which a puncture opening is made in the scrotum.

The vas deferens may be closed be an electric current (cauterization); a mechanical method, such as a clip; or through removal of a small segment of each tube.

Another form of birth control is required until a semen analysis is done and confirms that there are no sperm.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?

A vasectomy is 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING A VASECTOMY?

ADVANTAGES:

  • no contraception routine required – nothing to remember
  • after the procedure is complete, it is a private form of birth control
  • does not interfere with intercourse
  • no significant long-term side effects
  • simple procedure
  • less invasive and more cost-effective than tubal ligation for women
  • allows the male partner to assume some responsibility for birth control

DISADVANTAGES:

  • difficult to have reversed
  • possible post-sterilization regret
  • possible short-term surgery-related complications: pain and swelling; vasovagal reaction; infection at incision site
  • does not protect against STIs
  • not effective immediately. Must do a follow-up sperm analysis that shows no sperm are present in the semen