A vasectomy is tying (with or without cutting) the tube that collects the sperm from the testicle (vas deferens). The vasectomy blocks the sperm from going through the vas deferens and penis so that during sexual intercourse the sperm does not go into the vagina. Vasectomy is safe, with very rare complications. It does not affect your sexual desire or performance. A vasectomy does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Because vasectomy is considered permanent, you should not have it done until you are sure you do not want any more children. You and your partner should be in full agreement to have the procedure. Your decision to have a vasectomy should not be made during a stressful situation. This includes loss of a pregnancy, illness, death of a spouse, or divorce. There are other means of contraception that can be used until you are completely sure you want this procedure done.
Tell a health care provider about:
- Any allergies you have.
- All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
- Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
- Any blood disorders you have.
- Any surgeries you have had.
- Any medical conditions you have.
- Failure of the procedure to cause infertility. This means you would still be able to get a female pregnant. Even after sterilization has been achieved, there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that the two cut ends may reconnect (recanalization).
- Infection. A germ starts growing in the wound. This can usually be treated with antibiotic medicine(s).
- An allergic reaction to the anesthetic or other medicine given.
- Bleeding. Blood may seep under the skin so that the scrotum and penis appear to be bruised. Sometimes the scrotum can swell and get the size of a grapefruit. This usually disappears without treatment within a week or two.
- Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products for 7 days prior to your procedure.
- Do not take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory products for 7 days prior to your procedure.
- You may be instructed to wash with soap before coming in for your procedure.
What Happens During The Procedure?
- The scrotum is cleaned with bacteria-killing soap, and the health care provider finds the vas deferens.
- Each side of the scrotum is numbed.
- A very small cut (incision) is made, and the vas deferens are pulled out of the scrotum. The vas deferens are then tied off, cut, or may be burned (cauterized) at the ends.
- Sometimes the vas deferens are pulled out from the scrotum through a puncture wound. This is done with a special instrument without an incision.
- The vas deferens are then put back into the scrotum, and the incision or puncture wound is closed. Absorbable suture material that will dissolve and not need to be removed is commonly used.
- After surgery, sperm may still be left in the vas deferens for 1–3 months. Because of this, other means of contraception should be used until your health care provider examines you and finds there are no sperm in your seminal fluid.
What Happens After The Procedure?
- After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery area.
- Your progress will be watched and checked.
- Once you are awake, stable, and taking fluids well, you will be allowed to go home as long as there are no problems.
What Can I Expect After The Procedure?
- Slight swelling or redness or both at the surgical site.
- Mild pain or discomfort in the scrotum.
- Some oozing of blood from the cuts (incisions) made by the surgeon is normal during the first day or two after the procedure.
- Blood in the ejaculate is common and typically clears after a few days.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your health care provider.
- Avoid using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because these can make bleeding worse.
- Apply ice to the injured area.
- Avoid being active for the first 2 days after surgery.
- Wear a supporter while moving around for the first week after surgery. You may add some sterile fluffed bandages or a clean washcloth to the scrotal support if the scrotal support irritates your skin.
- Do not participate in sports or perform heavy physical labor for at least 2 weeks.
- You may have protected intercourse 7–10 days after your procedure. Remember, you are not sterile until follow-up specimens show no sperm in your ejaculate.
- Be sure to follow up with your surgeon as instructed to confirm sterility. It usually requires multiple ejaculations to clear the sperm located beyond the vasectomy site of blockage. You will need at least two specimens showing an absence of sperm before you can resume unprotected intercourse.
Contact a health care provider if:
- You have redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wounds or testicles (scrotum).
- You see pus coming from the wound.
- You have a fever.
- You notice a foul smell coming from the wound or dressing.
- You notice a breaking open of the stitches (suture) line or wound edges even after sutures have been removed.
- You have increased bleeding from the wounds.
Seek immediate treatment if:
- You develop a rash.
- You have difficulty breathing.
- You have any reaction or side effects to medicines given.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.