Vasectomy

Vasectomy facts

*Vasectomy facts medically edited by: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

  • Vasectomy is an effective method of birth control; only about 15 out of 10,000 couples had a pregnancy occur after vasectomy.
  • Vasectomy is a surgical technique done in men to cut the vas deferens bilaterally to prevent sperm from reaching the seminal fluid during ejaculation.
  • Vasectomies are usually done by urologists by cutting small holes or slits in the scrotum and then cutting the vas deferens bilaterally and sealing both sides of each cut with stitches or cautery.
  • Vasectomy is one of the most effective methods of birth control; about 33 times more effective than oral contraception and about 90 times more effective than condoms but not immediately (it takes about 3 months before all sperm is removed from the semen).
  • Risks of vasectomy include hematoma, infection, granulomas, vasectomy failure and "regret."
  • Vasectomy should not affect your sex life.
  • Vasectomy does not increase the risk of prostate or testicular cancer.
  • Vasectomy does not change your risk for STD's (sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Most vasectomies can be reversed by a urologic surgeon.

Vasectomy overview

A vasectomy (pronounced va-SEK-tuh-mee) is a surgical procedure performed as a method of birth control in men. It involves cutting the tubes (the vas deferens, pronounced VAS DEF-uh-renz) that carry sperm from the testicles.

Vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of birth control. Only about 15 of every 10,000 couples get pregnant in the year after the man has a vasectomy.

As part of a program of research on the safety and effectiveness of male contraceptives, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) supports studies and other activities advancing understanding of vasectomy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2014

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