A vasectomy (also known as male sterilisation) is a permanent surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy by cutting or sealing the tubes that carry a man’s sperm.
What is in the Vasectomy?
A vasectomy (male sterilisation) is a permanent surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry a man’s sperm. It prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm getting into a man’s semen which is then ejaculated during sexual intercourse.
Nausea and vomiting can be a side effect of general anaesthetic, however most vasectomies are carried out under local anaesthetic. Nausea and vomiting in this case may be unrelated or rarely due to an infection or complication so if you're feeling sick, make sure you seek medical advice.
Does a vasectomy change your mood?
There is no explicit link between having a vasectomy and changes to mood. However undergoing a procedure to make you infertile can affect how you feel. You can talk to your GP or healthcare professional about this.
How long does it hurt after a vasectomy?
It's common to have some mild discomfort, swelling and bruising of your scrotum for a few days after having a vasectomy. Over the counter painkillers can be used to help this.
Can you reverse a vasectomy?
It is possible to reverse a vasectomy, but the reversal procedure isn't always successful and it is rarely funded by the NHS.
Do you still ejaculate after a vasectomy?
Yes. Having a vasectomy stops sperm getting into the semen, the fluid that is ejaculated. Semen is still produced but it has no sperm in it so a woman's egg can't be fertilised.
How the Vasectomy works:
A vasectomy prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm getting into a man’s semen which is then ejaculated during sexual intercourse. There are two types of vasectomy – a ‘conventional’ vasectomy (where they make two small cuts in the skin on each side of your scrotum to reach the tubes) and the ‘no scalpel’ vasectomy (where they make a tiny puncture hole, no stitches required). The doctor seals the tubes by tying them, using heat or applying stitches or plugs. Sometimes a small section of the tubes is removed.
How to use the Vasectomy:
You will need to discuss getting a vasectomy with your doctor – they will ask you a number of questions around your circumstances and you may want to discuss it with your partner if you have one. If you decide to go ahead with it, you can get a vasectomy for free on the NHS but may need to wait several months on a waiting list.
The doctor or nurse should give you information about how to look after yourself in the weeks following your vasectomy. Men will normally have some mild discomfort and swelling after the operation.
About 12 weeks after the operation, men should have a semen test to see if the sperm have gone. During this time additional contraception should be used. Once the vasectomy has been confirmed as successful, there is no need for additional contraception. You can find out more about vasectomies in our complete guide to getting the snip.
How safe is the Vasectomy:
Occasionally after a vasectomy, some men have bleeding, a large swelling, or an infection. In this case, see your doctor as soon as possible.
A small number of men experience ongoing pain in their testicles, scrotum, penis or lower abdomen. This is known as chronic post-vasectomy pain or CPVP. Drug treatments may be effective in easing the pain and some men require further surgery. It’s not always possible to relieve these symptoms permanently.
It's important to remember that a vasectomy does not protect you from STIs.