A vasectomy is a surgical procedure designed to achieve permanent contraception by blocking the release of sperm from the body. This method involves closing off the vas deferens, which are the tubes responsible for transporting sperm. It is a safe and highly effective means of preventing pregnancy, but it’s important to note that it does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Vasectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia, and the risk of complications is relatively low.

Before undergoing a vasectomy, it’s crucial to be absolutely certain about your decision not to father children in the future, as vasectomy should be regarded as a permanent form of male birth control. Although vasectomy reversals are technically possible, they are not always successful, and the process can be complex and costly. Therefore, individuals considering a vasectomy should carefully weigh the long-term implications and discuss their options with a healthcare professional.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Vasectomy is a safe and highly effective choice for men who are certain they don’t want to father a child in the future, boasting nearly 100 percent effectiveness in preventing pregnancy while being an outpatient procedure with minimal risks. Furthermore, it offers significant cost savings compared to female sterilization or the long-term expenses of birth control medications for women. Opting for a vasectomy eliminates the need for pre-sex birth control measures like condom use, making it a convenient and permanent solution for contraception.


Vasectomy is a permanent form of contraception, and while reversal is possible, it’s not guaranteed to work and can be complex and costly. Alternative methods like in vitro fertilization are available but can also be expensive and not always successful. It’s essential to be sure about not wanting future children before getting a vasectomy.

Some potential immediate side effects of vasectomy include bleeding, blood in semen, bruising, infection, mild discomfort, and swelling. Delayed complications can include chronic pain, fluid buildup, sperm leakage-related inflammation, rare failure leading to pregnancy, spermatocele, and hydrocele.

Unfounded concerns include fears of sexual performance, permanent organ damage, increased cancer risk (testicular or prostate), increased heart disease risk, or severe pain. Vasectomy generally doesn’t affect sexual satisfaction, permanently damage organs if performed by a skilled surgeon, or increase cancer or heart disease risks. Minor discomfort during and after surgery is typical but usually temporary.

Before the procedure

Before undergoing a vasectomy, certain preparations are necessary:

  • Consultation: Have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider about the procedure. Be certain that you do not wish to have more children, as vasectomy is considered a permanent form of birth control. While there is a procedure to reverse a vasectomy, it may not always be successful. Your healthcare provider will also inquire about specific medical factors such as bleeding disorders, allergies to local anesthetics, skin conditions on the scrotum, medication use, past genital surgeries or injuries, and recent infections.
  • Consent form: Sign a consent form acknowledging your understanding of vasectomy and its associated risks. Ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable with your decision. Remember that a vasectomy is an elective procedure, so only proceed when you are certain it’s the right choice for you.
  • Blood thinners: Refrain from using aspirin, NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen), anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine), or non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (e.g., dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban) for seven days before surgery, unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Shaving and washing: The night before or on the morning of the vasectomy, carefully shave your scrotum and remove hair up to the top of your penis, including any pubic hair that may extend onto your scrotum. Use a single-blade disposable razor, not an electric razor. To minimize the risk of infection, thoroughly clean your scrotum and groin the day before and the morning of the surgery.
  • Other preparations:
    • Take any prescribed preoperative medications as directed several hours before the surgery.
    • Bring a clean athletic supporter (jock strap) or tight compression shorts.
    • Consume a light meal or liquids before the procedure; avoid heavy meals but do not skip eating altogether.

During the procedure

There are two types of vasectomies, namely incision vasectomy and no-scalpel vasectomy, both typically performed in doctors’ offices or outpatient surgery centers using local anesthesia. In both procedures, the vas deferens, the tubes responsible for carrying sperm, are divided and sealed, preventing sperm from mixing with semen during ejaculation. This is achieved by making an incision, grasping the vas deferens, and then either tying, clipping, or cauterizing it to close it off. While there is usually minimal discomfort due to the numbing of the scrotum, some men may experience a slight sensation of tugging or movement. The need for stitches depends on the surgeon’s preference and routine for the procedure.

After the procedure


Following the surgery, you should anticipate some little discomfort, bruising, and swelling. For the discomfort, you can take acetaminophen every four hours. You can cover your scrotal supporter and dressing with ice packs or a bag of frozen veggies. Repetitively using ice packs throughout the first 36 hours aids in reducing swelling. Make sure you place something between the ice pack and your skin or wrap it in a towel.


When it becomes filthy or stained, replace the dressing. Any pharmacy will sell little squares of sterile gauze. When the dressing is dry or no longer stained—typically in a day or two—you can remove it. There might be a tiny bit of oozing. It is healthier for you to have the fluid drain out than to have it accumulate inside.


The day following the vasectomy, you can begin taking showers. Steer clear of swimming pools and tubs for a few weeks. Use a cloth to gently pat dry your scrotum. Avoid rubbing.

Skin separation

Your skin may occasionally split apart as a result of body fluids or blood seeping through. If this occurs, you can pinch the edges together using sterile gauze and your fingers. Your skin will become more cohesive as a result, healing it. If any scarring occurs at all, it is quite slight.
Some of these symptoms are typical following a vasectomy. After surgery, they ought to fade away in 72 hours.
Following a vasectomy, your testicles continue to produce eggs. The sperm cells break down and are absorbed by your body upon their death. Your body replaces and deals with different types of cells that die every day in a similar manner.


Most individuals can usually return to work within a week, although those with physically demanding jobs may require a full week off. For most daily activities, excluding exceptionally strenuous ones, resumption can typically occur within a few days, usually around 48 to 72 hours post-treatment. According to survey responses, the average time for full recovery after a vasectomy is eight to nine days. Sexual activity can typically be resumed after seven days, but it is essential to continue using an alternate form of birth control until a semen analysis, usually conducted two to three months after the vasectomy, confirms the absence of sperm in the semen.