Vasectomy is a form of permanent sterilization for men. It is more effective, less expensive, and has fewer complications than tubal ligation for women. Over 500,000 men have the procedure performed each year in the United States. Failure (pregnancy) after vasectomy is quite rare, occurring in about 1 in 2000 vasectomies. This is much less than other forms of contraception. There is no change in sexual function after vasectomy. There are no major long-term risks known. Occasionally, minor testicular discomfort may occur, but long-term discomfort is rare.
The procedure is performed in our office, making it very cost-effective, and usually takes about 45 minutes. The vas deferens carry sperm away from the testicles, and both vasa must be divided during the vasectomy. We use the no scalpel technique, where both of the vas deferens can be approached through a single small incision in the upper scrotum. A brief period of numbing medication placement is required, however it is expected that there will be minimal discomfort during the procedure. Strenuous physical activity needs to be avoided for at least a week, although most men can return to work in a few days. It is important to remember that sterilization is not complete at the time of the procedure, and a semenalysis (microscopic evaluation of the ejaculate) about 6-8 weeks after the procedure showing no sperm is required before other contraception can be discontinued.