Vasectomy Guide

Are you thinking about a vasectomy?

Do you and your partner/spouse feel that your family is complete and don’t want any more children? Is it a situation in which neither of you want children? Have you both decided to not have children and want a permanent form of contraception?

The answers to these and any other questions can be found here. This complete guide to vasectomy contains a range of information about vasectomy which includes a look at what a vasectomy is; the reasons for wanting a vasectomy and the procedure; the costs, the risks and benefits and recovery after surgery.

A vasectomy is usually performed as a permanent form of contraception and in most cases, it is permanent. However there are men who for whatever reason change their mind. If this happens then there is the option of a vasectomy reversal operation but this isn’t always successful.

There is a brief overview of vasectomy reversal in our vasectomy surgery section. But if you want a more in-depth view then visit our accompanying vasectomy reversal guide.

There is another option - that of IVF in which sperm is taken from your testicles to fertilise your partner’s egg. But this is not as straightforward as it seems. It can be expensive and does not guarantee success.

Find out more about IVF and other procedures in our complete guide to infertility.

Male sterilisation

A vasectomy is a form of ‘male sterilisation’ in which the man is no longer able to ejaculate sperm and therefore father a child. It is often viewed as a quicker, safer and more reliable form of birth control than female sterilisation. It does not cause any loss of libido, reduction in sexual performance or inability to ejaculate.

Your sex life will be unaffected. This is an issue which, understandably, worries many men but a vasectomy will not impair or damage your sex life in any shape or form. It will not affect your masculinity or reduce your testosterone levels.

However, a vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV so you will still need to wear protection against these.

Basically, it involves the surgeon cutting and then sealing the ‘vas deferens’ (tubes) which prevents sperm from entering semen that is ejaculated during sexual intercourse. This results in infertility and an inability to father a child.

This is discussed in greater detail in our vasectomy surgery section.

But there are a few things you need to consider before surgery. These include your suitability for a vasectomy, your reasons for wanting a vasectomy and the possibility of you changing your mind at some point in the future. If you do then there is the option of a vasectomy reversal but this is a complex procedure with no guarantee of success.

A vasectomy is not something to enter into lightly and in the vast majority of cases is a permanent state of affairs. So be absolutely sure that this is something that both of you want before you sign the consent form.

It is not always an easy decision to make but we are here to help you with that. This guide is designed for you - for your concerns, needs and questions and aims to answer those clearly and intelligently. This will help you to make an informed decision about a vasectomy.

Here to help you

The information presented here begins with a description of what a vasectomy is so that you will have a better understanding of the procedure. This is then followed by information on what you need to think about, the effectiveness of the procedure, whether you choose the NHS or go ‘private’and the alternatives to a vasectomy.

The main section is all about vasectomy surgery: the benefits, the risks, your consultation with the surgeon and the procedure itself. There is also information on how to prepare before surgery, the day of surgery and aftercare. Other information includes a section about sperm tests following surgery, the option of going abroad for a vasectomy and a short piece about vasectomy reversal.

Medical jargon has been used in this guide but explanations are provided where possible. Definitions of medical terms used can be found in our glossary section.

If you or your partner has any questions then visit our Vasectomy FAQs section.

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