Choosing a method of contraception is a very personal and important decision. When looking for permanent contraception, many couples choose a vasectomy, a surgical procedure that blocks both sperm ducts.
Vasectomy is a common procedure performed for men who are seeking a permanent form of contraception. The procedure involves two small incisions in the scrotum followed by division of the vas deferens which is the tube that normally transports sperm from the testicles. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic.
What you should know about the procedure
As with any surgical procedure patients should be aware of the risks of undergoing a vasectomy. These include:
- Bleeding and infection – low risk
- Late failure of the vasectomy – this can occur in 1:2000 cases
- Chronic scrotal pain – low risk
- The procedure is irreversible
- The need to continue with contraception until the semen samples
have confirmed that no sperm is present
London Men's Clinic can arrange for patients to have sperm to be stored prior to undergoing the procedure (bank sperm) as there can be always be a change in personal circumstances of the individual in the future. The stored sperm can then be used for IVF treatment in the future. Although vasectomy reversal is surgically feasible, this technique does not always guarantee a successful natural pregnancy.
What to expect after the procedure
Following the procedure the sutures will dissolve spontaneously after 2-3 weeks. A special scrotal support is provided for the first few days and this can then be replaced by tighter fitting underwear.
What does the procedure involve
An illustration of the procedure is shown below, modified from Surgery Illustrated, Shergill I, Arya M, Muneer A. BJU Int. 2012 Apr;109(7):1116-27