Is a Vasectomy Right for You?
By Richard Matern
Jul 26, 2017
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
For men who no longer want to have children, a vasectomy – also called male sterilization – is a very effective, permanent form of contraception.
A vasectomy is a procedure that prevents sperm from leaving the testicles. As a result of the procedure, the tubes (vas deferens) that deliver sperm from the testicle are disconnected or blocked surgically.
Having vasectomy is a serious decision to make. You and your partner will want to discuss the procedure to make sure you’re both on the same page. You’ll also want to have a discussion with a urologist about the procedure and the risks and benefits.
Vasectomies are a very effective contraception, resulting in a less than a 1% chance of pregnancy. You and your partner don’t need to worry about using other forms of birth control once sperm is clear from the reproductive tract (about six weeks after the procedure), which makes preventing pregnancy much easier.
A no-scalpel vasectomy can be done. The procedure uses local anesthetic and results in a smaller wound than conventional vasectomy. The benefits are less pain, quicker recovery time, and less bleeding and complications.
Different doctors use different techniques, but all are designed to ensure the two ends of the cut tubes remain separate.
The procedure typically only takes about 15 minutes. What many people don’t realize is that most procedures take place in a doctor’s office or outpatient setting, not an operating room. The recovery process may take a bit longer. It’s usually recommended that you take it easy for a few days following the procedure.
Yes, a vasectomy can sometimes be reversed. Typically, insurance doesn’t pay for a reversal, which can be difficult and expensive.