Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure in which the vas deferens, a thin tube that stores and transports sperm is cut and then tied or sealed, preventing the release of sperm during ejaculation.
It is a permanent method of birth control in men.
- The scrotum is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Intravenous (IV) sedation is given to relax the patient and reduce anxiety. Occasionally vasectomy is done under a full general anaesthetic.
- A small incision is made in the scrotum and a part of vas deferens is removed through the opening. The cut ends of the vas deferens are then tied off after the use of electro-cautery. The skin is closed with an absorbable suture.
- The procedure takes between 20 to 30 minutes.
Swelling and pain will be felt in the scrotal area for several days after vasectomy.
- Bleeding under the skin
- Infection at the site of incision.
- Sperm leakage from a vas deferens and the formation of a small lump called a sperm granuloma.
- Inflammation of the tubes that carry sperms from the testicles.
- In rare circumstances, the vas deferens can rejoin or re-canalise, and if this occurs, pregnancy could result.
Instructions may include:
- Avoid heavy lifting for up to a week
- Apply cold packs to the area
- Wearing snug underwear to support the scrotum.
After vasectomy, it usually takes several months for all remaining sperm to ejaculate or reabsorb. Alternative methods of birth control must be used, until a sperm analysis test shows a zero sperm count. This will be checked at three months post-vasectomy.