What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a minor surgery to close off the vas deferens (the tubes that deliver sperm from the testes). Usually a vasectomy procedure is performed as a means of contraception, or male sterilization.

Procedure and Recovery

The procedure takes 15-30 minutes typically, causes little to no complications, and no change in sexual function. Over 500,000 vasectomies are performed in the United States each year and are very safe and effective.

Before Surgery

Once you and your doctor have decided on getting a vasectomy, you will want to have arranged for someone to drive you home so there is no pressure placed on the area during driving. The procedure takes 15-30 and you will be able to leave the office after that time if there are no complications.


Recovery time can vary but it is recommended that you rest for 24 hours after the procedure and not lift anything heavy for a week or two. The pain from a vasectomy is minimal and can be controlled by over the counter pain relievers as recommended by your physician. 

It is very important to note that sterilization does not happen immediately after a vasectomy. The next 12-15 ejaculations will still contain sperm, so a birth control method will need to be used during that time. About 12 weeks after the procedure, your sample will be collected and analyzed to be sure no sperm are in the semen. Only then is it confirmed that sterilization has taken place.

Vasectomy is less invasive than a tubal ligation (the female equivalent involving the uterus) and is easily reversed. Vasectomies have proven to be an effective way of maintaining permanent birth control.

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