Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure for men that blocks the tubes that carry sperm. It is a permanent form of birth control. The operation does not affect the man's sex drive or his ability to have erections or to ejaculate. The operation does not affect the man's hormones or his ability to have orgasms.

How is it Done


During a vasectomy, a very small cut is made in the man's testes to reach the tubes that carry the sperm. These tubes (vas deferens) then are blocked. Sperm is still produced in the man's testes but it can't travel out and is re-absorbed by the body. At the time of the vasectomy, there may be sperm cells on both sides of the block that has been made. It takes the man several ejaculations to clear out all the sperm cells that could still cause a pregnancy. That is why it is very important to have sperm counts done on the ejaculate fluid after a vasectomy until the man's fluid is clear of sperm. Until this happens, it is important to use another form of birth control.

Effectiveness


Less than one percent of vasectomies fail. This procedure should be thought of as permanent. It should be used only when the man is sure he does not wish to father children ever again.

Risks
All surgeries carry some risk, but vasectomy is a minor surgery and serious problems happen rarely. Before any surgery, you should review carefully the risks and benefits with your doctor.

What are the Benefits


A vasectomy prevents a man from causing a pregnancy. The man does need to protect himself to decrease the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases.