A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is done to make a man sterile (unable to father children). A vasectomy works by cutting or blocking the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm away from the testicles. Once the vas deferens is cut or blocked, sperm cannot pass out of the body.
After a vasectomy, a man can continue to have normal sexual intercourse with ejaculation of semen, but this sperm-free semen cannot make his sexual partner pregnant.
Vasectomy is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy. The likelihood of getting pregnant after the procedure is less than 2 in 1000, or 0.1 percent. It is more effective than tubal ligation in women, and is less expensive as well.
- Vasectomy can be performed in a medical office under local anesthesia.
- The procedure is relatively quick and easy.
- Two months after the procedure, couples no longer have to use other birth-control methods to prevent pregnancy.
NOTE: A vasectomy is intended to produce permanent sterilization. Special microsurgery can reverse a vasectomy and restore fertility in some cases. However, this delicate procedure is expensive and is successful in only about 70 percent of cases. If you have even the slightest doubt about ending your chances for future fatherhood, then you should consider using another form of birth control.
To learn more, visit our A-Z health area to read more about vasectomy.