Male Sterilization: Vasectomy
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 a man's partner getting pregnant is extremely small three months after the procedure. 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.
- Three months after the procedure, couples usually do not need to use other birth-control methods. To be sure, consider having a sperm count done before resuming sexual intercourse without back-up protection.
- Vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control
- Latex condoms still need to be used to decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
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.