Considering a Vasectomy? It's Not So Bad

If you have decided to have a vasectomy and are feeling a little nervous about it, read on. It's not so bad. Here are a few facts to help calm you down and address your concerns. Let's talk about what a vasectomy will NOT effect:

  • Sexual desire
  • Ability to have erections
  • Orgasm and accompanying sensations
  • Ability to ejaculate and how much semen you ejaculate
According to the American Urological Association, there are about 600,000 vasectomies performed in the U.S. every year. This staggering number alone should allay some fear. It is certainly not an uncommon procedure.

Vasectomy Explained

A vasectomy is considered a permanent form of birth control. It is 99.85% effective in preventing pregnancy, according to WebMD. During the 30-minute outpatient surgery, the sperm ducts or vas deferens are sealed to stop sperm from being ejaculated in the semen and fertilizing the woman's egg.
The surgery is relatively simple and straightforward. Some patients request sedation to calm them down during the procedure. After cleaning and shaving the scrotum, a local anesthetic is injected. Two small cuts are made on the underside of the scrotum. The vas deferens are cut and the ends are sealed closed. The outside incisions are closed with dissolving stitches or surgical glue. A sterile dressing and snug jockstrap are worn for scrotal support.
After surgery, pain medication is encouraged and ice should be applied to the scrotum to control swelling. There are general post-operative directions:
  • Avoid walking or standing as much as possible for a few days.
  • Avoid heavy lifting for one week.
  • Return to work in 2 to 3 days, as long as you do not do any heavy lifting.
  • Wear a jockstrap for one week after surgery.
  • Resume sex in one week or when it is comfortable to do so.
  • Use another form of birth control until the sperm count in your semen is zero.


There are very few risks associated with a vasectomy. The most common complications include bleeding, swelling or infection in the scrotum. Sometimes sperm leaks into the scrotum and causes a small lump called a sperm granuloma. Inflammation of the epididymis, which is the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, is another rare complication. All are effectively treated.

The Result

You can still get your partner pregnant immediately after a vasectomy. Sperm are still ejaculated for 10 to 20 ejaculations or several months after surgery. The surgeon, usually a urologist, will do a semen analysis about 6 to 12 weeks after surgery to be sure that there are no sperm present. Remember, use another method of birth control until a zero sperm count is confirmed.

Talk to your healthcare provider to assess and decide if a vasectomy is the right birth control method for you, based upon your health status and medical history.