A vasectomy is a 20 minute operation to cut and seal off the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. Having a vasectomy means you will not be able to father any more children.
Your particular life circumstances might mean that a vasectomy is a good contraception option for you. You might be considering a vasectomy if:
It is a highly effective form of contraception: only around 1 in 2,000 men who have the operation impregnate a woman.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
Don't take aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medicines for ten days before your operation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you're not sure whether you can take a particular medicine and whether alternatives are available. Some doctors also ask that the patient shaves their scrotum before the operation.
We understand that having any operation, even one as relatively straightforward as a vasectomy, can cause anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there to reassure you throughout.
You’ll have a local anaesthetic for the 20 minute procedure. This means you’ll be awake but won’t feel any pain.
Your experienced surgeon will make a small cut on each side of your scrotum to expose the vasa deferentia tubes that carry the sperm from your testicles to the penis. He or she will cut the tubes to remove a small section of each.
The ends of the tube are sealed or tied before the cuts in the scrotum are closed with dissolvable stitches.
You’ll be able to go home soon after the operation is over. However, as you’ll be feeling drowsy after the local anaesthetic and a bit uncomfortable, you’ll need a friend or relative to pick you up, it is sensible to have someone to drive you home.
You’ll have some minor discomfort, swelling and bruising around the scrotum for a few days. If you’re in pain you can use over the counter medicines such as paracetamol. It’s likely that you’ll have blood in your semen for the first few ejaculations.
It’s a good idea to wear tight underwear day and night as your scrotum recovers. You can shower or bathe but make sure you dry your genitals gently but thoroughly.
You’ll probably feel fine for work after a day or two but don’t do any heavy lifting or sports for the first week.
Your semen will need to be tested because sperm can remain in the tubes for several months. You will need to take a semen sample to the hospital 8 to 12 weeks after surgery and another 2 or 3 weeks after that. Your nurse will tell you the dates and give you bottles for the samples.
While you can have sex again as soon as things feel comfortable, it’s important that you carry on using contraception until tests confirm there is no sperm in your semen and your surgeon has confirmed that the vasectomy has been successful.
On rare occasions, complications following a vasectomy can occur. If you experience any of these symptoms – listed below – increased swelling or redness, increased bleeding from the wounds, a high temperature or fever, severe pain - call us straight away. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
Please note: Spire Bristol Hospital is unable to provide semen testing after your surgery. You’ll need to take your sample to an alternative provider at 8 to 12 weeks after surgery and another 2 or 3 weeks after that.
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The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
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