Vasectomy - Picture Summary

This leaflet gives a brief summary of vasectomy.

See separate leaflet called Vasectomy (Male Sterilisation) for more detailed information.

  • You should never opt for vasectomy if you don't want permanent contraception - it is very difficult to undo.
  • There is a small failure rate - rarely, the cut ends grow back together.
  • Sex is not affected. Almost all semen is made in the seminal vesicle and prostate gland.
  • The operation is easier and more effective than female sterilisation.
  • The vasectomy operation is usually done using local anaesthetic.
  • Complications are uncommon but include bruising, wound infection, pain and swelling.
  • About eight weeks after the operation you will need to produce two semen tests about 3-6 weeks apart. If the samples do not contain sperm, you will be given the all clear.
You will need to use other forms of contraception, such as condoms, until you are told you are no longer at risk of making your partner pregnant.

Now read about Sterilisation (Vasectomy and Female Sterilisation)

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Dr Sarah Jarvis
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Hayley Willacy
Document ID:
4594 (v44)
Last Checked:
07 August 2017
Next Review:
06 August 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.