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Birth Control Permanent Methods (cont.)

Vasectomy

Vasectomy involves a cut in the scrotal sac, cutting or burning of the vas deferens (tubes that carry sperm), and blocking both cut ends. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Vasectomy prevents the passage of sperm into seminal fluid by blocking the vas deferens.

Some men may develop bruising in their testicles. After the vasectomy, some sperm may remain in the ducts. A man is not considered sterile until he has produced sperm-free ejaculations. Semen is tested in the lab several weeks after the procedure to check that all sperm are gone. This usually requires 15 to 20 ejaculations. (The couple should use another form of birth control during this period, or the man may ejaculate by masturbation.)

  • How effective: The failure rate is determined to be approximately 0.1%.
  • Advantages: Vasectomy involves no hormones. It is permanent. The procedure is quick with few risks. It is performed as an outpatient procedure in a clinic or doctor's office.
  • Disadvantages: Men may regret the decision later. Vasectomy does not prevent a man from getting sexually transmitted diseases. Short-term discomfort occurs from the procedure.
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