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Birth Control Permanent Methods (cont.)


Vasectomy, the most common form of surgical sterilization in men, involves making a small incision in the scrotal sac, followed by cutting or burning of the vas deferens (the 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. More than 500,000 men in the US undergo vasectomy each year.

Following vasectomy, some men may develop bruising in their testicles. Because, some sperm may remain in the vas deferens for several months after the procedure, 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 determine if the semen is free of sperm. 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 contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Short-term discomfort usually follows the procedure.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology


MedscapeReference. Tubal sterilization. Tubal Sterilization.

MedscapeReference. No Scalpel Vasaectomy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2015
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