Once done never have to think about it, discreet


A vasectomy (male sterilisation) is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry a man’s sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy.

It’s usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where you’re awake but don’t feel any pain, and takes about 15 minutes.

In rare cases, you may have a general anaesthetic, where you’re asleep during the operation.

  • A vasectomy is more than 99% effective.
  • It’s considered permanent, so once it’s done you don’t have to think about contraception again.
  • It doesn’t affect your sex drive or ability to enjoy sex. You’ll still have erections and ejaculate, but your semen won’t contain sperm.
  • You’ll need to use contraception for at least 8 to 12 weeks after the operation, because sperm will still be in the tubes leading to the penis.
  • Up to 2 semen tests are done after the operation to make sure that all the sperm have gone.
  • Your ball sack (scrotum) may become bruised, swollen or painful – some men have ongoing pain in their testicles.
  • As with any surgery, there’s a small risk of infection.
  • It’s very difficult to reverse, so be sure it’s right for you.
  • A vasectomy doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may need to use condoms as well.

How To Use

A vasectomy is a quick and relatively painless surgical procedure. In most cases, you’ll be able to return home the same day.

There are 2 types of vasectomy:

  • a conventional vasectomy using a scalpel (surgical knife)
  • a no-scalpel vasectomy

The doctor doing your vasectomy will discuss which option is best for you.


Can I have the operation if I’m single?

Yes. But if you’re under 30, you’ll find many surgeons are reluctant to do it in case your circumstances change and you regret it later.

Will it affect my sex drive?

No. After a successful vasectomy, your testicles will continue to produce the male hormone (testosterone) just as they did before the procedure.

Your sex drive, sensation and ability to have an erection won’t be affected. The only difference is that there’ll be no sperm in your semen. Your body still produces sperm, but they’re absorbed back into your body without harm.

Could being sterile affect me emotionally?

It’s a big decision to have a vasectomy, so you should think it over carefully. If you’re sure about your decision, you may feel relieved that you don’t need to think about contraception and the possibility of pregnancy again.

But if you feel anxious or uncomfortable about the procedure, or you think you would find it hard to accept being infertile, it may not be suitable for you.

See a GP or a professional at a contraception or sexual health clinic to talk about all of your options.

Is there any risk of vasectomy causing cancer?

Although prostate cancer and testicular cancer can occur in men who have had a vasectomy, research suggests that a vasectomy doesn’t increase your risk of cancer.

Can I use IVF to father a child?

If you have a vasectomy and later decide that you want a child, you may be able to use IVF. To do this, a surgeon would retrieve sperm from your testicles and use this to fertilise your partner’s egg.

Other Contraceptive Options