Vasectomy

Consultation

Prior to you vasectomy treatment a consultation will be carried out with a doctor to discuss the procedure and answer any questions. Your partner may be present during this appointment if you wish.

Following this, you will be given the opportunity to have the procedure carried out the same day or to make a future appointment.

Alternatively, you can take some time to think about your decision. You will be provided with a number to call when you have made your decision.

Before your procedure

It is important to use a reliable method of contraception until after your operation and once you have received a letter from the clinic confirming you are sterile.

Please refer to the post-operative contraception section below for more information.

The vasectomy operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic but under some circumstances a general anaesthetic can be offered. If you are having a general anaesthetic for the procedure:

  • Ensure you do not eat or drink from midnight on the day of the operation
  • It is advisable not to smoke for at least 48 hours before the general anaesthetic

Admission to the Clinic

When you arrive at reception you will be greeted and asked to quote your personal identification number (P.I.N) which will have been given to you when you made initial contact with the clinic.

You will be shown to the waiting room and a nurse will collect you to admit you to the ward.

One supporter may stay with you until the nurse calls you through. You will be able to keep your mobile phone on whilst you are in the clinic so your supporter can contact you.

Treatment

Scalpel vasectomy:

After the skin has been cleaned and a local anaesthetic administered, a small incision is made each side of the scrotum. The vas deferens are located and a section of this tube is removed. Both ends are then closed with a stitch.

The skin incisions are closed with dissolving sutures and a dressing applied.

The entire operation takes around 10 minutes. You can expect to be at the clinic for approximately 2 hours.

Non-scalpel vasectomy:

After the skin has been cleaned and a local anaesthetic administered, the doctor will feel the scrotum for your vas deferens.

Once they have been located, a small incision is made with an instrument. A small section of this tube is then removed and the tubes are cauterised. No stitches are required.

The entire operation takes around 15 minutes. You can expect to be at the clinic for approximately 2 hours.

Are there any side effects?

There are few side effects from the procedure but you will most likely feel a little discomfort and some swelling and bruising may be present.

All surgery carries some element of risk but complications following a vasectomy are extremely rare. The most likely type would be a local infection indicated by inflammation and pain. This is easily treated with antibiotics.

Discharge from the Clinic

  • Recovery time is usually quick
  • You will be given an instruction leaflet and containers for you to submit two semen specimens
  • If you have had a general anaesthetic you should arrange for someone to collect you from the clinic, do not drive yourself

If you have any concerns at any time, feel free to contact the clinic for advice.

Post-operative contraception

It is important to remember that the operation is not effective immediately. A reliable form of contraception must be used until you have submitted two specimens for testing that are clear of sperm and you have received a letter from the clinic confirming you are sterile.

It is essential to continue intercourse, or masturbation, to remove the residue of sperm still in the system. Clients do vary in the time it takes to clear.

Sterilisation protects against unwanted pregnancy, but not against sexually transmitted infections.