Over 99% effective.
Failure rate 1 in 2,000 over a lifetime
How does it work?
Male sterilisation is a permanent method, which cuts or occludes the tubes carrying the sperm so that there are no sperm in the semen when the man ejaculates or comes. It requires a small operation under local or general anaesthetic, which lasts about 30 minutes. A hospital stay is not required.
Possible Side Effects
- Almost all men will experience some mild bruising, swelling, discomfort or pain for a short while after the operation. For some men the bruising can be significant and the swelling may require surgical drainage.
- The wound or the contents of the scrotum can become infected and need antibiotic treatment.
- Occasionally men experience troublesome long term testicular pain which can be severe enough to affect day to day activities.
- Rarely, the tubes join up after the operation so that the method may fail.
Advantages / Benefits
- No need to remember contraception.
- For those who have completed their families.
- For those who want a permanent contraceptive method and are sure they do not want more children.
- Vasectomy should be regarded as an "irreversible" procedure. If you have any doubt about whether it is the right option for you, you should not go ahead.
- t is not possible to have the procedure reversed within NHS Scotland.
How much time will I need off work?
- Plan at least a three to four days off, longer if you have a strenuous / physical job.
- Also avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exertion for two weeks
Who can provide it?
Sexual Health D&G offer vasectomy under local anaesthetic to men
- who have a BMI less than 35. The BMI is a measure that uses height and weight to work out if weight is healthy. The BMI can be worked out using a BMI calculator available at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/
- who are not on blood thinning drugs (these include warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, riveroxaban or dabigatran)
- who do not have artificial heart valves, stents, pacemakers, blood vessel grafts, shunts or joint replacements
Men not eligible for the procedure at Sexual Health or wish to be considered for a general anaesthetic should discuss their wishes with their GP who can refer to NHS D&G Urology Service.
Men are not sterile immediately after the operation. This is because sperm has already passed beyond the site where the tubes are tied off. Sperm needs to be cleared by normal ejaculation. On average, men will need 20 to 30 ejaculations to clear them. Men who have a vasectomy at Sexual Health D&G are asked to produce a specimen of semen for examination under a microscope. This sample cannot be done before 16 weeks. If no sperm are present, men are given the "all-clear" that they are sterile. If the sample still contains sperm, men will be asked to produce further samples. In a small number of men it can take around seven months or longer to decide whether the operation has been successful or not. In around 1 in 250 patients the procedure fails to produce sterility.
Re-joining of the ends of the tubes after initial negative sperm counts resulting in fertility & pregnancy at a later stage occurs in around 1 in 2000 patients.
Until men have been told that the procedure has been successful they need to continue to use contraception.
How do I refer myself for a vasectomy at Sexual Health D&G?
Men can self refer by phoning 0345 702 3687 Mon - Fri 9.00am-4.00pm or by emailing [email protected] Please have available a note of your height and weight at the time of referral. Alternatively you can ask your GP to refer you to us.
Please read the Vasectomy Patient Information (pdf 462Kb) before your first appointment.