What Is a Vasectomy & How Is It Performed?

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 10/22/2014

Vasectomy is a method of male sterilization, which means that men that men who have carried it out, can no longer have children. Currently, it is the most used permanent contraceptive method, for the surgery performed in men is easier than its female counterpart, tubal ligation.

Below you have an index with the 5 points we are going to deal with in this article.

How is it performed?

In order to perform vasectomy, a surgical intervention is needed. Through a small incision in the scrotum (testicular bag), the surgeon gains access to the vasa deferentia (that are in charge of transporting the sperm) and blocks them.

There are two possibilities: he can either cut and tie them, or cauterize them with the electric scalpel.

What to expect

After the intervention, the male still ejaculates. However, the ejaculation consists of secretions of the prostate and other seminal fluids and there are no sperms. In order to guarantee the complete absence of sperms when ejaculating, a three-month period is required or 20 ejaculations after the vasectomy.

Sperms are still being produced in the testicles, but since they cannot go through the vasa deferentia, they are not expelled. This way pregnancy is avoided.

Vasectomy's sperm absence during

Potential side effects

There are usually no side effects of vasectomy. It is a common intervention and the majority of men that have gone through it are glad that they no longer can have children and that they can avoid undesired pregnancies.

In a small group of men a decrease in sexual desire is observed. This is due to the inability to have children, rather than to a physiological defect.

Is it reversible?

Even though reversible vasectomy does exist and it is called vasovasostomy, it doesn't always work and it is difficult to recover a great number of sperms.

That is the reason why men that wish to go through with vasectomy need to be certain that they no longer want to have children.

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 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information about Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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