In This Section
What is a Vasectomy?
Vasectomy or male sterilisation is a reliable method of contraception that involves minor surgery. Following a successful operation, no other form of contraception is needed to prevent unintended pregnancies; however, condoms may still be required for protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
A vasectomy involves blocking tubes in the testicles to prevent sperm from mixing with the semen ejaculated from the penis during sex. It is a quick and relatively painless surgical procedure that is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.
A vasectomy has no effect on your sex drive or your ability to enjoy sex. You will still have erections and ejaculate as normal, the only difference is that the semen will not contain sperm.
Vasectomy is considered a permanent method of contraception. It is, therefore, only advisable if you have decided that you definitely do not want to have children in the future.
Although It is possible to reverse the vasectomy in certain circumstances, this is not always successful and only rarely offered on the NHS. Reversal operations are not offered at Sexual Health Sheffield.
When Might a Vasectomy Be The Right Choice For You?
A vasectomy may be appropriate if you decide that you do not want more children, or have decided not to have any at all. If you have any doubts about this, it might be better to consider another method of contraception until you are completely sure. A vasectomy may be chosen as a simpler, safer and more reliable alternative to female sterilisation http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception-guide/pages/female-sterilisation.aspx
A vasectomy is normally permanent, so once it has been carried out successfully and semen tests have shown there is no sperm present, your partner(s) may not need to use other forms of contraception. However, a vasectomy does not protect against HIV infection or any other sexually transmitted infection, so you should continue to protect yourself by using condoms with any new partner.
The Vasectomy Operation
At Sexual Health Sheffield, we use a method called a “no-scalpel” technique which is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.
During a no-scalpel vasectomy, the doctor will feel the vas deferens underneath the skin of your scrotum and then hold them in place using a small clamp. A special instrument is then used to make a tiny puncture hole in the skin of the scrotum. A small pair of forceps is used to open up the hole, allowing the surgeon to access the vas deferens without needing to cut the skin with a scalpel. The tubes are then closed in the same way as in a conventional vasectomy, either by being tied or sealed.
During a no-scalpel vasectomy, there will be little bleeding and no stitches. The procedure is also thought to be less painful and less likely to cause complications than a conventional vasectomy.