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Vasectomy common questions

Does vasectomy affect my sex drive or my ability to have sex?

No. You will still have erections and produce the same amount of semen when you ejaculate. The only difference is that the semen doesn't contain sperm.

Some men say that the 'freedom' of not worrying about their partners' contraception helps and even improves sex.

Is vasectomy 100% effective?

No contraceptive method is 100% guaranteed, but vasectomy is one of the most effective methods available. There is a slight chance of pregnancy after vasectomy (around 1 in 2,000) which can occur even after several years.

Is vasectomy effective immediately?

No – at the time of your vasectomy there are millions of sperm in your system, which need to be flushed out. Before you can rely on the vasectomy as your method of contraception you will need to provide at least 1 semen sample (using the sample kit given at the end of your treatment appointment). These are tested for the presence of sperm. We will contact you to tell you if the procedure was successful.

For some men this may take 6 or 7 samples. It's important that another form of contraception is used until we give you the all clear.

How safe is vasectomy?

All clinical procedures carry a small risk of complication. The risks and complications will be discussed with you during your consultation and can be seen here.

Does it hurt?

You may experience some pain but in most cases this is mild and lasts for a couple of weeks. Some men (1-2%) experience ongoing chronic testicular pain following vasectomy and this will be discussed during consultation.

Where does the needle go?

The needle for the local anaesthetic is injected into the skin on both sides of your scrotum. The needle is not injected into your testicles.

Can I reverse my vasectomy?

Vasectomy is meant to be permanent. The chances of a successful vasectomy reversal vary a great deal. Vasectomy reversal is expensive and unlikely to be funded by the NHS.

Your personal circumstances may change, so please think very carefully about whether vasectomy is right for you.