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Caring and experienced, Dr David Ward performs vasectomies under general anaesthetic at Albany Health Campus and Albany Day Hospital.

Dr Ward also performs vasectomies under local anaesthetic in our rooms at SRMG.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that sterilises a man, preventing him from fathering children. Essentially, it is a highly effective form of contraception.

Vasectomies are a minor operation that cuts and seals off the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm from your testicles to your penis. This stops your sperm from mixing with your semen and reaching your penis.

Why have a vasectomy?

Having a vasectomy provides a safe and permanent means of contraception. Below are some common reasons why men have vasectomies:

  • The risk of an unwanted pregnancy is almost completely eliminated.
  • There is no need to remember to take or use regular contraception.
  • Your partner no longer wants to use hormones, implants or devices.
  • Female sterilisation is a larger procedure with more complications than male sterilisation.

How long before it is effective?

You will not be sterile immediately.

It takes about 3 months for sperm to be cleared. It is therefore important to have your semen tested to ensure a complete clearance of sperm. The first semen test is usually performed 3 months after the vasectomy procedure. You cannot assume that you will be sterile until informed.

A very small proportion of vasectomies fail. This is why it is important to use contraception until a semen test is clear.

Will a vasectomy affect my sexual function?

Physically a vasectomy makes no difference to your sex drive or performance, other than a very small reduction in the volume of ejaculation fluid.

Testosterone and semen production also remain unaffected (apart from sperm no longer being mixed into the semen).

What are the possible complications from a vasectomy?

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Common side effects of a vasectomy include:

  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness and bruising on or around the scrotum,
  • Bleeding inside the scrotum and blood in the semen, for a few days after the operation.

This can usually relieved by rest, ice packs, simple pain medications and supportive underwear.

More serious complications are extremely rare and can include:

  • Haematoma: blood collects and clots in the scrotum.
  • Sperm granulomas: sperm can sometimes leak from the cut tubes and in rare cases collect and form hard lumps called sperm granulomas.
  • Infection
  • Long-term pain – due to a pinched nerve or scarring
  • Testicles feeling full – as the epididymis becomes filled with stored sperm.
  • Fertile again – if the vas deferens reconnects