The vas is a tube which carries sperm inside towards the prostate after which the sperm reach the penis. There are two vasa – one on each side.

  • A vasectomy is a procedure which a man can choose as a way of permanent birth control.
  • It involves dividing a small part of the vas on each side to interrupt the passage of sperm from the testes.
  • The procedure can be done under local or general anaesthetic.

A small incision is made over the scrotal skin through which the vasa are delivered and a 1cm segment is removed and sent for pathological analysis. This is to confirm that the tissue removed was the vas.

  • Vasectomy should be considered a permanent procedure as reversal (joining the divided ends back together) is a difficult procedure with no guaranteed success.
  • You should discuss the procedure with your partner.
  • It takes 2-3 months for your semen to have no living sperm.
  • Semen analysis can be done at 2-3 months.
    • 80% of men will have a negative test at 2 months
    • Almost 100% of men will have a negative test at 3 months
    • Rarely, a semen analysis may contain viable sperm for several months following a vasectomy

Surgical procedural risks can be divided into anaesthetic and surgical risks.

Anaesthetic risks are usually discussed with the patient by the anaesthetic team.

Surgical risks specific to vasectomy include:

  • Infection / wound breakdown
  • Bleeding – There is a small risk of haematoma (clotted blood) formation which results in a swollen scrotum. It is usually self-limiting but may require surgical evacuation.
  • Failure of the procedure – A rare complication which may be due to removing a different structure or the same vas twice, or having a duplex system (two vasa on each side) which is exceedingly rare.

Before surgery

When the procedure is being done under general anaesthesia, please fast from midnight for a morning procedure OR from 7am for an afternoon procedure.

You will be contacted by the hospital the day before your procedure to let you know what time to come in.

This is usually 1-2 hours before your surgery

After surgery

  • Pain is minimal following a vasectomy. The testes feel heavy and uncomfortable for the first few days. It is important to wear supportive (rather than loose) underpants.
  • Take regular Panadol (as long as there are no medical reasons for you not to take it such as an allergic reaction or liver disease).
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Neurofen and Voltaren can also help with pain and inflammation but should be taken on a full stomach. Take these for the first 3-5 days as required.
  • Stronger pain killers such as opioid anaelgesics (Endone, Codeine) should be taken sparingly as they can cause constipation which results in more straining.

The skin is closed with dissolving sutures and dressed with Dermabond glue. This sheds off in 2-3 weeks and is waterproof. You are able to have a shower but should not sit in a bath tub or go for a swim until the wound has completely healed at around two weeks time.

You can resume normal sexual activity (WITH CONTRACEPTION) after 1 week from your surgery. Contraception should continue until you have a negative semen analysis (see above).

You can go home the same day.

Your follow up appointment will be made for you 1-2 weeks after your surgery to review the wound, confirm pathology results and provide you with a request for semen analysis in 2-3 months time.