What is this?

Removal of a small section of vas from both sides with interposition of tissue between the divided ends to prevent re-joining

What alternatives are there?

Other forms of contraception (both male and female). Vasectomy should be regarded as an “irreversible” procedure. If you have any doubt about whether it is the right option for you, do not proceed with the operation. Under normal circumstances, vasectomy will not be considered during pregnancy or within the first 6 months after the birth of a child.

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery whether the procedure is being performed under local or general anaesthetic. Please note: Sperm storage prior to vasectomy, for those who wish to consider this, is not available on the NHS and will need to be arranged separately.

What happens during the procedure?

Vasectomy is usually performed under local anaesthetic, primarily for your own safety. If the tubes are difficult to feel, it may be necessary to carry out the procedure under a brief general anaesthetic. The injection is always uncomfortable but, thereafter, the skin is effectively numbed. The procedure itself cannot be made totally painless and the process of picking up the tubes in order to tie them can cause a variable degree of discomfort; this may make you feel slightly sick, sweaty or light-headed

After the procedure

It is essential to have someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. You are advised to take the following day off work and sit quietly at home. The local anaesthetic will wear off after a couple of hours and the area may ache for 24-72 hours; this can usually be relieved by taking Aspirin or Paracetamol. Vasectomy, whether under general or local anaesthetic, is normally carried out on a "day case" basis with a length of stay less than 1 day.

Potential side effects