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Vasectomy is a  permanent sterilization technique for a man who does not want to father a child any more can be done on an outpatient basis (thanks to for these images).

It is done within 20 to 30 minutes on average and is done under a local anesthetic. Other than possible infection there is no risk regarding the procedure. There is a 90 day wash-out period where the man who had a vasectomy should still use a condom until the semen is microscopically proven to be completely sperm free.

Studies have been undertaken to show that vasectomy does not lead to impotence (Ref. 16, p. 718). There is concern for a minority of cases that an autoimmune antibody may cause a lupus like clinical picture and possibly hardening of the arteries. However, according to Ref. 17 (p.1344) a review of 15 trials has failed to show a conclusive connection between these autoantibodies and cardiovascular disease.

1 in 2000 men who had a vasectomy develop chronic testicular pain. However, 95% of these men can be helped by a removal of the epididymis (=the storage structure attached to the testicle) and the outgoing duct (=called “vas deferens”). These men need to see a urologist and tell the specialist about the problem.

There is a controversy about whether or not a previous vasectomy would be a cause of prostate cancer. Follow up studies 15 or 20 years after vasectomy failed to show a higher risk for prostate cancer (Ref. 17, p.1344).

Reversal of a vasectomy leads to a successful fathering of children only in about 30%. It is involved and expensive surgery. It utilizes an operating microscope and requires a urologist specializing in these procedures. The cut ends of the previous vasectomy have to be reunited by doing surgery in multiple layers.

The same ethical considerations apply as for tubal ligation. Many church and religious groups are opposed to this procedure.



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Last modified: November 12, 2014

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.