Vasectomy

Introduction

This page will guide you through your visit to us for your vasectomy and through the immediate post-operative period. If you have any questions that are not answered or if you would like to discuss a special problem, please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone. If you wish to change or cancel your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that the appointment can be offered to someone else. To do this just call Buckden Surgery on 01480 810216.

We want to ensure you receive the best possible treatment and care while you are with us. We are aiming to improve our services wherever we can and we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have. If you feel you need to talk to someone who can help you speak up for your rights, please contact Cambridgeshire Independent Advocacy Service on 01733 758278

Since you will be having a local anaesthetic, it is a good idea to have a light meal before attending. You should aim to be collected from the surgery, as you will not be able to drive straight after your operation. The surgeon will spend a few minutes talking with you before the operation, to explain details again and to answer any final questions you may have. Your partner is welcome to attend at this time of counselling, however they cannot stay with you during the actual operation.

Operation details can be seen in this video

Patient Information Leaflets

Guide & FAQ

Why Choose a Vasectomy?

People ask for vasectomy when they are sure that their family is complete or they do not want children. It is one of the most effective forms of contraception. However, it should always be considered as permanent and so requires very careful thought beforehand. It should be recognised that personal circumstances can change and that reversal operations are not very successful.

Who can have a Vasectomy?

Any man can have a vasectomy regardless of age, or whether they are married, single, divorced, widowed, childless or with a family. If you have a permanent partner, their consent is not legally necessary, but it is recommended that your decision is discussed with her and that she agrees with it.

How effective is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is 100% effective if the procedure is succesful, in very rare (0.01%) cases one or both tubes can rejoin, or there may be a double tube on one side. If you have concerns about whether the operation was a success or not, follow the post-op vasectomy analysis advice leaflet (above).

Am I suitable for a Vasectomy?

Anyone can have a vasectomy but some medical conditions may make the procedure more difficult, in particular, you must let your GP and the surgeon know if you have had any operations in the genital area (including hernias), if you have any known abnormality of the uro-genital system (e.g. kidneys, bladder) or if you have had any metallic implants (eg. for a broken leg). There can be sperm in the ejaculated fluid for many months after the operation (rarely up to 18 months). You must continue to use contraception until post-operative sperm tests have been carried out and you have at least 1 satisfactory sperm test showing no more live (motile) sperm. You will be given further information about this after the operation and before you go home.

What is a Non-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV)

Non-scalpel vasectomy is quickly becoming the method of choice for vasectomy procedures. It has been carried out on over 20 million men worldwide, and it is regarded as the safest technique with result showing fewer problems afterwards.

How is a Non-Scalpel Vasectomy procedure carried out?

Sperm makes up approximately 5% of the fluid ejaculated at orgasm. The purpose of the operation is to stop the sperm being ejaculated by sealing the tubes (the vas deferens) which carry the sperm from the testicle to the fluid. The fluid originates in glands at the base of the penis and the quantity produced is unaffected by the operation.
The operation takes around 10 minutes, with perhaps 10 minutes before and after for preparation and finishing. You will be given a small injection of warmed local anaesthetic into the skin of the scrotum. A tiny opening is made (rarely, two may be needed) and a piece of the tube leading from each testicle is sealed and cut so that sperm can no longer get through.

What do I need to do in preparation for my procedure?



Aftercare

Important information relating to post operative care following your operation.

Following a local anaesthetic you can leave the surgery after a short rest. You should not drive yourself but arrange for someone to collect you or use a taxi.

It is normal for you to experience some discomfort during the first few days and occasionally some swelling develops. It is sensible to plan to relax at home for a few days before undertaking work or exercise. We also advise that you avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting or driving long distances for 1-2 weeks. To minimise swelling and discomfort, it is advisable to wear tight fitting underpants, swimming trunks or a jock strap (please bring with you on day of your operation). You should continue to wear these day and night for about one week.

An hour or two after the operation, when the local anaesthetic wears off, you will normally have some discomfort or mild pain. You can take any usual painkillers such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Co-codamol in normal dosages, which are all available from Pharmacies without a prescription. We advise that you place an ice pack on the scrotum for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours for the first day to reduce swelling and discomfort. Remember to place a clean tea towel (or similar) between the ice pack and the skin. Some swelling and bruising of the scrotum and testicles is normal but if it is severe during the first few hours after the operation, you should contact your own GP surgery.

Where the tubes have been cauterised and cut, some scar tissue will form. This may be felt as a slightly lumpy, sometimes tender area just above the testicle. This is quite normal, but if you do become concerned about any unusual lumps, see your own GP.

There are no stitches to remove, only a small cut that will heal itself - although it may gape open a little after a few days. You need only to seek medical advice if it is persistent, excessively smelly or inflamed.

After the procedure care should be taken with bathing for about 7 seven days. Although the operation area may be slightly bloodstained, it is better not to wash for 24 hours. It is then best not to soak in a bath but to have showers, letting the water run over the area. If you do not have a shower, then kneel in a bath and sponge water over the area. Do not use excessive soap or shampoos and do not use talc.

Sexual intercourse can be resumed as soon as you are comfortable. However it is essential to continue to use contraception until there are no more live sperm in the ejaculation. This will be shown by a sperm test carried out 3 months after the operation. PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE SEX 3-4 TIMES A WEEK TO EMPTY THE VAS TO ENSURE YOUR SPECIMEN IS NOT POSITIVE FOR SPERM.



General Advice

Vasectomy has no effect on masculinity or on sexual arousal, performance or orgasm. Sperm continues to be produced by the testicles but the passage to the penis is blocked, so they are reabsorbed into the body. It can be reassuring to know that many people who have had a vasectomy say their sex life has improved because the fear of pregnancy has been removed.
Possible complications that you should be aware of which can delay the healing process include: infection or excessive bruising which are both common to any operation, though rare for NSV. Some men develop a chronic testicular pain syndrome sometimes years later, the incidence varying from 3 - 20% but is very rarely severe.
Occasional post-op complications are bleeding requiring further surgery. Rare complications are: inflammation or infection of testes or Epididymis, requiring treatment, failure of sterilization (resulting in pregnancy 1 in 2000) and Granuloma.
It is vitally important that you continue to take precautions against pregnancy until you have been given the all clear following analysis of the semen specimens which you will be required to provide.

Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis

You will be required to give at least one specimen after about 3-4 months. The greatest risk of rejoining of the tubes is in the first 3-4 months after the operation.
Sperm can live for up to 70 days or longer and will still be released for a variable length of time after the operation when you ejaculate. In order to empty the 'reservoir' of live sperm with in this period of time it is recommended that you have intercourse / ejaculate on average 3 times a week. Sometimes it is found that even with this frequency of intercourse, some men take longer to clear their 'reservoir' of live sperm and you should not worry if you are asked for further specimens. Traditional advice has been to obtain 2 completely clear semen tests before stating that a person is infertile. However, new evidence and guidelines may confirm that 1 fresh sample at 4 months that is completely clear of live motile sperm is sufficient but for now it is recommended that you follow the recommendations contained in the laboratory reports of the semen samples regarding any need for further testing. UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED CONFIRMATION FROM OUR SERVICE OR YOUR GP (WHO GETS THE RESULTS), YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE CONTRACEPTIVE PRECAUTIONS.
No assurance that you have become infertile can be given without these tests. No responsibility will be accepted for failure of the operation if the required semen specimens are not submitted for analysis at the appropriate times.
Approximate date for your first semen specimen collection will be confirmed when you attend for your procedure.
The results of your semen analysis will be sent direct to you and your own GP when these are received from the laboratory.