What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure to achieve permanent sterility in the male.

Why get a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is usually performed in healthy men, who have finished their families and who are seeking a permanent method of contraception.

How is a vasectomy performed?

A vasectomy is a minor procedure, usually taking 15-20 minutes to perform after the anaesthesia takes effect.

Once the patient is under anaesthetic, small incisions are made in the scrotum and the vasa deferentia (the tubes that carry spermatozoa out from the testes to the penis) are disrupted. When these are cut and blocked the flow of sperm is disrupted and sterility results.

Whilst vasectomy is generally thought of as a means to permanent sterility, reversal is sometimes possible.

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Vasectomy recovery and rehabilitation


Typically patients can return to work two days after a vasectomy.

Full recovery is usually within a week, however it is advised to avoid participating in sports and sexual activities for 7-10 days as a precaution.


Sterility however is not guaranteed until serial semen analysis has confirmed the absence of spermatozoa on several occasions.

Side effects

The following side effects may sometimes occur after a vasectomy:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Infection

Related specialists

Related procedures

  • Tubal ligation

Related tests

  • Semen analysis

Also known as

  • The snip
  • Male sterilisation



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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.