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A vasectomy is a procedure to make you sterile. It is a permanent form of birth control. The vas deferens (sperm tubes) are cut so that the semen does not contain sperm.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into your scrotum. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure.

During your procedure:

An incision will be made on one side of your scrotum or down the middle. One of your sperm tubes will be pulled through the incision. Your surgeon will cut the sperm tube and remove a small portion of it. He may then close one or both ends with stitches or a heat treatment. He also may sew a piece of body tissue between the cut ends of your tubes. Your surgeon will then do the same procedure to your other sperm tube. Your incisions may be closed with stitches, tissue glue, or left open to heal. Germ-fighting medicine may be put on your scrotum, and the area will be covered with a bandage.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • Lie on your back as much as possible the day of your procedure. Healthcare providers may apply ice and an athletic supporter to decrease swelling and bruising.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a healthcare provider when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.


You may bleed more than expected. Your scrotum may be bruised or inflamed. You may get a wound, urinary tract, or epididymal infection. The epididymis is a long, curled tube on the back of your scrotum. You may feel pain when you have an erection. Granulomas may form if sperm leaks out of your cut sperm tube. Granulomas are a lump that forms under your skin. You may not become sterile if one or both of your cut sperm tubes grow back together.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.