Vasectomy - What is it and Why is it Done?

    Q: What is a vasectomy and why is it done?

    A: A vasectomy is a surgery to cut the vas deferens, the tubes through which a man's sperm travels. After a vasectomy, sperm cannot move out the testes. Vasectomy may be recommended for adult men who are certain that they wish to prevent future pregnancies. A vasectomy makes a man permanently sterile. A man who has had a vasectomy can not make a woman pregnant.

    Vasectomy is a simple, safe and effective method of permanent surgical contraception for men. It is much safer and less expensive than tubal ligation for women. A vasectomy is sometimes called "tying the tubes."

    A vasectomy is usually done in the surgeon's office under local anesthesia and you can go home right aftewards. You will be awake, but will not fee any pain. A small cut is made in the upper part of the scrotum, and the tubes (vas deferens) are tied off and cut apart. Stitches are used to close the wound.

    This surgery does not affect a man's ability to achieve orgasm, ejaculate, or have an erection. There will still be fluid (semen) in the ejaculate, but it will contain no sperm.