What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a surgery to cut the vas deferens, or the tubes through which a man's sperm travel. After a vasectomy, sperm cannot move out of the testes.
Why is a vasectomy performed?
A vasectomy may be recommended for men who are certain that they wish to prevent future pregnancies. A vasectomy makes a man permanently sterile, or unable to get 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."
How is a vasectomy done?
A vasectomy is usually done in the surgeon's office under local anesthesia and you can go home right afterward. You will be awake, but you will not feel 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.
Learn more about other birth control methods in our Birth Control Guide!