Vasectomy refers to the vas, which is the tube that takes sperm
from each testis (where the sperm is made) to storage depots called
seminal vesicles. The seminal vesicles work with the prostate
gland to produce the fluid known as semen that is ejaculated with
A vasectomy is the surgical procedure where a piece of vas is
removed, in order to prevent sperm getting into the semen. No sperm
means no babies.
If you feel above each testis, you can feel a bundle of cord
like structures. These are veins, arteries, nerves and the vas.
Only the vas itself is cut - everything else is left
There is no evidence that vasectomy has any long term
Occasionally, a small lump or thickening may develop at the end
of a vas some time after the vasectomy. This may be tender
for a while before resolving itself. It is extremely rare for
chronic testicular pain to be reported after a vasectomy.
This may be related to a grumbling infection, nerve damage or
psychological factors so can be difficult to treat in some
Some past studies that appeared to show an increase in the risk
of prostate cancer following vasectomy have since been proven
I use a technique known as the "No Scalpel
In the vast majority of patients this is what it involves:
Before you arrive at the surgery for your
vasectomy, you will need to shave the front of the scrotum (or ball
bag) to make the procedure easier to perform.
It takes about four hours for the anaesthetic to wear off,
leaving a heavy feeling on each side. Firm underpants will help
this, and two Paracetamol every four hours can also be taken if
When you get home after the procedure, apply an ice pack to the
scrotum (from outside the underpants) for ten minutes. Then, take a
ten minute break. Repeat ten minutes on, ten minutes off for three
hours. Frozen peas can be a convenient ice pack.
It is really important to rest for the next two days. Heavy
lifting and exercise can cause internal bleeding or leaking of
fluids in the first couple of days after the procedure.
Avoid Aspirin or Aspirin related drugs, as they can impair blood
clotting and aggravate bleeding.
Some swelling and bruising in the skin of the scrotum and penis
is normal, but really hard swelling is not normal and usually
indicates bleeding. This can be managed by sitting down with your
feet up, more ice packing and some Paracetamol.
You can resume sexual activity as soon as you feel comfortable.
Most people take anywhere from four days to two weeks. It will take
a few weeks for the sperm to totally disappear from the semen, and
the more sexual activity, the faster this will happen.
After about twenty ejaculations following the procedure, a semen
sample can be collected in a specimen jar, and dropped off at the
laboratory for testing. If no sperm are found, a second sample can
be taken a week or two later to confirm the success of the
If sperm are found in the first sample, another sample should be
tested several weeks later. You are sterile when your first sample
is confirmed as clear of sperm, followed by a repeat sample that is
Your partner will not need any other contraception after this
confirmation. Sometimes a few dead sperm are reported in the semen
sample up to several months later. These are from the walls of the
seminal vesicles and are being shed with normal cell turnover. They
are of no concern.
When you look under the microscope, there are no sperm in
the semen of someone who has had a vasectomy. Other than that... a
vasectomy makes absolutely no difference to sexual performance. The
testes look and feel just the same and there is no difference in
There is no method of contraception that gives 100% guaranteed
safety, however it is very rare for a vas to grow back.
The procedure described here is very good, and while exact
figures are not available, approximately only 1 in something like
5000 to 7000 may fail after using this technique and having two
subsequent negative sperm counts.
Research from the United States shows that after ten years,
about 6% of men regret they had a vasectomy. Virtually all of those
men (98%) were with a new partner. It appears safe to say that if
you stay with your present partner, you will not regret having a
The cost of the pre-surgery consultation is $65
The cost of the surgery is $410
Dr Paul Bennett is an Affiliated Provider to Southern Cross for
vasectomies. For eligible Southern Cross members this
Please phone reception at Broadway Medical Centre to enquire about
Phone: 03 477 4335
Fax: 03 477 4337