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Say hello to a method of male contraception in 15 minutes
Vasectomy is a safe, effective method of male contraception, leaving you free to enjoy sex. The simple 15-minute procedure stops sperm entering the semen.
Vasectomies have been carried out on millions of men worldwide, helping them enjoy the benefits of contraceptive-free sex.
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No more children, just great sex!
If you've had all the children that you want – or if you don't want any children at all – having a vasectomy means that you can have sex without fear of reproducing.
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What are the risks?
Vasectomy is an everyday procedure – very common and very safe. Most men have no problems whatsoever.
As with any surgical procedure however, there is a small tiny risk of infection. You may experience some swelling and possibly some bleeding, but if you look after the gauze dressing and take things easy afterwards you'll be absolutely fine in no time.
Long-term complications are incredibly rare, but we want you to be properly informed, so here's the small print.
Prolonged bruising of the area may occur, but it doesn't usually cause problems and will disappear over time. An infection can enter through the cut in your scrotum, but if you take care of the gauze dressing you'll be alright. On very rare occasions a small blood clot can develop – this may happen if you return too quickly to strenuous activity. You may also experience aching in your testicles.
Out of the 140,000 male vasectomies we've performed over 40 years, such cases are extremely rare.
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The Vasectomy procedure
You'll have the procedure at one of our local, safe and comfortable Marie Stopes run clinics or at your GP's surgery.
It'll take about an hour in total – with the actual procedure only lasting about 15 minutes.
Unlike other operations, we encourage you to have something to eat and drink beforehand. This will help stop you feeling light-headed. It won't affect the local anaesthetic in any way.
If you're at one of our clinics, we'll first take some details and check you in. We'll take your blood pressure, and answer any questions about having a vasectomy that you might have.
The vasectomy procedure itself is really simple – something that our staff do on a daily basis.
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The Vasectomy procedure
It starts with a small injection into your scrotum to numb the whole area. This allows us to make a very small incision – no more than the width of your little fingernail – to access the tubes that carry the sperm.
The tubes will be cauterised (heat-sealed) so that no more sperm can enter your semen. There are no scalpels or stitches, and is relatively pain-free. You might just feel a little uncomfortable.
Then we dress the wound, and tell you on how to keep it clean when you go home. You'll get a drink and some biscuits while you put your feet up for a few minutes (it really is as straightforward as it sounds).
Once we've checked your blood pressure you'll be free to go home. You will need to arrange a lift or taxi though; you won't be able to drive.
We give you two testing kits to take with you to confirm the vasectomy's been successful.
Any questions, just ask!
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Put your feet up for two days - the vasectomy recovery process
When you get home you should rest for 48 hours. Try not to stand or walk for long periods of time, and avoid drinking alcohol.
The anaesthetic will wear off after a couple of hours, and you might then feel a bit sore. If it's uncomfortable simply take ibuprofen or paracetamol (if you're not allergic to them).
Wrap some frozen peas in a clean tea towel and put them on your testicles to help with the swelling. Don't get the wound wet though.
Keep the dressing on – and dry – for 48 hours, and then have a short bath or shower to help ease it off. Don't use any bubble bath or soap as they can irritate the wound.
Dry your testicles completely and put on the clean dressing that we will give you at the clinic.
You can get back to having sex as soon as it feels comfortable, usually about a week for most guys. Don't forget to use contraception though, until we confirm that there is no more sperm in your semen. Don't assume this works as a male contraception straight away!
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Put your feet up for two days - the vasectomy recovery process
Don't drive home after the vasectomy - you can drive the next day if you need to.
You'll be fit enough to go back to work in a couple of days, but if you've got a physically demanding job do try and have a week off. You shouldn't be doing any heavy lifting within two weeks of coming home after the vasectomy.
Don't get on a plane for 48 hours after the procedure and avoid long haul flights for at least a week.
Avoid moderate physical exercise for two weeks, including swimming, and golf – even darts or pool down the pub.
More demanding sport such as football, rugby, squash, cycling and skiing should be avoided for a month.
Check on your wound and make a sensible decision on when you should start exercising again.
If you're in any doubt about anything then give us a shout on 0345 122 1441 and we'll be happy to advise.
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Don't worry about the vasectomy side effects
There aren't any! Vasectomy doesn't affect your hormones at all.
Your testicles will still produce testosterone so you'll still want to have sex.
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We'll make sure everything has gone to plan
To make sure that your male sterilisation operation has been successful we need to check your semen to check there is no sperm in it. We'll give you a testing pack containing condoms and sample pots. Follow the instructions to provide us with samples.
You'll need to provide 2 samples, one 16 weeks after the procedure and then another one 2 weeks after that. It's dead easy and can be done at home.
Until then, continue to use alternative method of contraception.
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99% guaranteed vasectomy success rates!
Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but the vasectomy failure rate is only 1%.
Unfortunately the way you'll probably find out is if your partner conceives and becomes pregnant. But that risk is incredibly low.
If you're worried, at a small extra cost we'll test your semen every year to check that it contains no sperm and that the vasectomy is still acting as a contraceptive.
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Marie Stopes are the vasectomy experts
We've completed 140,000 male vasectomies in the last 40 years, making us the most experienced charity carrying them out.
Our professionals are on hand before, during and after the procedure day to answer any questions and put your mind at ease. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day.
We can provide you with peace of mind in the years after your vasectomy. For a small cost we can test your semen every year to ensure that no sperm is present.
We are of course completely confidential, and won't inform anyone about your appointment unless you want us to.
We do suggest though that you talk things through with your partner before committing to having a vasectomy.
Marie Stopes international provides healthcare services to people in the poorest parts of the world. By choosing MSUK for your vasectomy you will be supporting our work in those countries too.
Will I still be able to ejaculate?Yes. Your body will still produce ejaculate. A vasectomy simply stops sperm entering that ejaculate and will act as a male contraceptive. Your ejaculate will appear just the same as normal.
Won't I have really painful stitches in my scrotum?No stitches are needed. The incision's tiny, and will be protected after the procedure by a simple dressing.
Will I ever want to have sex again?The vasectomy procedure has no effect on your sex drive. Your testicles will continue to produce testosterone, so you will still have the desire to lead an active sex life.
When can I get back to having sex?Within a week or so you should be comfortable enough to go back to sex. Just take it easy the first time! You'll also need to keep using contraception until we've tested your semen and it comes back sperm-free.
Will I have to ask the boss for a long time off work?Most men are back at work the next day. You may want to take a couple of days off if you can but you won't need more than that. Just avoid heavy lifting and sport for a couple of weeks and you'll be fine.
Do I have to have children to have a vasectomy?No. We can carry out the procedure whether or not you have children. Just have a serious think about it all, because it can be tricky to reverse the decision.
Does my wife or girlfriend need to give consent for me to have it done?Not at all. Only you can decide whether it is the right decision for you.
I'm still unsure. Is there anyone I can talk to?Yep. Give one of our advisors a shout on our confidential helpline 0845 300 0212
What if I've had surgery on my testicles before?Let us know if you've had a hernia or other testicle surgery. Scar tissue from those could make things a little more complicated, but we'll work it out.
Will he still want to have sex with me? Won't it be the end of our sex lives?The procedure will have no effect on his sex drive. His testicles will continue to produce testosterone and he will still have the desire to lead an active sex life.
But if he can still produce testosterone then surely he can still produce sperm?He will still produce ejaculate but the procedure stops sperm entering it. Everything will seem the same; it's just the tubes that get tied.
Is it 100% effective?It is the most effective method of long-term male contraception. The possibility of failure is 1%. We can test the semen every year to make sure that no sperm has returned.
Will we still have to use contraception?We will test the ejaculate 16 weeks after the procedure to ensure there's no sperm present. Until then you should continue using your existing contraception methods to avoid pregnancy. We still recommend the use of condoms to protect you against STIs.
Will he still feel like a man?He'll soon be able to enjoy sex again and now with the addition of there being significantly less chance of sex resulting in pregnancy