Vasectomy

Overview

Definition

Sperm passes from the testicles to the penis in tubes called the vas deferens. A vasectomy is a surgery that blocks these tubes. This makes a man unable to make a woman pregnant.

Male Reproductive Anatomy
male reproductive organs
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Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Chronic pain in and around the testicles
  • Sperm granuloma—lumps caused by an immune system response to sperm leaking from the reproductive organs
  • Ability to still make a woman pregnant

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

  • Smoking
  • Local infections
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Prior surgery in that area

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

RESOURCES

Reproductive Facts—American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.reproductivefacts.org 

Urology Care Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada https//www.canada.ca 

Men's Health Centre http://www.menshealthcentre.net 

References

Sharlip I, Belker A, Stanton H, Labrecque M, Marmar J, Ross L, Sandlow J, Sokal D. American Urological Association Vasectomy Guideline. Updated 2015. Available at: http://www.auanet.org/guidelines/vasectomy-(2012-amended-2015).

Vasectomy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115819/Vasectomy  . Updated December 15, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2017.

Vasectomy. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vasectomy/Pages/default.aspx. Updated June 3, 2013. Accessed December 18, 2017.

Vasectomy. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/vasectomy. Accessed December 18, 2017.

6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905141/Treatment-for-tobacco-use  : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.