Vasectomy

Overview

Definition

Sperm passes from the testes 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

If you are planning to have a vasectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications with you, which may include:

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

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • 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

American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.asrm.org 

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

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca 

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

References

Vasectomy. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vasectomy/Pages/default.aspx. Updated June 3, 2013. Accessed November 18, 2015.

Vasectomy. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/vasectomy-4249.htm. Accessed November 18, 2015.

6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: 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.e8.

10/26/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Sharlip I, Belker A, Stanton H, Labrecque M, Marmar J, Ross L, Sandlow J, Sokal D. American Urological Association Vasectomy Guideline. 2012.