Eggs next to the groin area

Vasectomy FAQ: We Answer Your Top 10 Questions


  • Vasectomy is a permanent method of male birth control. 
  • The method requires a minor, outpatient surgical procedure. 
  • Vasectomy is up to 99.7 percent effective. 
  • For some men, the method can be reversed, but there’s no guarantee. 
  • Getting a vasectomy does not cause erectile dysfunction. 

Vasectomy is a permanent method of male birth control. It’s nearly 100% effective, but once done, it may not be possible to get your fertility back. Understanding how the method works along with its risks and benefits will help you make the right decision. 

1. What happens to a man when he gets a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a simple procedure that prevents sperm (your reproductive cells) from mixing with semen (fluid expelled during ejaculation). 

Your doctor will cut your vas deferens (a tube that transports sperm into your urethra to get it ready for ejaculation). Depending on the method, they will close either one or both of the tube ends. The whole procedure takes no more than 30 minutes.

2. How painful is a vasectomy?

To get access to the vas deferens, the doctor needs to cut through the skin and tissue on the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles). With the traditional approach, he or she will use a scalpel to make a small incision. A newer method doesn’t require a skin incision. 

The surgeon will then separate the layers of tissue and bring part of the tube out to make the snip. 

The procedure is painless, thanks to local anesthesia. You won’t feel sharp pain, but you may feel some pulling and the movement of the surgical instruments. In some cases, doctors may offer full sedation, so ask if you think you’ll want this option. 

3. What can I expect after the vasectomy?

After the surgery, you may have some pain for a few days. Usually, regular painkillers are enough to manage the pain. Your scrotum and testicles may feel tender, and you may notice some swelling. You can also use an ice pack for relief. 

Your doctor will tell you when you can go back to work and regular activities. If you have an office job, it may be possible to return the next day. Most men fully recover from the surgery within a week.

4. What are the risks of a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a very safe procedure, but there are some risks involved. Stronger and long-lasting pain is a rare complication, affecting 1-2 percent of men. 

Other potential problems include hematomas (localized internal bleeding) and infection, but these don’t happen very often. 

5. Is a vasectomy 100% effective?

Vasectomy is the most reliable contraceptive option for men, but it may not work for everyone. On average, it’s more than 99 percent effective. 

Experts suspect that some surgical techniques may be better than others. We need more studies to understand which option is best at preventing pregnancy. For example, the use of cautery (burning of the cut ends of the tubes using heat or electrical current) is up to 99.7 percent effective.

Vasectomy is up to 99.7 percent effective in preventing pregnancy

6. How long do I have to wait to have sex after a vasectomy?

Your physician will tell you when it’s safe to resume sexual activity after a vasectomy. As a rule, you should not ejaculate for a week after. Depending on how the procedure went, you may have to wait a bit longer before having sex again. 

Your body needs time to heal, especially if you have stitches. Also, any swelling or bruising in the area can make sex feel uncomfortable. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and wait a few more days. 

Keep in mind that the recommendation to abstain from ejaculation includes masturbation. 

7. Can we stop using birth control right away after a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a very effective form of birth control, but it doesn’t work instantly. Even when the vas deferens has been cut, there’s still a reserve of sperm stored in the parts of your reproductive system leading to the urethra. 

Your ejaculate will be free of sperm after about three months or 20 ejaculations. You should get a test to make sure the procedure has worked and to confirm you’re good to go without other forms of birth control. On rare occasions, a man may need a repeat procedure.

8. Can a vasectomy cause erectile dysfunction?

Vasectomy doesn’t affect your ability to get and keep an erection. In fact, research shows that men had better erectile function after vasectomy than those who did not have the procedure. 

There are several possible causes for the improvement in sexual function. One major reason is the elimination of the fear of unplanned pregnancy. If you’re sure there won’t be any surprises, you can focus on pleasure. 

Also, if you used condoms before, you may feel a difference in sensitivity. Many men also complain that the need to interrupt erotic activity to put on a condom contributes to their ED. 

Vasectomy doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction

9. Will a vasectomy affect my sex drive?

Fears of low desire after a vasectomy are as unfounded as those about erectile dysfunction. It looks like some guys even get a libido boost after getting their tubes cut; in one study, most men had higher sex drive following the procedure. 

Another study, conducted on married couples, showed that the vasectomy procedure had neither positive nor negative impact on sexual satisfaction or relationship quality of the male partner. 

10. Can a vasectomy be reversed?

Sometimes men change their minds and wish to reverse their vasectomy. The good news is that in most cases, you can get your fertility back — but it will cost you. Most health systems don’t cover the costs, and the procedure is expensive. 

Depending on the method used and the amount of time that’s passed since their vasectomy, up to 97 percent of men get sperm back in their semen following a reversal. 

Your doctor may tell you how likely you are to get fertility back, taking into account all the factors affecting your particular situation. 

Keep in mind that even if the reversal is successful, it may still take months or even years for your partner to become pregnant. Success depends on many factors, including your partner’s age and health. 

If natural attempts to conceive fail, you can use assisted reproductive technologies, such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. 

Stay Up To Date With Your Sexual Health

Getting a vasectomy can increase your sexual confidence, but it will not solve any preexisting problems such as erectile dysfunction. eDrugstore can help you get your sexual health back on track. 

Our online pharmacy offers a complimentary consultation with a U.S.-licensed physician. Get your prescription here without leaving the house, and have your medication delivered quickly and discreetly to your door.

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