Male Sterilisation (Vasectomy)

Acknowledgment to NHS Lothian and NHS GGC Video courtesy

What is it?

A permanent method of contraception which stops sperm being present in ejaculate.

How does Male Sterilisation work?

The tubes (vas deferens) which carry sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut, tied or sealed. In Ayrshire it is usually done under a local anaesthetic (you are awake throughout the procedure). A small cut is made in each side of the scrotum to access the tubes which are cut and sealed with cautery (heat).

How effective is Male Sterilisation?

Once the operation has been shown to have worked (by handing in semen samples) , only about 1 in 2,000 male sterilisations fail although this can happen at anytime during the rest of your life.

What are the advantages of Male Sterilisation?

It is a permanent method of contraception. It does not interrupt sex. Once the operation has been proved a success you don’t have to think about contraception. The procedure usually only requires a local anaesthetic and is very safe.

What are the disadvantages of Male Sterilisation?

It involves a small operation and usually a few days off work. Contraception must be used after the operation until semen tests show that no sperm are left in the ejaculate. This will take at least 3 months. Most men recover quickly from the procedure, however some men will have complications such as infection or a large bruise in the scrotum (haematoma). Only 1-2% of men have these complications.

Does Male Sterilisation protect against sexually transmitted infections?

No, condoms are the only form of contraception which gives protection against infections such as HIV and Chlamydia.

” What do I do if I want to have a vasectomy”?

You should attend your GP to request a referral to our service for vasectomy.  Following the referral we will contact you to arrange a counselling appointment to discuss the procudure further. It is important that you know your current Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a measurement calculated from your height and your current weight.  If your BMI is above 35 then it is not possible to perform the procudure and we will not be able to accept a referral until your BMI is below this level.  The reason for this are because it will make the procedure technically more difficult and there is a greater risk of complications.