A vasectomy is considered a minor operation that cut, blocks, or seals the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis, acting as an effective contraception. The whole procedure can normally be completed in around 15 minutes and using local anaesthetic, allowing most men having the operation to return home the same day. In some cases, general anaesthetic may be used, where the patient is asleep during the operation, but this is rare.
A vasectomy can be performed at either a GP surgery, hospital, sexual health clinic, or a private clinic. Before you have a vasectomy, your doctor will ask about your circumstances and provide information and counselling before agreeing to complete the procedure. These steps aim to ensure that you are certain about having a vasectomy.
There are two types of vasectomy that can be performed:
This is the traditional method of performing a vasectomy. During this procedure, local anaesthetic is used to numb the scrotum, allowing the doctors to make two small cuts, one each side, the incisions will be around 1cm long. Through these incisions, the tubes that carry sperm will be cut and a small section removed before they are either tied or sealed. Usually the incisions are then stitched using dissolvable stitches.
As the name suggests, a no-scalpel vasectomy doesn’t involve making incisions. Instead, the doctor will feel for the tubes and hold them in place using a small clamp. An instrument is then used to make a tiny puncture hole in the skin, which can then be opened up using a small pair of forceps. The tubes are closed up in the same ways as a conventional vasectomy but there is no need for stitches. It’s chosen over the traditional operation as it’s thought to be less painful following the procedure and reduce the risk of complications occurring.