VASECTOMY. Information Leaflet. Your Health. Our Priority.

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1 VASECTOMY Information Leaflet Your Health. Our Priority.

2 Page 2 of 5 What is a vasectomy? A vasectomy involves cutting the two tubes (vas deferens) that carry sperm from your testicles to your penis. A vasectomy will not affect your enjoyment of sex or your sex drive. You will still have erections and produce the same amount of fluid when you ejaculate. The only difference is that the fluid will not contain sperm. However, you will still produce sperm, but they cannot travel out through your penis and are naturally reabsorbed by the body. A vasectomy does not protect you from getting sexual transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore it is advised to practice safe sex and use condoms. Illustration showing the male reproductive system Does a vasectomy work? Vasectomy is a very reliable form of contraception. It is estimated that over a lifetime a pregnancy results for 1 in 2,000 men who have had a vasectomy. Can a vasectomy be reversed? A vasectomy should be considered as a permanent operation. It is essential that you and your partner carefully consider that this is what you both want to do. However, some men due to different circumstances come to regret the operation and want to have it reversed. A vasectomy reversal operation rejoins each of the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis, which were cut during the vasectomy. However, this does not guarantee that your fertility will be restored. What should I expect before the operation? Before the operation you will be asked to sign a consent form. This confirms that you understand the risks, benefits and possible alternatives to the procedure and have given your permission for it to go ahead you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may

3 Page 3 of 5 have. You will be asked to attend for pre-operative assessment to ensure you are fit to undertake the procedure. The operation The operation takes approximately minutes and is usually performed as a day case, which means that you can have the operation and go home the same day. The procedure is usually performed under a local anaesthetic and you will be awake during the procedure. Less commonly a general anaesthetic is used, in which you are asleep throughout the procedure. You may need to stay in hospital overnight. Once the local anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make tiny cuts (about 1cm) in both sides of your scrotum or one cut in the centre of your scrotum. A section of the vas deferens will be carefully pulled out through the cut or small opening. Each tube will be cut and a small section will be removed. The ends of the tubes will then be closed off by either tying them or sealed off using diathermy (an instrument that heats to a high temperature). The vas deferens will then be gently placed back into your scrotum and the cuts will be closed using dissolvable stitches or adhesive strips (e.g. Steristrips). The dissolvable stitches will disappear after about a week. Often a dressing is not required. The sections of the tubes that are removed are no longer routinely examined in the laboratory to confirm that they are vas deferens. They will only be sent if there is any doubt. After the operation Before discharge your doctor or nurse will give you advice about caring for your wounds. You will be advised to wear supportive underwear to help relieve any discomfort from your testicles, which will be sore for a few days. This discomfort can be relieved by taking painkillers that you would normally take for a headache e.g. paracetamol. If you have had a general anaesthetic it is advised that you have someone to look after you overnight. Recovering from vasectomy You are advised to take it easy for a couple of days, but you can drive and go back to work as soon as you feel able. For as long as you need, wear close-fitting supportive underwear, this will help support your scrotum and ease any discomfort and swelling. Avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercise during the first week after the operation. After you bath or shower you should dry the area gently and thoroughly. Sex and contraception You can have sex as soon as you feel comfortable to do so, but it is advised that you use another form of contraception e.g. a condom or diaphragm (cap) with spermicidal gel until the live sperm that remain in the tubes have gone. You will require at least one semen test to ensure that your tubes are clear of sperm. The semen sample should be taken 16 weeks after surgery. Once the test shows that your semen is clear of sperm, you will no longer need to use other methods of contraception.

4 Page 4 of 5 Serious or frequently occurring risks Common Irreversible Procedure Small amount of scrotal bruising At least 1 semen sample is required to rule out live sperm before we recommend unprotected sexual intercourse. Occasional Bleeding requiring further surgery or bruising Rare Rarely, inflammation or infection of testes or epididymis requiring antibiotics Re-joining of vas ends resulting in fertility & pregnancy (1 in 2000) Chronic testicular pain (5%) or sperm granuloma Alternative methods of contraception Other forms of contraception are available for both male and female. Further advice can be provided by your GP or other appropriate health care professionals. Contact Numbers Stockport Tel: Tameside Tel: /6696 Macclesfield Tel:

5 Page 5 of 5 If you would like this leaflet in a different format, for example, in large print, or on audiotape, or for people with learning disabilities, please contact: Patient and Customer Services, Poplar Suite, Stepping Hill Hospital. Tel: Our smoke free policy Smoking is not allowed anywhere on our sites. Please read our leaflet 'Policy on Smoke Free NHS Premises' to find out more. Leaflet number URO40 Publication date January 2016 Review date January 2018 Department Urology Location Stepping Hill Hospital

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