About Vasectomy

What is Vasectomy?

Vasectomy is the procedure which prevents a man from fathering further children.  It does not affect sexual performance or general wellbeing.  It is an effective form of permanent male contraception and is a very safe and simple procedure when compared with female sterilisation.

What is No Scalpel Vasectomy? 

No Scalpel Vasectomy is the modern technique, which is safer, less uncomfortable and has a shorter recovery time than Scalpel Vasectomy.  The British Association of No Scalpel Vasectomists is working to replace Scalpel Vasectomy with No Scalpel Vasectomy as the standard procedure in the UK and abroad.




The sperms which are produced in the testes are transported by a pair of tubes called the vas deferens. The idea of the operation is to cut the tubes which blocks their flow into the semen. The sperms are still produced in the testes but they do not enter the semen.



How is No-Scalpel Vasectomy different from a conventional vasectomy?

In a conventional vasectomy, the scrotum is numbed with an injection of local anaesthetic into the skin on either side above the testes. A small cut is then made in the numbed area with a scalpel and the vas deferens (the tubes that carry the sperms) on each side dissected out in turn. The tube is then cut and the cut ends tied. The small cuts in the skin are then stitched.

The No-Scalpel vasectomy starts with a more effective technique to anaesthetise the skin and the vas. The doctor finds the vas deferens under the skin and holds it in place with a special ring clamp. Instead of making two incisions, a tiny puncture is made in the skin and the vas delivered and blocked with a special cautery instrument called the Hyfrecator. This effectively pushes the blood vessels and the nerves aside instead of cutting across them. No stitches are needed to close the small opening which heals quickly with no scar.

This technique was developed first in China by Dr.Shunqiang in 1974. It was introduced into the USA in 1988. In the UK, doctors have been performing this operation since 1995.

What are the advantages of No-Scalpel vasectomy over conventional methods?

  • Less discomfort
  • One small opening in the skin instead of two incisions
  • No stitches
  • Faster procedure
  • Faster recovery
  • Less chance of bleeding and other complications
  • Just as effective


What is Mini - Needle Anaesthesia?

Mini - Needle Anaesthesia is the use of an extra fine needle similar to an acupuncture needle to deliver the local anaesthetic, further minimising pain and discomfort.

Does No-Scalpel vasectomy work?

Sperms are produced in the testes and carried along the tube called the vas deferens.  It mixes with the seminal fluid near the prostate and is ejaculated through the penis during intercourse.

When a vasectomy operation is carried out, the vas is divided and heat-sealed to stop the sperm reaching the seminal fluid and the penis. The ejaculation contains only seminal fluid and no sperm.

A vasectomy will not affect the male hormone as the testosterone from the testes continues to be released into the blood stream directly.  There is, therefore, no need to worry about a loss of ‘masculinity.'

Is No-Scalpel vasectomy safe?

Yes. It is safe and simple and most men do not have any problems. However like any surgical procedure, it has some risks. There are no life threatening complications associated with No-Scalpel vasectomy. The minor complications are generally short-lived and resolve with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and time.
So, what are the possible complications?

  • Mild discomfort: Some men report a mild aching sensation to the scrotum for a few hours to a few days after the procedure.
  • Bleeding: bleeding into the scrotum causing a small painful swelling and bruising for a few days. A major bleed can cause a grapefruit sized scrotum which can take months to heal, but this is very rare with No-Scalpel vasectomy.
  • Infection: Redness and pus from the healing site opening
  • Epididymitis: Tender swelling of the epididymis, the tube connecting the vas deferens and the testes.
  • Sperm granuloma: Sperm can leak from the cut end of the vas deferens and form a potentially uncomfortable bead like swelling in the scrotum. Most cases are asymptomatic.
  • Post vasectomy pain syndrome: A very rare complication of a persisting pain in the testicle where the inflammation does not settle down. It may resolve on its own or persist.
  • Failure: Because a doctor has inadequately blocked one or both tubes or because one or both tubes has rejoined. 

Is it painful?

This is an almost painless procedure.  You may experience some mild discomfort when the local anaesthetic is administered.  We aim to minimise this discomfort using the Mini -Needle Anaesthesia technique.

Once the anaesthetic takes effect, you should feel no pain.  However, some men feel a slight 'tugging' sensation as the tubes are manipulated.

If you wish, we can give you a mild sedative, to be taken an hour and a half beforehand to relax you.  Most men choose not to have this, however, if you would like to consider this please make enquiries beforehand. 

Is vasectomy a popular contraception?

An increasing number of men are choosing a vasectomy because it is a simple, relatively straightforward procedure and an effective form of permanent contraception.

It is safer and more popular than female sterilisation.

Do I need consent from my spouse/partner?

It is good to discuss this with your spouse/partner, although the final decision is yours.

When should I not consider a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a lifetime decision. Consider the possibility of unforeseen changes in life-divorce, death of a spouse or child, or the just likelihood of you and your partner changing your mind about your desired family size.

A vasectomy might not be right for you if

  • You are young
  • You have few if any children
  • Your current relationship is not stable
  • You are pressurised by your partner or by circumstances
  • You are under a lot of stress
  • Vasectomy is performed during time of personal crisis
  • You have a religious affiliation prohibiting vasectomy
  • You are counting on being able to reverse the procedure later
  • You hope vasectomy will solve sexual and marital problem

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

You should consider a vasectomy to be permanent. A reversal operation is not currently available on the NHS and there is no guarantee that it will be successful.  If you are seriously considering a vasectomy, it is best to assume that it will be a permanent form of contraception.

Will it affect my sex life?

The only thing that will change is that you will not be able to make your partner pregnant. Your penis and testes are not altered in any way. Your body will continue to produce the hormones that make you a man. The operation has no impact on the man’s ability to perform sexually. Vasectomy does not change your beard, your muscles, your sex drive, your erections or climaxes.

Furthermore, most men report that sex is better after vasectomy because they no longer need to worry about an accidental pregnancy.  With the security and peace of mind permanent contraception brings, sex can be more relaxed and spontaneous.

Will I ejaculate normally?

Yes. 95% of what you ejaculate is seminal fluid. This will not be affected by vasectomy and you will be able to have normal ejaculations.

Will I be sterile right away?

No. After a vasectomy, there are always some active sperm left in your system. Some sperms survive in the ‘upstream’ part of the vas deferens for several weeks after vasectomy and these can get into the semen for a while after the operation. It takes about 25 ejaculations to clear them. You and your partner should use some other form of birth control until your semen has been tested and confirmed free of sperm (normally 16 weeks after the procedure)

Will it affect my long term health in any way?

No. Studies have shown conclusively that vasectomised men are no more likely to get heart disease, cancer arthritis or any other diseases. Post vasectomy pain syndrome is extremely rare.

What happens to the sperm after a vasectomy?

Sperms are still made as before in the testes. The sperm cannot get past the blocked vas deferens and are reabsorbed internally. Sperm make up about 1% of the ejaculate, so there will be no detectable difference in the volume. Vasectomy does not reduce the amount of semen you ejaculate during sex as most of it is made in the seminal vesicles and prostate upstream.

Will it protect me from getting STD or AIDS?

No. A vasectomy cannot protect you from a sexually transmitted disease including AIDS. Condoms are still the best protection against these diseases.)

How can I be sure that I need a vasectomy?


  • If you are absolutely sure that you don’t want to have any more children.
  • If you want to enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy
  • If you don’t want to use any other form of birth control
  • If pregnancy poses a risk to the health of your partner
  • You want to save your partner from a tubal ligation which has a higher rate of failure and complications 

A vasectomy should be considered permanent. Reversal operations to reattach the cut ends are expensive and often unsuccessful. If you are asking this question, perhaps vasectomy is not right for you.

Why not a tubal ligation for my partner?

Yes. It is safe and simple and most men do not have any problems. However like any surgical procedure, it has some risks. There are no life threatening complications associated with No-Scalpel vasectomy. The minor complications are generally short-lived and resolve with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and time.
So, what are the possible complications?

  • Vasectomy is preferable to a tubal ligation because tubal ligation
  • Carries a greater potential health risk for a woman
  • Requires general anaesthesia
  • Is an intra abdominal procedure
  • Postoperative recovery is longer
  • Failure rate is more
  • More difficult to confirm the efficacy
  • If pregnancy occurs, it could be an ectopic one

Making an appointment

If you are a private patient you can book an appointment directly with us without being referred by your GP.

If you are an NHS patient you will need to make an appointment with your GP.  Your GP will then be able to refer you to our service.

[Back to top]