Vasectomy - Male Sterilization

This procedure prevents pregnancy by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm.

This procedure prevents pregnancy by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm.

The testicles are two glands found in the male reproductive system. They are located in the scrotum, a sack that sits behind the penis. Their primary function is to produce sperm and testosterone (a male hormone).

  • The vas deferens are two tubes that go from the testicles to the urethra (a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).
  • The vas deferens carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra, where they are ejected from the body during sexual activity.
  • The prostate gland is another gland in the male reproductive system. It makes seminal fluid, which is released during ejaculation. The purpose of seminal fluid is to nourish and carry sperm. The prostate will continue to make seminal fluid after a vasectomy. However, the fluid will not contain any sperm.

A vasectomy is considered a permanent procedure that results in male sterility. It involves cutting and sealing (typically by cautery, suturing, stapling or applying clips) the tubes that carry sperm (the vas deferens). This prevents pregnancy by preventing sperm from leaving a man's body during sexual activity.

  • The vas deferens can be cut and sealed (typically by cautery, suturing, stapling or applying clips) through a small incision or puncture wound in the scrotum. No stitches are required when the procedure is performed through a puncture wound.
  • After a vasectomy a man will continue to make semen. However, the semen will not have any sperm so pregnancy will not usually occur. (Under very rare circumstances, a pregnancy may occur after a vasectomy.)
  • It is important to note that a vasectomy is considered a permanent method of preventing pregnancy.

A vasectomy should be thought of as a permanent form of birth control.

  • Do not consider a vasectomy unless you are sure you do not want to have children in the future.
  • In some cases the procedure can be reversed. However, the operation to do so is much more difficult and may not be successful.
  • If you are in a committed relationship, make sure you discuss the procedure with your partner.

In most cases, a vasectomy is done in a healthcare provider's office. (In some cases, it may be done in an outpatient surgical facility.) The area will be cleaned, shaved, and numbed before the procedure. Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over the counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:

  • Medications you should not take before the procedure, such as blood thinners
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your procedure
  • If you should stop eating and drinking before the procedure

When you go the office, bring a scrotal support and wear loose, comfortable clothing. After the procedure you should wear the scrotal support for a few days. You may also need to use ice and over-the-counter pain medication.

This care path includes the costs for a vasectomy performed in a healthcare provider's office. Your costs will be more if it is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a vasectomy?

  • What are the pros and cons of both types of vasectomies?
  • What are the possible complications for each procedure?
  • Is there any other special preparation for the procedure? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • How soon can I resume sexual activity after the procedure?
  • How will I feel after the procedure? Will I have to modify my activity?
  • When can I shower or bathe as I normally do?

After your procedure, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. Make sure you understand all home care instructions (including when you can participate in sexual activity) and follow-up plans (including post-procedure testing of semen). Don't forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the office and help at home if needed.


Also known as:

Vasectomy - Male Sterilization
Vas Deferens
Male Sterilization
Cut Tubes helps consumers determine the average cost of common medical procedures in their location. By gathering and analyzing data from leading insurance providers across the US, patients can compare the estimated price of common medical procedures to determine their approximate out-of-pocket expenses. All rates are approximations and not guarantees based on data that is available to the consumer. There are currently 638 procedures available in our database. These results and the information contained within should in no way take the place of actual medical advice.

Do not avoid getting health care based on the information on this site. Not affiliated with any insurance provider, hospital, or medical professional. Prices are just estimates based on available data, and may vary based on plan, state, and provider. For informational purposes only.