A vasectomy is a minor outpatient surgery that interrupts the flow of sperm from the testicles to the penis. It is usually an elective procedure men choose to have done as a means of permanent birth control. A vasectomy will not affect your sex drive, ability to get an erection, sensation of orgasm or ability to ejaculate.

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There are two types of vasectomies: conventional and non-scalpel. In a conventional vasectomy, a small piece of the tube that connects your testicles to your penis is removed through two small incisions in your scrotum. A no-scalpel vasectomy uses a special instrument to puncture your skin and lift out the tube so it can be cauterized or tied.


After your vasectomy, your scrotum will be numb for one to two hours. You may have some swelling or minor pain in your scrotum for several days after surgery, but unless your work is strenuous, you should be able to return to work in a day or two. You may also have mild aching in your testicles during arousal for a few months after surgery.

Immediately after your surgery, try to lie on your back as much as possible for the rest of the day. Apply cold packs to the area of your scrotum and wear snug underwear or a jock strap for support to relieve discomfort.

You can resume sexual intercourse when it’s comfortable for you, usually in about a week. You should continue to use a backup method of contraception until your doctor confirms that your sperm count is zero.