Vasectomy, or male sterilisation, is a highly effective, permanent method of contraception. It involves a short, minor operation and does not affect your sex drive or how you have sex.

  • frequency: fit and forget

  • effectiveness: over 99%

  • STI protection? no

  • periods: not applicable

What you need to know about vasectomy

Vasectomy is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It’s a good option if you’re sure that you don’t want children and are willing to have a small operation.

How does vasectomy work?

It involves cutting the vas deferens (or sperm duct), the tube that transports sperm from the testicle to the penis. Although you still produce semen, there’s no sperm in it. So it cannot cause a pregnancy. Vasectomy does not affect your libido or how you have sex.

Vasectomy and your health

There’s a small risk of infection after vasectomy. 1 in 300 people experience longer-term testicular pain and 40% experience small, hard lumps near the cut. These lumps are temporary and usually heal themselves.

About the procedure

You’ll need a referral to a surgeon, usually a urologist, from either your GP or sexual health clinic. You’ll then have a counselling session before your operation. The surgery is a 15-minute procedure, carried out under local anaesthetic.

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