Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a safe, permanent method of contraception for men who have completed their family or who have decided not to have children. No method of contraception is 100% effective but vasectomy is one of the most effective options available with a failure rate of much less than 0.1%.

A vasectomy is a straightforward day procedure that involves closing off the small sperm carrying tubes (vas deferens) that are located in the scrotum. This blocks the flow of sperm from the testicles, so that when you ejaculate, the semen does not contain sperm.

Dr Marie provides expert no-scalpel open-ended vasectomy in our New South Wales, Canberra and Brisbane clinics; no-scalpel close-ended vasectomy in Melbourne; while our Midland clinic in Western Australia offers both scalpel (incision) close-ended and open-ended vasectomy services.

Both the consultation and procedure take place on the same day, with the procedure taking approximately 30 minutes. Most vasectomies are performed under local anaesthetic but, if preferred, intravenous (twilight) sedation is available at some clinics.

If you have any concerns following the procedure, Dr Marie provides 24-hour aftercare support from our registered nurses via telephone.

You do not need a referral from your doctor to make a booking or have the procedure.

Speak to our friendly staff or book online

Process

To prepare for your vasectomy, you need to follow these following instructions:

  • Do not take painkillers such as ibuprofen (Nurofen), 24 hours before your procedure. Paracetamol-based painkillers (such as Panadol) may be used.
  • Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before your procedure.
  • Shower the evening before, and again on the day of your procedure.
  • Wear firm fitting underwear on the day of your procedure. (i.e. do not wear boxer shorts).

If you choose to undergo conscious IV sedation you must not eat anything (including lollies or gum) for 6 hours prior to your appointment. You may drink small amounts of water only, but no other fluid, up to 2 hours before your appointment.

Call 1300 003 707 to speak to our friendly staff or enquire online.

Vasectomy is the common name for male sterilisation – a permanent method of contraception. It is a simple surgical procedure that closes off the sperm-carrying tubes (vas deferens) in the scrotum to prevent sperm from getting into the seminal fluid when you ejaculate. After the procedure, sperm produced in the testicles can no longer travel through these tubes to mix with semen, so the seminal fluid gradually becomes free of sperm.

There are two main types of vasectomy procedure: scalpel (or incision) vasectomy and no-scalpel vasectomy, which are terms used to describe how the vas tubes are accessed during the procedure. Depending on the sedation used, the whole procedure takes less than 30 minutes. A longer recovery time is required if the procedure is carried out under twilight (intravenous) sedation or general anaesthetic.

No-scalpel versus scalpel (or incision) vasectomy

In a no-scalpel vasectomy, specially-developed forceps or a kind of needle is used to precisely and delicately access the vas tubes. Generally, a scalpel vasectomy involves an incision, which requires some suturing (stitches), while a no-scalpel vasectomy involves a small puncture and does not require stitches.

In both cases, once the small incision heals you will have a very small scar on the scrotum, which will become invisible over time.

Open-ended versus closed-ended vasectomy

An open-ended vasectomy refers to a different method of cutting and blocking the vas tubes. With this type of procedure only one end of the tubes, rather than both ends, is blocked after cutting. The testicular end is left open allowing seminal fluid to flow into a small layer of tissue within the scrotal sac that is fixed in place by fine suturing – a process allowing the body to reabsorb this fluid naturally.

A closed-ended vasectomy, involves the ligation (tying off) or sealing of both ends of the cut vas tubes. In both open-ended and closed-ended vasectomy the testicles continue to produce sperm but the sperm, being unable to travel through the vas tubes, are reabsorbed by the body rather than coming out in ejaculate – the same process that naturally occurs to any unused sperm cells.

Call 1300 003 707 to speak to our friendly staff or enquire online.

A vasectomy is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. Generally, there is very little pain involved with a vasectomy and with a local anaesthetic you will only feel a small pinprick from the needle, followed by numbness in the region. Following the vasectomy, you’ll have a small scar on your scrotum that will lessen over time, and you may feel some discomfort for a few days. This can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and a cold pack.

As a guide, you will be able to return to work the day after the procedure, as long as you are not in a physical profession involving heavy lifting and you may resume sexual activity after one week.

  • If your work is physically strenuous then you may need up to one week off work and then arrange only light duties for the following week. You will also have to stop non-contact sport for up to 2 weeks and all contact sport for up to 4 weeks.
  • You can drive home after your procedure if you have had a local anaesthetic. If you have had IV sedation or a general anaesthetic you should arrange for someone to collect you as you cannot drive until the next day.

It is also very important that you use an additional form of contraception for the first three months following your surgery, until your semen test (taken after 3 months) establishes that no sperm is present.

Call 1300 003 707 to speak to our friendly staff or enquire online.

Prices

Prices are based on the minimum cost for each procedure for patients holding a valid Medicare card. Further discounts apply for Healthcare Card holders in many cases. Visit the prices page to understand the factors that influence cost, or contact us to get an exact price based on your personal circumstances.

Local anaesthetic

FROM $585

IV sedation

FROM $875

FAQ

Vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of contraception with a failure rate of less than 0.1% – making it more effective than female sterilisation (tubal ligation) and reversible methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Generally, there is very little pain involved with a vasectomy and with a local anaesthetic you will only feel a small pinprick from the needle, followed by numbness in the region. Following the vasectomy, you’ll have a small scar on your scrotum that will lessen over time, and you may feel some discomfort for a few days. This can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and a cold pack. Some men describe vasectomy as less painful than stubbing a toe or getting a thumb caught in a door.
No-scalpel versus scalpel (or incision) vasectomy
In a no-scalpel vasectomy, specially-developed forceps or a kind of needle is used to precisely and delicately access the vas tubes. Generally, a scalpel vasectomy involves an incision, which requires some suturing (stitches), while a no-scalpel vasectomy involves a small puncture and does not require stitches.

In both cases, once the small incision heals you will have a very small scar on the scrotum, which will become invisible over time.

Open-ended versus closed-ended vasectomy
An open-ended vasectomy refers to a different method of cutting and blocking the vas tubes. With this type of procedure only one end of the tubes, rather than both ends, is blocked after cutting. The testicular end is left open allowing seminal fluid to flow into a small layer of tissue within the scrotal sac that is fixed in place by fine suturing – a process allowing the body to reabsorb this fluid naturally.

A closed-ended vasectomy involves the ligation (tying off) or sealing of both ends of the cut vas tubes. In both open-ended and closed-ended vasectomy the testicles continue to produce sperm but the sperm, being unable to travel through the vas tubes, are reabsorbed by the body rather than coming out in ejaculate – the same process that naturally occurs to any unused sperm cells.

In both open-ended and close-ended vasectomy the testicles continue to produce sperm but the sperm, being unable to travel through the vas tubes, are reabsorbed by the body rather than coming out in ejaculate – the same process that naturally occurs to any unused sperm cells.
Dr Marie does not offer sperm freezing and storage services but these services do exist for men who think they might want to father children at a later stage. However, we strongly recommend that only men who are ready for a permanent method of contraception consider vasectomy, as there are no guarantees vasectomy can be reversed or that artificial insemination will work.
You should consider vasectomy as a permanent method of contraception. Only men who are absolutely certain they do not want to have any more children, or any children at all, should have the procedure. If you think you might change your mind, you and your partner should consider an alternative method of contraception and wait until you are definite about your decision, as there is no guarantee a vasectomy can be reversed.
Your testicles will continue to produce sperm but, because the sperm can’t get through the tubes any more, they simply get reabsorbed into the body. Vasectomy does not affect your male hormones (testosterone), your sex drive, nor does it have an effect on your ability to ejaculate. The only difference when you ejaculate is that there will be no sperm present in the fluid, but there will be no difference in how much you ejaculate.

There is no reason a vasectomy should impact on your sex drive, your ability to orgasm or ejaculate, and therefore vasectomy will not affect your sex life. In fact, many couples report that their sex life improves after a vasectomy, as they do not have to worry about the risks of an unplanned pregnancy.

A vasectomy is a very safe surgical procedure and the surgical instruments will not go near nerves responsible for your erection. As with any surgery, though, there are some risks, mostly relating to swelling and infection. Prior to the surgery your doctor will discuss any potential complications and side-effects with you. It is very important that you seek medical attention or contact our 24-hour aftercare nurses if you experience complications such as swelling or excessive bruising.
While there has been some speculation about a link between a vasectomy and prostate or testicular cancer, there is no evidence supporting this. As part of any normal sexual health routine, however, we do advise you be aware of what is normal for you and see your doctor if you see or feel any changes in your testicles.4
No, it is important that you use an additional form of contraception for at least the first three months following the surgery, as some sperm will remain in the vas deferens above the blockage until it is gradually cleared during ejaculation.

At around three months after your vasectomy you will need to supply a semen sample to establish that no sperm is present. And, while you may be given clearance at this time to cease using other method of contraception, it is important to know that there is a very small chance (much less than 0.1%) that failure may still occur. No method of contraception is 100% effective but vasectomy is one of the most effective options available.

Importantly, while vasectomy is a very effective form of permanent contraception for men, it does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). If you are unsure about the sexual history of your partner, you should always also use a condom during sex.

The cost of a vasectomy varies. If you have a Medicare card, some of the cost will be covered by Medicare. As with most other private medical treatments or day surgery procedures, there is a fee gap which is not covered by Medicare. If you have private medical insurance your policy may cover all or part of the cost. You will need to check this with your insurance provider.
No condition should prevent a man from having a vasectomy, but certain conditions mean the procedure may need to be delayed or extra precautions taken. For instance, a groin injury, infection or hernias are examples of conditions that may require caution, delay or additional arrangements to be made by the operating doctor. Generally speaking, however, all men who do not wish to have children or who have completed their family are eligible.

No referral is required to make an appointment at Dr Marie.

You will have an initial consultation with a nurse/doctor to discuss the decision and to talk about the procedure. This is a chance for you to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have. Your partner is very welcome to attend this session with you.
Following the procedure, we provide a free aftercare service. We will provide you with an information pack that explains what to do if you are concerned about anything following your vasectomy.

Sources and references

  1. Dohle GR, et al. European Association of Urology Guidelines on Vasectomy. Eur Urol (2011), doi:10.1016
  2. Labrecque M, Dufresne C, Barone MA, St-Hilaire K. Vasectomy surgical techniques: a systematic review. BMC Med 2004;2:21.
  3. Cook LA, Van Vliet H, Lopez LM, Pun A, Gallo MF. Vasectomy occlusion techniques for male sterilization. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007, CD003991.
  4. Cancer Council, Reducing Your Risks: Get Checked Men

Speak to our friendly staff or book online