Once you have a vasectomy it is very difficult to reverse the process, so it's important to consider the other options available before making your decision. Vasectomy reversal is not usually available on the NHS.
How common is it?
Vasectomy is becoming less common amongst men in the UK as more couples are choosing to have families later in life.
You can have a vasectomy at any age. However, if you are under 30, particularly if you do not have children, your doctor may be reluctant to perform the procedure.
Clinicians do have the right to refuse to carry out the procedure or refuse to refer you for the procedure if they do not believe that it is in your best interests.
What is involved?
Vasectomy involves cutting and sealing or tying the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis. Though you will still ejaculate, your semen will not contain sperm, so your semen cannot fertilise your partner’s egg.
Most vasectomies are carried out under local anaesthetic, and you can usually go home the same day. You will not feel any pain, though it may be slightly uncomfortable.
Soon afterwards you may see blood in your semen for the first few ejaculations - this is not harmful. You may also have a bruised, swollen or painful scrotum for a few days.
You will need to use contraception for up to 8 weeks after the operation, and will have to return to the doctor for up to two semen tests to check that all the sperm have gone.
Read more about vasectomy procedures in our Questions section.