Vasectomy refers to a number of different contraceptive options for males that permanently blocks the vas deferens, tubes that add the sperm to semen.
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Street names The snip
Medical names Vasectomy, sterilisation
Effectiveness 99.8% ?
It lasts Forever
Fertility Permanently infertile
Who can use it? People with testes and penis
Hormones Does not contain hormonal medication
Visibility Very discreet, requires a few days to recover
STIs No protection ?
Side effects Extremely rare and most commonly linked to anaesthetic used in operation
Cost Between $350 and $1080 for the small procedure depending if you have a Medicare Card or private health insurance
Where to get it Ask a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor for a referral

How does it work?

Vasectomy prevents the release of sperm into semen. It blocks the vas deferens, 2 thin tubes that carry the sperm to the penis. The tubes are usually either cut and/or tied with a small piece of string. Sperm continue to be produced in the testes but they dissolve into the blood stream. Semen is still ejaculated during sexual activity; however it does not contain sperm. This prevents pregnancy.

Sometimes straight after the operation, sperm can remain in various parts of the tubes. An alternative contraceptive method will need to be used for 3 months and a semen test needs to be done to check the procedure has been effective before it can be relied on for contraception.

You will still need to consider the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) every time you have sex.

What’s it like?

It is a 20-40 minute operation that involves a local anaesthetic, so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. The doctor makes a small cut in the side of the scrotum to operate on the vas deferens. For some people recovery is almost immediate, others may take a few days of rest. It may take a few weeks to re-establish a sexually active routine.

After experiencing sterilisation your physical feelings during masturbation and sex do not change. During orgasm semen is still ejaculated via the urethra.

What if I forget about it?

Vasectomy is permanent.

Who can use it?

People with testes and a penis who are certain they do not want to have children. It is suitable for people who may, or may not, have already conceived children.

Sterilisation is not usually recommended for young men.

Side effects

Plan to have 2-3 days of rest following the procedure, as pain may include effects such as nausea and headaches. Use ice packs, and/or anti-inflammatory medication to manage any pain. If you experience any short term bleeding from the urethra (tip of the penis) contact a medical professional for advice.

Long term effects from vasectomy are very unlikely.

If at any point you feel that this contraceptive method is making you feel uncomfortable or unwell, get advice from a doctor or medical professional. If it is an emergency, call an ambulance on 000.

How and where to get it

Contact your reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor for a referral to a surgeon in your local area.

Vasectomy costs approximately $350-$1080.

What if you change your mind

You need to be certain before getting the operation that this is what you want. Some people say that sterilisation is reversible; however attempts at reversals are not recommended as they are usually unsuccessful.