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 vasectomies are one of the most effective options available with a failure rate of much less than 0.1%.
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.
Depending on the sedation used, the whole procedure takes less than 30 minutes. Most vasectomies are performed under local anaesthetic but, if preferred, twilight sedation is available at some clinics. A longer recovery time is required if the procedure is carried out under twilight sedation.
If you have any concerns following the procedure, we provide 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.
For more information about the procedure you may wish to explore our FAQ section below.
This patient information video also provides a brief introduction to what to expect from your vasectomy appointment at Marie Stopes.
Alternatively, please call our customer service advisors to discuss your options further.
Speak to our friendly staff about a vasectomy appointment or book online
Vasectomy costs are based on the minimum cost for patients holding a valid Medicare card. Further discounts apply for Healthcare Card holders in many cases. You may also wish to contact your private health insurer if you have private coverage to see what rebates are available with your fund.
Private health rebates
If you do not hold a valid Medicare card, please contact us for a cost estimate, or speak to your private health insurance provider if you hold private health insurance, as rebates may still apply. Check our locations page to find out which clinics are eligible for private health rebates. Rebates apply for vasectomy under IV sedation and local anaesthetic at select clinics.
- 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 continue to drink a small glass of water each hour up to 2 hours before your appointment, but no other fluid.
No-scalpel versus scalpel 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.
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.
Vasectomy: what to expect
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.
At around 3 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.
No referral is required to make an appointment at Marie Stopes Australia.