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.
To prepare for your vasectomy, you need to follow these following instructions:
- Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen (Nurofen) or fish oil within 48 hours of 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).
- You are required to shave your pubic hair on the morning of your procedure, as per the saving instruction in the vasectomy patient information pack.
If you choose to undergo 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. If you have IV sedation you must arrange for an appropriate support person to accompany you home.
No scalpel versus scalpel vasectomy
Before the no scalpel method, many vasectomies would require a scalpel incision and therefore, sutures. A no scalpel vasectomy only requires a single small puncture in the skin, and no stitches. We do this with a specially designed set of forceps. This decreases the chance of infection and minimises the chance of pain.
Some vasectomies may be advertised as a ‘no scalpel, no needle’ procedure. Before booking with one of these practitioners it’s important to ensure that they are doing this with devices approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Currently there are no devices capable of delivering a local anaesthetic through the skin that are TGA approved.
Open ended versus closed ended vasectomy
A closed-ended vasectomy blocks both ends of the cut tube either with suture, clip or by diathermy. The closed-ended method used to be the standard procedure for vasectomies. However, it led to some patients experiencing congestive epididymitis (tenderness caused by pressure building up).
An open-ended vasectomy only closes the upper part of the tube, leaving the end connected to the testicle completely open. This allows the sperm to be released within the scrotum, which is not noticeable as the volume is very small. The sperm are naturally reabsorbed and there is less chance of congestive epididymitis and other complications.
Vasectomies are usually carried out under local anaesthetic. Our doctors use a local aneasthetic technique which results in most patients feeling less pain than expected, or no pain at all during the operation. Following the procedure, 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 7 days.
- If your work is physically strenuous then you may need up to 1 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.