Male Sterilization (Vasectomy)

Male Reproductive Organs

The male reproductive organs include the testes, epididymis, vas deferens, prostate gland, scrotum and penis. Sperms are produced by the two testes and stored in the epididymis. During sexual intercourse, the sperms are transported through the vas deferens and ejaculated together with seminal fluid secreted by the prostate gland. Pregnancy occurs when sperm fertilizes the woman's ovum.

What is Vasectomy?

Vasectomy is an operation to divide the two vas deferens. After vasectomy, sperms will continue to be produced by the testes but are no longer transported out of the body. During sexual intercourse, ejaculation will still occur but the semen will contain only seminal fluid and no sperm. The operation is a permanent contraceptive method with a success rate of over 99%. Reversal of the procedure is not often successful, so couples should only consider this method if their family is complete.

How is Vasectomy Performed?

The operation is carried out under local anaesthetic and takes 15-20 minutes. The two vas deferens are located within the scrotum, on either side. After disinfection, local anaesthetic is injected under the scrotal skin. A small 1/2 cm cut is made, through which the vas deferens are cut and tied at both ends. They are placed back under the skin and a few stitches are used to close the wound. These are removed after a week.

How Long Does It Take for Vasectomy to be Effective?

Vasectomy is not immediately effective after the operation because part of the male reproductive tract beyond the surgical cut still contains sperms. Therefore, another reliable contraceptive method should be used until no more sperms are detected. Submission of semen samples is required after the operation. If the test results confirm that there are no sperms in the semen, additional contraception is not required. 


These are rare and may include:

  • Local swelling, bleeding or bruising of the scrotum
  • Wound pain
  • Wound infection
  • Infection of the testes
  • Chronic testicular/scrotal pain may develop several months or years after operation

After Effects of Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a relatively simple operation and is usually performed as a day case which does not require hospital stay. Normal work and physical activities can be resumed after 2 or 3 days, but heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided. There are no long term adverse effects on general health. Libido (sex drive) and sexual performance will not be affected. The testes will continue to produce sperms which will be absorbed into the body. During ejaculation, the semen will contain only seminal fluid and no sperm.

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