Vasectomy, or male sterilisation, is a very effective form of contraception which involves a small operation to cut and seal the sperm tubes (vas deferens) that take the sperm from the testes to the semen in the penis. Men will still be able to produce semen but it does not contain sperm. The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic and takes around 20 minutes.
Vasectomy is considered as a permanent method of contraception; although reversal is possible, it is not always successful. For further details, please click the vasectomy information leaflet.
This is a procedure to reconnect the sperm tubes (vas defers) in order to restore fertility in men who have had a vasectomy and now wish to father children. This is best done under general anaesthetic (asleep) with a cut made in the middle of the scrotum. The two ends of each sperm tube are identified and are carefully reconnected using fine sutures under an operating microscope. The skin of the scrotum is then stitched back using dissolvable sutures. It is expected to see sperms in the semen a few months after the surgery; however, it can sometimes take up to a year.
How successful is the operation?
This is variable, and is largely dependent on the length of time since the initial vasectomy was carried out. For example, the rate of producing viable sperms is around 95% if the vasectomy was done within the last three years and 70% fifteen years after vasectomy. Successful sperm production does not translate into pregnancy in every case and the vasectomy reversal information leaflet provides further information regarding the procedure and outcomes.