Family planning (vasectomy)


Vasectomy is a procedure for birth control for the male. It is a procedure with high success rate. It can be performed using minimally invasive surgery.


The procedure can be performed under general or local anaesthesia. Two small puncture wounds are made on both sides of the scrotum. The vas deferens (the tube that carries the sperm from the testis to the penis) on both sides is divided and the two cut ends tied off. A small piece of the vas is usually sent to the laboratory for confirmation. The procedure is usually done as a day surgery.

Vasectomy (image from Timdwilliamson)

What precautions need to be taken after the procedure?
The procedure does not make the patient immediately sterile. There will be some residual sperm in the semen that needs to be expelled before the patient is sterile. The patient will need to ejaculate about 10 – 20 times before the sperm are completely cleared. After operation the patient will be advised to:

  • Continue using contraception (eg. Condoms)
  • Submit the semen for analysis after he has completed 10 – 20 ejaculations. This is to confirm that he is sterile and no longer requires contraception.