A safe, reliable option.
If your family is complete or you’re sure you don’t want to have children in the future, you may be thinking about vasectomy as your choice for birth control.
What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a form of birth control for men that is meant to be permanent — it lasts for life. It is NOT recommended for teens. During a vasectomy, a health care provider closes or blocks the tubes that carry sperm. When the tubes are closed, sperm cannot leave a man’s body and cause pregnancy.
Does it work?
Vasectomy is the most effective birth control for men. It works more than 99% of the time, but it may take some time to take effect. Sperm can stay beyond the blocked tubes, so you must use other birth control until this sperm is used up, which can take about 3 months. A simple test — called “semen analysis” — shows when no more sperm is left.
Vasectomy does NOT protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STI, also referred to as STDs). STIs can be carried in ejaculate (also called “cum”), whether or not it contains sperm. Condoms can help lower your risk of infection.
What are the benefits?
Vasectomy is safe and, because it lasts for life, it is simple and convenient. It lets women and men enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy.
Vasectomy does not change your hormones or masculinity. And it will not change your ability to get and stay erect. It also will not change your sexuality or sexual pleasure. No glands or organs are removed or changed. You will keep making hormones and sperm. Your ejaculate will look just like it always did and there will be about the same amount as before.
What are the disadvantages?
Vasectomy may not be a good choice if you:
- May want to have your own child in the future.
- Are being pressured by a partner, friends, or family.
- Want to use it to solve problems that may be temporary — such as marriage or sexual problems, short-term mental or physical illnesses, financial worries, or being out of work.
It is important to consider other methods before you choose vasectomy, like condoms, withdrawal, and abstinence. Women have other options too. IUDs and the implant are as effective as vasectomy, simple to use, offer long-term protection, but are not permanent.
Are there any side effects?
There are risks with any medical procedure. Major problems with vasectomy do not happen often. Most are caused by infection.
As with any surgery, there’s some minor pain after the operation. It will be different for each man. However, most men say the pain is “slight” or “moderate” and not “excessive.” An athletic supporter, ice bag, and non-aspirin pain reliever may help ease the pain.
How do I make my appointment?
Call 714.922.4100 to make an appointment for sterilization counseling (for permanent birth control) at one of our health centers. Your health care provider will set up your vasectomy after this visit.
Vasectomies are done in our Costa Mesa and San Bernardino health centers by board certified physicians. The procedure takes about 5-20 minutes, but you may be in the health center for about two hours. You will need to come back for a follow-up visit after your vasectomy to make sure you’re healing and to make sure your vasectomy worked.
How much will it cost?
Planned Parenthood provides vasectomy services confidentially and at low- to no-cost, depending on your income. If you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to get help with the costs.
To schedule an appointment, please call:
Have a question?
Get your sexual/reproductive health questions answered by a certified Health Educator.
Call toll-free: 877.4ME.2ASK
Chat online: PlannedParenthoodChat.org
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