• Over 99.5 % Effective
  • No STI Protection
  • Forever

What is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is minor surgery which block the tubes that carry the sperm. This method of contraception is sometimes also called sterilisation or “the snip”.

illustration of vasectomy

How effective is a vasectomy?

It is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is considered to last forever (permanent).

What stops a vasectomy from working?

It takes around three months from the time of the procedure for a vasectomy to begin working. It is important to have a sperm test to check this.

It is very uncommon for a vasectomy to stop working.

Local anaesthetic: a medicine used to numb a part of your body for a short while. You remain conscious.

General anaesthetic: a medicine used to make you unconscious. This is usually applied during surgery so you are not aware and unable to feel the pain.  

What happens when I have a a vasectomy?

Two small cuts or punctures are made in the groin and the tubes that carry sperm are blocked. 

It is usually done using local anaesthetic, but can be done using general anaesthetic.

How does a vasectomy work?

A vasectomy works by stopping the sperm travelling through the tubes from the testicles (where the sperm are made). This prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from meeting the egg. It takes around 3 months to work. 

Where can I get a vasectomy?

You will need to visit your doctor to organise a vasectomy. If they do not do this procedure themselves, they will refer you to another a doctor. You can get a vasectomy done in a clinic, hospital or day surgery. 

What is good about a vasectomy?


  • Is very effective
  • Can be low cost compared to purchasing other contraceptive methods
  • Is a quick and simple procedure
  • Is permanent (lasts forever)
  • Does not affect your ability to enjoy sex or reach orgasm; and
  • Allows your partner to stop taking other types of contraception, to prevent pregnancy.

Are there any side effects from having a vasectomy?

  • You may have scarring, bruising, lumps or infection at the wound site.
  • It is usually painful for a few days.

Can a vasectomy cause any serious health problems?

Some men can have pain that lasts for months, but this is rare.

Reasons why a vasectomy might not be a good option for you:

  • Think you might want children later  

You are more likely to want a vasectomy reversed if you:

  • Are young (particularly aged under 30 years)
  • Do not have any children; or
  • Are having trouble with your current relationship

What if I have sex before I know whether the vasectomy has worked?

You need to have a sperm test to make sure the vasectomy has worked. If you have unprotected sex before you are sure if the test worked, your partner may need emergency contraception.

What happens if I get pregnant after my partner has had a vasectomy?

The vasectomy won’t harm the pregnancy. It is safe to continue the pregnancyor to have an abortion.

What if I have a vasectomy and my partner and I want a child?

You can reverse a vasectomy, but it can be expensive. You have around a 50-60% chance of fathering a child after reversal.

What else should I know about a vasectomy?

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Where to get more information, support or advice

This is general information only, you should speak to your doctor for advice and further instruction.

Last updated: 28 June 2018