A vasectomy is a popular method of male contraception, chosen by millions of men worldwide.
But there are still plenty of guys who aren’t entirely sure about what it is, how much it costs and what it actually entails.
To clear things up, we spoke to Genevieve Edwards, policy director at Marie Stopes UK, about the quick and easy procedure.
Who can have the procedure?
A vasectomy can be completed within 15 minutes, often using local anaesthetic, which numbs the scrotum and testicles.
It’s considered a permanent contraceptive option, ideal for those who don’t want to have any, or any more, children.
“Most men who choose vasectomy do so because they feel that they have completed their family, but others simply don’t want children,” says Edwards.
“Men can legally request a vasectomy from the age of 18, but we recommend that anyone under the age of 25 has counselling to ensure he understands that the procedure is likely irreversible.
“There is no maximum age limit.”
How effective is it?
In most cases, vasectomy is more than 99% effective. Out of 2,000 men who are sterilised, one will get a woman pregnant during the rest of his lifetime.
“It is one of the most effective methods of contraception that exists,” adds Edwards.
What does a vasectomy entail?
Despite it being called ‘the snip’, there is actually no cutting involved, according to Edwards.
She says that the procedure involves using heat to seal the tubes that carry sperm to the seminal fluid (semen), which is ejaculated from the penis during sex.
“After a vasectomy, the testicles will continue to produce sperm as normal, but it will simply be absorbed into the body,” says Edwards.
“The incision is very small, and no scalpel or stitches are needed.”
She continues: “Most men who have it can return to work the following day.
“It’s safe, effective and offers a permanent solution to contraceptive needs.”
Does it affect your ability to orgasm?
“For many men who choose to have a vasectomy, one of their first questions is whether it will have an effect on their orgasms,” says Edwards.
“It’s an understandable concern, but the procedure does not affect a man’s hormones, ejaculation or orgasm so there is no physical reason why it should have a negative impact on a couple’s sex life.
“Many couples find having a vasectomy improves their sex life – enjoying greater sexual freedom once they no longer have the worry of an unplanned pregnancy.”
How much does it cost?
If you’re looking to have a vasectomy done privately, it could cost around £400.
However you can also be referred by your GP to have it done under the NHS for free.
“To find out if you’re eligible to have a vasectomy at Marie Stopes on the NHS, please call us on 0345 300 0212 with details of where you live and which GP practice you are registered with,” adds Edwards.