Frequently asked questions

Our clinical team have compiled our most frequently asked questions, simply open each question for further information.

Do I need my GP to refer me for a Vasectomy?

No, a GP referral is not needed. We provide professional pre-op advice and care, as well as the option of a consultation prior to your procedure to discuss whether this is the option for you.

Do I need a consultation/counselling before a vasectomy?

Generally we are able to provide your vasectomy without any prior consultation or counselling, but our consultant will still obtain consent and go through all the relevant paperwork, answering any questions you have.

We also offer patients a prior consultation should they prefer so that if you are not 100% certain you want a vasectomy, the full details of the procedure and whether it is right for you can be discussed. Please note if you then decide you wish to proceed this must be booked for another day.

There are some categories of patients who must book a prior consultation in order for our Consultant to fully discuss the procedure:

  • Poorly controlled diabetics
  • Corticosteriod users
  • Patients on blood thinners (Aspirin, Warfarin, Dabigartan, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Clopidogrel etc).
  • Those with a weakened immune system (immuno-supressed) through any of the following possibilities:
    • Conditions HIV etc
    • Treatments like Chemotherapy, Methotrexate, etc.
    • Operations like organ transplant or splenectomy
  • Hernias into the scrotum
  • If you are less then 30 years old with no children or
  • If you are less than 25 years old and have children
  • Patients with a BMI is above 35 (i.e. you are obese, this can make vasectomy more difficult and infection more likely)
  • Men who have had an orchidopexy (surgery, because as a baby your testicles were not fully descended.
  • Those who have had a vasectomy reversal or other sugery.
  • If you have noticed a lump in your scrotum, which has not been assessed and found innocent by any health professional.

How effective is a vasectomy?

No contraceptive method is 100% effective and there is a 0.005% chance of pregnancy after a vasectomy. This is still more effective than any other form of contraception.

In the first three months following your vasectomy there is a small chance your tubes will grow back to create a new connection where the cut was made, this is called recanalization. That is why it is important to get your semen sample checked 12 weeks after the procedure to ensure there is no sperm in your semen.

There is still a slight chance of recanalization after the first three months, but the chance drops exponentially. There is no way of knowing if this has happened unless you get your semen tested regularly or your partner gets pregnant.

You shouldn’t be alarmed by this as there is still a 99.995% efficacy provided by a vasectomy.

How long will the vasectomy procedure take?

The actual procedure will only take about 15-20 minutes on average, but overall you will spend about 60 minutes at our clinic.

If you have elected to have a consultation with our surgeon before your procedure then this will take 20 minutes, in order to comply with guidelines for surgical procedures and to ensure that you have informed consent we would not be able to perform the procedure immediately after your consultation. You would be required to have a second appointment the following week for the actual procedure if you decide to go ahead with it. Your partner does not have to attend with you, but it may be helpful if they do.

Is there any pain or discomfort during a vasectomy?

You will feel minimal discomfort when the local anaesthetic is injected into the skin, equivalent to a pin prick, as with any small needle injections.

After the local anaesthetic has been applied, you will not feel any pain during the procedure but there maybe some mild discomfort.

After the procedure you may experience some discomfort, but normal “over the counter” painkillers are usually all that is required to alleviate any possible discomfort.

You will be supplied with a complete set of instructions about what to do after surgery.

Can I drive home after surgery?

We would recommend that you have someone to take you home straight after the procedure. This is to avoid any unnecessary movement or pressure on the surgical site caused by driving. In addition your insurance may not cover immediately after you have been given anaethetic.

You should not drive until you feel comfortable and can undertake an emergency stop. If possible, you should rest and support your scrotum for at least 48 hours as the initial period after surgery is crucial for having little or no side effects.

Are there any side effects?

It is very common for men to experience swelling and bruising in the first few days after a vasectomy. This is entirely normal and is part of the recovery process.

If you are particularly uncomfortable you can take over the counter medications like paracetamol to help with the pain.

As with all surgery, there is a low risk of infection. However, the incisions made in the scrotum are small and the likelihood of infection is low.

How long does recovery take?

You will not be put under general anaesthetic so the total time in the clinic won’t be more than an hour. However, for the best recovery we recommend that you rest and recover for at least 48 hours following your procedure. After this your recovery rate will depend on your physical activity.

You shouldn’t drive until at least the following day and you shouldn’t take part in vigorous sport or activity, or weight lifting for at least a week following surgery. 

There might be some swelling, bruising, and discomfort for a few days to a couple of weeks but these should reduce over time. You can manage any pain or discomfort with over the counter medication like paracetamol until you feel fully recovered.

Vasectomy recovery time varies for every man but you should be back to normal activity within a few weeks.

Will I be sterile immediately?

No. After a vasectomy, there are always some active sperm left in your system. It takes at least 30 ejaculations to clear them. New guidance also tells us that the vas deferens can re-canalise for at least 16 weeks.

You and your partner should use some other form of birth control until we have tested your semen after 30 ejaculations and 16 weeks and confirmed sterility.

When can I start having sex again?

We recommend avoiding sexual activity, masturbation and ejaculating for at least a week following the procedure to allow for healing.

After a week, you can return to having sex and masturbating as soon as you feel comfortable, but remember to use some other kind of birth control until we let you know you are sterile.

A Vasectomy will not lower your sex drive.

Where does the sperm go once I’ve had a Vasectomy?

After you have had a vasectomy, sperm is still produced but can no longer travel through the vas deferens. Any sperm produced will be naturally absorbed by the body.

However, please be aware that you must wait for confirmation that your vasectomy was successful following your semen analysis, 16 weeks and 30 ejaculations after the procedure.

Can my vasectomy be reversed?

We advise that you make sure you are 100% certain that you want this procedure before going through with it. A vasectomy should always be viewed as a permanent.

Technically, a vasectomy can be reversed, however, it is a complex surgery that is not always successful. The surgery usually requires general anaesthetic, is rarely funded by the NHS, and it takes a lot longer than a vasectomy. The success rate of a reversal also starts at 55% and drops to 25% if you have the procedure done more than 10 years after your vasectomy.

If you are uncertain about whether you might want children in the future then it is probably better for you to use a different form of contraception that is not permanent.

Sperm Banking

Some men choose to bank or freeze their sperm in case they decide to have children later in life. The saved sperm can be used years later for in vitro fertilisation treatment.

This is a possibility, but you should bear in mind the cost of sperm banking before deciding if this is right for you. You will be charged for sperm tests, blood tests for sperm storage, and an annual storage fee for the sperm itself.

Sperm banking is not a standard feature offered and you will need to find a specialist service provider who is able to safely store the sperm for you.

How much does a vasectomy cost?

At Summerfield Healthcare your health is our priority. That’s why we offer the best possible private medical care with price competitive fees. You can book a vasectomy with us for £499 or £599 if you require a consultation prior to the procedure.

We tailor all our services to your needs, so you can choose if you want a consultation beforehand or if you feel ready to go straight into the procedure. If you are uncertain, contact us and our friendly and professional staff will happily answer any questions you might have and put you in contact with the correct specialist or consultant.

If you have private insurance this will not cover the cost of a vasectomy with Summerfield Healthcare.