Male sterilization is called vasectomy and involves the interruption of the vas deferns, a tubular structure leading from the testicle to the urethra that the sperm use to travel.  Vasectomy can be performed as an local anesthetic procedure in the clinic, or as an outpatient procedure in the Hospital; either one is effective.

The procedure involves making a small incision in the scrotum, or just penetrating the scrotal skin with a sharp pair of scissors (the so-called no-incision technique), and drawing up the vas deferens through the incision.  Once isolated, the vas is cut, a small segment removed to create a gap, the ends burned to fuse the lumen together, and then the ends folded back on themselves and tied off.  The reason all the maneuvers are required in order to terminate the ends of the vas is that the sperm are living creatures that are always swimming.  They will continue to be produced by the testicle, and the sperm will continue to try and swim to find a way out, and in doing so, they can find weaknesses in the vas wall and create holes through them and try to recreate a canal through the obliterated ends to reform a way to get outside.  Vasectomy failure rates continue to be on the order of 1% with regards to effective sterility.

There has been historical literature suggesting that vasectomy is associated with the development of prostate or other forms of cancer, but this is not true.

Vasectomy should not have any effects on penile or scrotal sensation, erectile function, or orgasm, but the amount of ejaculate fluid may be reduced.  It will also not affect hormone production by the testicles and not lead to earlier “male menopause”.

Potential complications follow those of general scrotal surgery here such as hydrocelectomy here.  In addition, post vasectomy patient may develop pain in the vas deferens, spermatic cord, or testicle that may be persistent (about 1% of the time).  As well one might develop cysts of the epididymis or vas related to the buildup of dead sperm that the body liquifies and tries to reabsorb unsuccessfully which may require excision if they get too large and cause discomfort.

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