A vasectomy is a surgery to render a man unable to have children, or sterile. It is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in America, with more than half a million men electing to have the procedure each year. While surgery to sterilize women is more popular, the vasectomy surgery is far less invasive and offers a much quicker recovery.
Insurance typically pays for a vasectomy, unless the plan does not pay for birth control of any kind. If the surgery will be paid for out of pocket, plan to pay $750 to $1,500 dollars in most areas. Unlike a tubal ligation, the comparable surgery for women, a vasectomy is performed in a doctor’s office, making it more affordable.
The vasectomy surgery works by preventing sperm from exiting the body. This is done by severing or blocking the vas deferens, the duct through which sperm travels from the testes and out of the body. Sperm is produced, but it cannot travel outside the body when a man ejaculates.
While the surgery is effective at preventing pregnancy, it does not alter the ability to have/maintain an erection. There is no change in the quality or quantity of semen, nor is there a change in the ability to ejaculate.
This procedure is permanent, so the decision to have the surgery should not be made lightly. You need to be sure that you do not want to have children again, regardless of your marital situation.
It is best to assume that the procedure will mean life-long sterility. While there is a procedure to reverse a vasectomy, the success of that procedure is by no means guaranteed. A vasectomy reversal can also be very expensive as insurance does not typically cover the costs.
A successful vasectomy prevents pregnancy; however, it does not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease. Condoms and appropriate precautions should be used to prevent STDs after the surgery.