Vasectomy Information

The Gentle Touch Vasectomy

The No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy is also known as a Gentle Touch Vasectomy. It is a simple, safe, and effective form of permanent birth control for men. This gentle, office-based procedure takes 10-20 minutes to complete.

A vasectomy works by blocking the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. This prevents sperm from entering the semen.

With the Gentle Touch Vasectomy technique, the skin and underlying tissue are anesthetized with a spray applicator. A single, small puncture is made in the scrotum under the penis. Through this tiny skin opening, we access the vas. The vas is then divided, and the abdominal end is sealed off with a cautery. We use a small titanium clip or silk tie to bury the abdominal end of the vas in the surrounding fascia. This is known as fascial interposition. The testicular end is left open, allowing the sperm to leak out and be recycled.

At the end of the procedure, the vas falls into its anatomical position. No sutures are required to close the skin. 

You can go home directly after the procedure.

Sedation

We offer an inhalation anesthetic that gives mild sedation and excellent pain control. This short-acting agent is very effective and is a good option for men who are anxious about the procedure.

Please bring a driver if you plan to make use of the sedation.

Vasectomy is permanent

Vasectomy is for life. After a vasectomy, you will no longer be able to get a woman pregnant. If you are unsure about wanting more children someday, a vasectomy might not be a good choice for you. A surgical procedure does exist to reverse vasectomy; but this operation is expensive and does not always work.

Vasectomy risks

A vasectomy is a very safe, low-risk procedure, but with any surgery, some complications may occur. Mild bruising is the most common complication. We recommend wearing tight underpants for the first week after the vasectomy to decrease your chances of bleeding or swelling.

Other rare complications include: infection (very rare and can be treated with antibiotics), a painful bump on the vas (sperm granuloma), and bleeding into the scrotum, causing a collection of blood (scrotal hematoma). Several weeks after the procedure, about 5% of men experience pain in the testicles that usually only lasts a few days. This is resolved with oral anti-inflammatory medications, like Advil or Motrin. Chronic pain is a very rare complication (about 0.1-1%).

Vasectomy advantages

• No noticeable change in the semen 

• No change in sex drive or climax sensation 

• No change in the testes

• No change in erections

• No need to use other methods of birth control

Vasectomy limitations:

• Not 100% reversible.

• Must use other forms of birth control until sperm-free.

• Does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

Vasectomy fees

Alberta Health covers the basic vasectomy costs. We prefer to use the Gentle Touch Vasectomy technique that requires specialized equipment to deliver the local anesthesia. Combining the No-Needle technique with the No-Scalpel technique makes the procedure essentially pain-free. This combined technique also has the lowest complication rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

No-scalpel vasectomy does not use a scalpel. It uses special small tools to reach the vas by making a tiny opening in the scrotum without cutting. Because this opening is so small, stitches are not needed. This is different from the classic vasectomy that makes two larger openings on the scrotum and sometimes needs stitches. The chance of complications (infection and bleeding) is less with the no scalpel technique. Recovery is also faster. The no-scalpel vasectomy is as effective as classic vasectomy for birth control.

The no-needle and no-scalpel vasectomy technique is the most advanced medical method available.

A vasectomy is an extremely effective method of permanent contraception. However, it can take up to 3 months for it to start working. The semen needs to be checked after the surgery to make sure there is no more sperm in it. Until then, another method of birth control must be used. Sometimes it takes more than one test before it is clear of sperm.

For most men, not at all. Some men notice an increased sex drive after a vasectomy.

Vasectomy does not affect the male hormones produced by the testicles. After a vasectomy, sexual function does not change. Sensation, erection, and ejaculation are the same except the ejaculate no longer contains sperm.

No. The amount of sperm in semen is so small that men do not notice any change. More than 95% of the semen is made in the the prostate and seminal vesicles above the vas. Only a small portion of the total semen volume is made in the testes. After a vasectomy, the only way to tell the difference in the semen is with a microscopic semen analysis.

A vasectomy does not prevent ejaculation. You will not notice a difference in your semen.

Your body reabsorbs the sperm. Our bodies are very good at recycling old or unused cells. For example, we make red blood cells every day, and our bodies do not become overloaded with excess blood. Our bodies simply reabsorb the older blood cells and recycle their proteins and parts. Similarly, the body reabsorbs the sperm that continues to be produced by the testes after the vasectomy.

Most men feel some soreness for a night or two after the procedure and then feel fine. We recommend wearing tight underpants for the first week after the vasectomy to decrease your discomfort and chances of bleeding. Avoid any vigorous activity, including sports and sex, for the first week after your vasectomy.

You should not consider yourself “clear” until a semen check verifies that your semen no longer contains viable sperm. The semen check is an important part of the vasectomy, but bringing the sample in too soon can give you a scare. Sperm can hide in the prostate and seminal vesicles for 2-3 months, so early on a sperm count could be positive even though the vas tubes were successfully sealed. Waiting allows the hidden sperm to be flushed out. There is a very rare chance that the vas can grow back together after a vasectomy. After three months, the semen analysis should show if this occurred. The sample can be collected in the comfort of your home. For most men, the semen check is a simple, last step in the process to ensure a successful vasectomy.

 We use a high-pressure device that sprays the local anesthetic through the skin without making a puncture wound.

We will give you a single-use inhalation device and you can decide when and how much of the anesthetic you need.

Special message for young men with fewer than two children

If you are less than 30 years old and you have had fewer than 2 children, please consider the following points before having a vasectomy:

  1. You may regret it. Men who have vasectomies when they are in their 20’s, especially if they have had fewer than two children, may be the ones most likely to seek vasectomy reversal at a later date, often regretting their vasectomy decisions if their reversals are not successful.
  2. You may change. Many men who think they will never want children when they are in their early 20’s are delighted with fatherhood when they are in their 30’s. You may be totally convinced now that you will never want children, but people change, and you may have a much different outlook 10 years from now.
  3. Women change. Similarly, women who have no desire for children when they are in their early 20’s may have a much stronger desire when they are in their 30’s and when many of their friends are having children of their own.
  4. Relationships end. You may not be with the same partner ten years from now, and a new partner may have a much stronger desire for children than your present partner does.
  5. Considered a vasectomy as permanent and non-reversible procedure
  6. Consider sperm storage