Male Sterilisation

What is it?

  • An operation that results in permanent contraception for men who have completed their family or who never want children.
  • Otherwise known as vasectomy.

How does it work?

  • The tube (vas deferens) that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis is blocked off so no sperm are released when the man ejaculates (“comes”).

What’s great about it?

  • Extremely effective. Only 1 in 1000 sterilised men get their partner pregnant.
  • It’s permanent. You don’t need to think about contraception again whilst you are with that partner.

What’s not so great about it?

  • No protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - condoms advised.
  • Involves surgery and an anaesthetic and the risks associated with these.
  • Its permanent - some men decide they want a child/more children and regret being sterilised. Procedures to reverse the sterilisation may not be successful.
  • Not effective right away - may take up to 3 months.
  • The tube / vas deferens can re-join after the operation meaning the partner may fall pregnant.

Where can I get it?

  • A trained health care provider completes the procedure. This can be organised by the GP or at specialised family planning services.

Additional Links


SH.UK offers a range of free sexual health service such as STI testing, treatment and contraception across the UK. Simply register then complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.

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