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What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a sterilisation operation performed on men. The purpose of this is to make them incapable of fathering further children. A vasectomy is a safe and effective method of contraception, but is permanent and irreversible.

All vasectomy procedures are carried out under local anesthesia. Local anaesthetic is injected under the skin surface on either side of the scrotum to freeze the area. This can be a little uncomfortable for a few seconds. A small cut is made in the skin and the vas (the tube carrying sperm from the testicles to the penis) is pulled out through the skin. A portion of the vas is removed and the ends sealed using a small diathermy needle (electrical). A stitch may then be inserted on either side.

After the procedure

There will be some discomfort for the following 48 hours. Most men have some bruising and swelling. If you are employed we recommend you arrange to take the next day off work. The scrotum should be kept well supported by keeping off your feet as much as possible and wearing tight fitting underpants. The area can be bathed the following day. Adding salt to bath water can help healing. The stitches should dissolve themselves.


20 weeks after your vasectomy you will need to send the clinic a specimen of your semen. The clinic will give you a specimen container after your vasectomy. This should be posted in the envelope supplied. The specimens can be collected either by incomplete intercourse and withdrawal or by masturbation directly into the container. If this specimen shows sperm to be present, a further container will be sent to you. It is important to continue using contraception until you are informed of the success of your vasectomy. We will send you a letter stating your vasectomy has been successful after we receive a negative sample (ie no sperm present).


What is the success rate

If the semen you send us shows no sperm the vasectomy has been successful. If motile (live) sperm are present, the procedure has not been successful. This occurs in less than 1 in 100 cases. At this point, the procedure can be repeated. Once we have received 2 consecutive samples which do not have any sperm present, we will send you a letter confirming that your vasectomy is complete (successful) and further contraception is no longer required. The failure rate following this is 1 in 1000. This reduces to 1 in 5000 once 10 years have passed.

What do I do if I wish to have a vasectomy

It is possible for you to make an appointment at Sandyford to discuss and arrange your vasectomy. You do not need to be referred by your GP. This first appointment is a counselling appointment to talk about the vasectomy. Our clinic contact number is 0141 211 8654.

At the counselling appointment

It may be helpful if your partner attends with you but this is not necessary. During this appointment all aspects of the procedure will be discussed including the failure rate and known complications. If you decide to go ahead you will be asked to sign a consent form. This appointment usually lasts 10-15 minutes. Appointments are available Monday - Friday afternoons (except Tuesday). If you wish to proceed to a vasectomy operation, you will be given an operation date at the time of the counselling appointment.

Operation times

The following operating lists are available:

  • Tuesday 9-11.45am
  • Wednesday 9-11.45 am
  • Friday 9-11.45 am

If you have any queries or problems either before or after your vasectomy you can contact us at the clinic contact number is 0141 211 8654.

Body Mass Index

Please note we have a BMI cut-off limit of 35 and under for vasectomy procedures at Sandyford. If you are unsure of your BMI (body mass index) please contact us on 0141 211 8654 stating your weight and height.