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What the vasectomy procedure involves

The team of specialists at Bridgewater Family Planning Services in Frodsham offer safe vasectomy procedures for gentlemen registered with GPs in the following areas: Frodsham, Chester, Warrington, Southport, Crewe, Macclesfield, St Helens and Birkenhead. Contact us to enquire.

Simple contraceptive procedure

A vasectomy, or sterilisation, is a permanent form of contraception for men. The method is a simple, straightforward operation that stops sperm from entering the semen.


Prior to your vasectomy treatment, we will arrange for a consultation with a certified medical professional so that you can discuss the procedure with them and have any questions answered. Your partner may be present during this appointment if you so wish.


You have access to counselling if you wish to further discuss your options or decision. We can also advise you on the aftercare and assist with your safe recovery. Call our experts for more information.

On the day of the operation

Here is what we do once you arrive:


  • You will be met by an administrator who will book you in. You will then be met by a nurse who will take you to the operation room where the procedure will be carried out.

  • The nurse will ask you to take off some clothes and to lie on the operating couch.

  • The surgeon will ask you to remove your underpants and will then cover your lower body and scrotum with sterile paper.

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  • After examining you, the surgeon will then inject local anaesthetic into the skin and deep tissues on the right side of the scrotum.
  • A small opening will be made in the skin, and the vas (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles) will be drawn through it.

  • A piece will be removed from the vas, and the ends will be tied with suture material.

  • The same procedure will then be carried out on the left side.

  • You will then be offered coffee or tea in the recovery area.

  • After 30 minutes, the nurse will check you have fully recovered and discharge you. The nurse will make sure you have all the information and containers you require to carry out the post-operative semen tests.

  • Please arrange for someone to collect you after the operation as it’s not safe to drive for 3-4 hours after local anaesthetic.

When you leave, we will give you a questionnaire to return, to let us know what you thought of the process.

  • Do you have any doubts about going ahead with the procedure?
    As a vasectomy is such an important step to take, you may feel it wise to review a variety of other sources so that your decision to have a vasectomy is fully informed. We will endeavour to answer all your questions regarding vasectomies in good time before your operation; however - if you are uncertain - we would recommend that the operation be delayed until you are perfectly satisfied and content with your decision. If you think there are any other issues that should be covered in this guide, please tell us. We want this site to be helpful and informative and your cooperation is invaluable.
  • Long terms effects after the vasectomy procedure
    Post-vasectomy pain (risk: 1 in 25) The pain may be due to scar tissue forming or increased pressure inside the tissues on the back of the testicle (epididymis). The discomfort may last for up to six months and be worse upon ejaculation. Painkillers and antibiotics may be needed. Persistent pain is a reason for review by your general practitioner or Bridgewater Family Planning Services in case further treatment - including surgery - is needed to resolve the pain. Depending upon the cause of the pain, you could be offered an operation to remove the epididymis or reverse the vas. In some cases, the problem settles down on its own without the need for surgery. All surgeries have risks and - if a further procedure is offered - you will be advised of any potential difficulties. Sperm granuloma (risk: 1 in 50) Sperm may leak and cause small painful swellings at the end of the vas tube near the operation site. A knock may also burst the tube with sperm escaping into the scrotum producing a lump. This should be reviewed by your general practitioner or Bridgewater Family Planning Services. This may not need surgical removal and other treatments may resolve your symptoms. Pregnancy If the tubes rejoin, sperm will mix with your semen and you will be fertile again. The tubes can rejoin many months or even years after your operation (risk: 1 in 2000 after being given the all-clear) and pregnancy can occur. A repeat vasectomy may need to be done under general anaesthetic. General health There is no link between vasectomies and an increased risk of any cancer. If you smoke, try quitting now. There is strong evidence that stopping smoking several weeks or more before anaesthetic reduces your chances of getting complications. If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce your chances of developing complications. Scrotal pain Many men who have never had a vasectomy can experience pain in the scrotum. It is important to isolate the cause of any scrotal pain. We are always happy to help in this process, so don’t be afraid to ring up and make a follow-up appointment if you are concerned. We may not always be best suited to resolve your problem but we will ensure that you are sent to the most appropriate service in order to resolve any issues.
  • Reversing a vasectomy
    A vasectomy is a permanent method of contraception. Although it is possible to have an operation to re-join the tubes, this does not work for everyone and may not be available on the National Health Service (NHS). You should assume that you will not be able to have children again. Even if your current relationship ends and you begin a new one or something happens to one of your existing children - you cannot assume a reversal operation will be successful or available on the NHS. After the procedure: You will be given a questionnaire to complete and return with your first semen test. Your responses, based upon your feelings and experiences, help us improve the service.
  • Short term issues after the vasectomy procedure
    Bruising and haematoma You may experience some bruising. This is common and quickly goes away. If a large swelling appears and increases in size, this may be due to bleeding in the scrotum and should be assessed as a further operation may be necessary. See your general practitioner or nurse, or visit your local accident and emergency walk-in centre. The use of ice packs can minimise the risk. Infection at the operation site Infection is unusual (1 man in 100) - antibiotics and rest are needed. Your general practitioner's advice is invaluable. Infection in the wound If the skin wound weeps, clean it with antiseptic lotion and let your general practitioner or nurse assess the need for antibiotics. If a stitch has been placed in the wound, it may need to be removed. Mild pain It is normal to get some mild discomfort and tenderness in your scrotum. You may need simple pain killers like paracetamol. Do not use aspirin as it increases the risk of bleeding. Brown semen Occasionally you may notice a brown discolouration of the semen or blood in it. There are several causes for this, not always to do with vasectomy. See your general practitioner or nurse for advice in the first instance or call us for an appointment. Failure of sperm to clear from semen This may occur because of an early rejoining of the tubes or the presence of an additional tube in the scrotum. We can advise you on the best course of action for this. Anaesthetic allergies Some men may react to the local anaesthetic. We ask you to stay for at least 30 minutes after your last injection to ensure that - if you have a reaction - we can deal with it. Occasionally, men may have an allergic reaction to injections but we are ready for such events.
  • Semen testing
    Millions of sperm are capable of being discharged weeks after the operation. It is always advisable to use contraception until we give you the all-clear. Steps involved: After the operation, you will submit a sample of semen on a date given to you. The result will determine whether the operation can be considered complete or whether you need to submit a further sample. Leave 3 nights between sex or masturbation before the test - a sheet detailing exactly how to collect the sample will be given to you after the operation. Some older men may take longer than others to clear and so further tests may be necessary - you will be informed if these further tests are needed.
  • Does the operation work immediately?
    No. There will be millions of sperm in your system that have to be flushed out. In order to help the sperm clear, we advise you have sex using contraceptives or masturbate often after the vasectomy until the all clear is given.
  • Does the operation hurt?
    No more than any other minor operation that uses local anaesthetic. When the anaesthetic wears off, the top part of the scrotum is normally mildly sore for a few days.
  • When can I stop using other methods of contraception?
    We test the sperm samples several weeks after the operation. Depending on the result, we will either tell you your operation is complete or ask for further samples. The results are not given over the phone, you must wait for written confirmation.
  • Can the ends re-join after the all-clear?
    Yes, this has been reported with the effect that sperm reappear in the ejaculated fluid and your fertility returns, with risk of pregnancy occurring. This happens in only a very small number of cases (less than 1%).
  • Am I suitable for vasectomy?
    Anyone can have a vasectomy but some medical conditions may make the procedure more difficult. A medical assessment will be carried out by our surgeon before the operation to make sure that it is safe to perform under a local anaesthetic. You will also be asked to sign a consent form.
  • Disadvantages of a vasectomy
    It may take a few months before the semen is free from sperm. As it is permanent, some people may regret having a vasectomy, especially if their circumstances change. Reversal operations are not guaranteed to be successful and may not be available on the National Health Service (NHS).
  • When can I have sex after the operation?
    You can resume sex as soon as it is comfortable to do so. Contraception must be used until you have been given the all-clear.
  • Some other points about vasectomies
    Don’t consider the operation unless you and your partner are sure you do not want children, or further children. It is wise not to make the decision at times of crisis or change, such as after a new baby or termination of pregnancy. It is best not to make the decision if there are any major problems in your relationship with your partner. It will not solve any sexual problems.
  • What about age?
    Younger men should consider very carefully their choice of vasectomy, especially if they have young children. Regret and a desire to have the operation reversed is higher in young men so you need to be absolutely sure of your decision before proceeding. Reversals may not work and may not be available on the National Health Service (NHS).
  • Do the testicles still make sperm after a vasectomy?
    Yes, but the sperm become old and are absorbed by the body.
  • How does the procedure work?
    A small opening is made through the skin, and a piece of the vas - the tube carrying sperm from the testicle to the body - is removed from both sides under anaesthetic.
  • Will a vasectomy affect my sex life?
    A vasectomy does not usually cause problems with sexual activity, but it will not cure existing sexual problems. Will the ejaculation fluid be different after the operation? A vasectomy does not reduce the amount of semen when you ejaculate. Sperm only contributes a tiny amount to semen. Occasionally, some men notice brown staining in the ejaculate. This usually clears quickly, but if you are concerned, speak to your general practitioner or contact us.

01928 733722

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Frodsham, WA6 6SB

01928 733722

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