Planning for the future is an important aspect of our lives, and determining whether you want to have children is an essential part of it. A vasectomy can offer a form of lasting birth control to men who are not looking to become a father in the future. UAB Medical West understands the importance of family planning and is happy to offer a comprehensive guide on vasectomies to men curious about their reproductive health options. Keep reading to find out what a vasectomy is, what to expect during the procedure, and if a vasectomy may be right for you and your family. 


What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgery that provides men with a permanent form of birth control. It works by cutting and sealing two tubes called the vas deferens. The vas deferens are tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. By cutting and sealing the tubes, a vasectomy ensures that no sperm is transferred into the semen or out of the body, eliminating any chance of pregnancy. Although the testes still produce the sperm, it gets reabsorbed by the body instead of traveling through the urethra. 

Why Choose to Have a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a safe and effective way to ensure there are no unwanted pregnancies. The following are some of the benefits men can expect from getting a vasectomy:

  • Vasectomies are almost 100% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Low risk of complications or side effects
  • Cost-effective 
  • No birth control necessary before sex

What Are the Different Types of Vasectomies?

There are two types of vasectomies to choose from - conventional and no-scalpel vasectomies. Each method has its benefits, and your doctor can help you select the right option based on your needs. Conventional vasectomy involves getting two small incisions on each side of the scrotum in order to reach the vas deferens. A no-scalpel vasectomy is performed by making one small hole in the skin and gently stretching the skin to reach the vas deferens. The absence of scalpels means little to no bleeding and no stitches, leading to quicker recovery time. 

Are There Any Risks Associated With Getting a Vasectomy?


The biggest risk associated with getting a vasectomy is a change of heart regarding childbearing. If you decide to have children after having a vasectomy, it could be possible to reverse the procedure. However, it is important to keep in mind that reversing a vasectomy is a much more difficult procedure than the vasectomy itself and could, at times, be ineffective. 


For most men, a vasectomy does not result in any lasting side effects. Mild side effects immediately following the surgery include: 

  • Bleeding inside the scrotum
  • Blood in semen
  • Bruising of the scrotum
  • Swelling
  • Infection in surgery site
  • Mild pain or discomfort

Although there are some mild immediate discomforts associated with getting a vasectomy, the results far outweigh the negatives for those men looking to avoid unwanted pregnancies. If you have any questions about your eligibility for vasectomy or about the procedure itself, UAB Medical West is here to provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.  

UAB Medical West in Birmingham, Alabama, Care About Your Prostate Health

If you are certain that you do not wish to become a father in the future, a vasectomy procedure might be right for you. If you have any questions about the procedure, your eligibility, or any risk factors associated with a vasectomy, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are serving Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance. Contact us today!