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Male Sterilization | HHS.gov



Quick Facts

Effectiveness in Preventing Pregnancy

  • Out of 100 women each year whose partner has had a vasectomy, less than one may become pregnant.

What is male sterilization or vasectomy?

Male sterilization, or vasectomy, is a procedure performed on a man that will permanently keep him from being able to get a woman pregnant. This procedure keeps a man’s sperm from going to his penis, ensuring that his ejaculate does not have any sperm in it that can fertilize an egg.

How effective is it?

Out of 100 women each year whose partner has had a vasectomy, less than one may become pregnant.

Where to go for a vasectomy?

A vasectomy can be done in a medical office or clinic. It is an outpatient procedure, so a man can go home the same day.

While not all family planning clinics perform vasectomies, your local family planning clinic may be able to tell you where vasectomy is available in your area.

Advantages of Vasectomy

  • Vasectomy is a safe and highly effective approach to preventing pregnancy.
  • It is permanent, so there is no need to worry about birth control again.
  • The procedure is simple to do and usually involves only a small amount of discomfort.
  • There is a short recovery time after the procedure.
  • It is the most cost-effective of all birth control methods.
  • It is private. It is your choice if your partner knows about it.

Drawbacks of Vasectomy

  • Vasectomy does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. Always use a condom to reduce the risks of STDs.
  • It requires a visit to a clinic or medical office.
  • There is a risk of swelling, bruising, and tenderness for a short time after the procedure.
  • Very rarely, the tubes that carry sperm can grow back together; when this happens there is a risk of pregnancy.
  • Some men, or their partners, later change their minds and wish they could have a child or additional children.

Did You Know? (Sterilization)


Content created by Office of Population Affairs
Content last reviewed on April 9, 2019



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