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As more men across Edinburgh and the Lothian's elect to undergo private Vasectomy Operations at The Edinburgh Clinic, we explain the procedure and answer patient’s frequently asked questions.

Vasectomy at The Edinburgh Clinic

Is a Vasectomy a permanent form of contraception?

The procedure renders you permanently sterile and unable to father any more children.

Procedure: A tube called the vas deferens carries sperm from each testis into the penis.

During the vasectomy this tube is divided and sealed to prevent the passage of sperm. The procedure does not interfere with the production of seminal fluid so you will notice very little difference in the volume of the ejaculate though it may be less milky in colour as it does not contain sperm.

Immediately after the procedure you may notice a little blood in the fluid – this is normal and will resolve by itself. The Vasectomy operation takes 15 – 20 minutes.

There is one small wound in the middle of the scrotum which is closed with a dissolvable suture/stitch. This does not need to be removed but will come out naturally in a couple of weeks.

  • Vasectomy does not cause impotence or affect your sexual function.

  • Vasectomy does not increase your risk of prostate or testicular cancer.

  • Vasectomy is not believed to increase your risk of serious disease.

The Non-Scalpel Vasectomy , a specialist technique used by Dr Terrina Dickson at The Edinburgh Clinic, is a no-stitch, fast recovery procedure and very popular with our patients.

Anaesthetic: In most cases the operation is performed using local anaesthetic, similar to the injection used at the dentist. It is important patient’s eat as normal before the procedure and anaesthetic.

The procedure can also be carried out under sedation or a General Anaesthetic; in such cases you would need to fast before the procedure.

How effective is vasectomy?

Immediately after the operation you still need to use another method of contraception as it takes time to flush all the remaining sperm form the tubes. It can take 20+ ejaculates to clear the tubes.

You will be asked to send in two semen samples at 12 and 16 weeks after the operation. If both specimens are free of sperm you will be informed that your Vasectomy is complete and you no longer need to use alternate contraception.

If you still have remaining sperm you will be asked to continue using contraception and provide further samples until they are clear.

Is a vasectomy reversible?

A vasectomy is intended to be irreversible.

Sometimes, however, feelings or circumstances change after a vasectomy. The commonest cause of regret for men having this procedure is relationship breakdown and then being unable to father children in the new relationship. Reversal operations are not available on the NHS and can cost over £3,000+ in the private sector.

The chances of achieving pregnancy after reversal of vasectomy vary, depending on the length of time since vasectomy and the age and fertility of your partner. Fifty percent of men may eventually produce anti-bodies against their own sperm and as a result of this will remain infertile. There is little that can be done for fertility if this occurs. IVF and similar procedures are not available on the NHS after a vasectomy procedure.

It is possible to make arrangements for you to store your sperm as an insurance policy against changing your mind. There is a charge for banking sperm and if you and your partner ever wanted to use the stored sperm that the procedures involves (artificial insemination). This can be complicated and time consuming and success is not guaranteed.

What sort of patients have a vasectomy?

On average men who are aged 30-40 come to The Edinburgh Clinic for a vasectomy.

Next steps

You can refer yourself for a vasectomy or be referred by your GP or The Family Planning Service.

Appointments are available at The Edinburgh Clinic every weekday until early evening.  At your initial consultation we will check your overall health to ensure that you are suitable to have the procedure under local anaesthetic.  Your consultant will also explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Vasectomy counselling, prior to the procedure, is an important aspect of your care and will be included in your initial consultation unless you have been referred from The Family Planning Service and have already received counselling.

Following your consultation, a convenient operation date will be booked to suit your schedule and with little or no waiting time.

Please note Vasectomies are unlikely to be covered by private medical insurance, so patients coming to The Edinburgh Clinic self-pay for the procedure.

Call 0131 447 2340 to speak with one of our experts and, for more information on our facilities and prices, visit https://www.edinburghclinic.com/services/vasectomy/.

Date: 18/05/2018
By: Andrew Gunn
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