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Vasectomy Services

Vasectomy is a simple, safe, and effective form of permanent birth control. 

We offer this service in Anchorage (AK), Meridian (ID), as well as 5 of our Western Washington locations.

Is a vasectomy right for me?

Only you know what’s right for your body, your future, and your family. Before you get a vasectomy, think about any possible life changes that could affect your future, and whether or not these could impact the decision you make at this time. It may be helpful to talk these possibilities through with your partner, or someone else you trust who could offer support and advice.

If you know you don’t plan on ever having children (or more children), want to take control of your own fertility, and/or would like to take the responsibility of birth control off your partner, a vasectomy might be right for you.

What to Expect

How is it done?

The provider makes one or two small openings in the skin of the scrotum. Through this opening, the tubes that carry sperm (vas deferens) are blocked off.

The tubes are cut, covered with surrounding tissue, (a technique called fascial interposition), and/or closed with cautery. The procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Does it hurt?

Great question! This is often our patient’s #1 concern so we take it very seriously. Every patient has different needs, so we will work with you to ensure you are comfortable. For most people, we provide excellent pain management with local anesthesia (e.g. lidocaine) so there is minimal discomfort during the procedure. We recommend ice packs/frozen peas and scrotal support (e.g. jock strap) after the procedure to minimize swelling and discomfort. Most patients do well with these measures and do not require any prescription pain medications.

How well does it work?

Vasectomies are almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy — but not right away. This is because there is sperm trapped in the tube, downstream of where the procedure happens. All that sperm needs to leave the body before a vasectomy can be used for contraception. This usually happens about 3 months after a vasectomy. We recommend a post-vasectomy semen analysis (PVSA) to confirm that there is no sperm in the ejaculate.

 

FAQs

How much does a vasectomy cost?

We are in-network with most commercial insurance plans, as well as Medicaid. For patients without health insurance, a vasectomy costs around $800. 

What are the benefits of a vasectomy?
  • Highly effective birth control.
  • Permanent birth control.
  • No (noticeable) change in the semen.
  • No change in sex drive or climax sensation.
  • No change in the testes.
  • No change in erections.
Are vasectomies permanent?

A vasectomy is intended to be a permanent procedure. Once your provider says there’s no longer sperm in your semen, that’s pretty much it — you don’t have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. Vasectomies are get-it-and-forget-it birth control. People can try to get vasectomies reversed (re-connect the two ends of the cut tubes), however there is no guarantee that reversal will work. Vasectomy reversal typically takes several hours and is not covered by insurance. If you are considering vasectomy, think of it as a permanent procedure. There are other reliably reversible birth control methods if that’s what is right for you.

What are the risks for complications?

Vasectomy is a very safe, low-risk procedure, but with any surgery some complications can occur.  Mild bruising is the most common reaction.  We recommend wearing tight underpants or a jock strap for the first few days after the vasectomy to decrease your chances of bleeding.

Other rare complications include infection (very rare and can be treated with antibiotics), a painful bump on the vas (sperm granuloma), and bleeding into the scrotum causing a collection of blood (scrotal hematoma). Several weeks after the procedure some patients experience pain in the testicles that usually only lasts a few days (about 5%). This resolved with oral anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).  Chronic pain is very rare (<1%).

Although highly unlikely, there is a risk of vasectomy failure. The risk of getting someone pregnant after vasectomy is <0.05%.

Are there hormonal changes?

The vasectomy procedure only involves the vas deferens. It does not impact the penis or the testicles, which are carefully protected from the surgical field. Because of this, the vasectomy does not affect the male hormones (testosterone) produced by the testicles.  After vasectomy, sexual function does not change.  Sensations, erections, and ejaculations will be the same except that the ejaculate no longer contains sperm.

What do I do after my procedure?

There may be some initial soreness for a night or two after the procedure.  This is typically relieved with a cold compress and/or non-prescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).  Wearing tight underpants or a jock strap for support can decrease discomfort with movement.

Most people only need to rest for a few days after their vasectomy. If your job is physically demanding, you’ll have to take about a week off from work. You shouldn’t exercise or do any hard physical work for about a week after your vasectomy.

Are there limitations to a vasectomy?
  • Not reliably reversible.
  • You must use other forms of birth control until you’re sperm-free (approximately 3 months).
  • Does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).