At Planned Parenthood, we believe that deciding whether to start or grow your family is a fundamental human right. Part of that is deciding how to have children or prevent having children.
When it comes to family planning, there are clear disparities between female and male participation, disproportionately placing the physical, financial, and emotional burden of family planning on people with uteruses. At Planned Parenthood, we’re seeing more male-bodied people stepping up and participating in family planning, including sterilization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tubal ligations (female sterilization) remain the most common form of permanent contraception despite the fact that vasectomies are more cost-effective and less invasive.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a safe, effective, and non-invasive permanent birth control method for male-bodied people. A vasectomy is also known as male sterilization.
A vasectomy removes sperm from the ejaculate so that a pregnancy cannot occur. Planned Parenthood provides a no-scalpel vasectomy. That’s right, no scalpels or needles are used during the procedure! The procedure uses a strong local anesthetic. You will be awake and feel pressure, but you won’t feel anything sharp. The doctor will make one small puncture in your skin and divide, cauterize (burn), and bury the vas deferens, which bring sperm from the testes to the semen. When the vas deferens tubes are closed, sperm can’t leave your body to cause pregnancy. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes. You’ll be able to walk after the procedure and drive yourself home.
Is a vasectomy the right birth control option for me?
If you are sure that you don’t want any, or more, children, a vasectomy may be a good birth control (contraceptive) option for you. Planned Parenthood’s no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomies are available to people 18 years of age or older (patients using Medicaid must be 21 years of age or older).
Before your vasectomy, you’ll first have a consultation ( in-person at a Planned Parenthood health center or virtually via telehealth). During the consultation, you can ask questions so you can determine if a vasectomy is the best option for you. Once approved for the procedure, you can schedule your vasectomy.
Vasectomy isn’t right for you? No problem, you have lots of pregnancy prevention options. Planned Parenthood offers the full range of contraceptive options: pill, shot, patch, ring, Long Acting Reversible Contraception (implant, IUD), condoms, diaphragm, sponge, spermicide and gel, cervical cap, tubal ligation, and emergency contraception.
With or without insurance, you can get the birth control method of your choice at Planned Parenthood. You can get free or low-cost birth control through The Right Time at select health centers in Missouri.
How much does a vasectomy cost?
The cost of a vasectomy varies and depends on a number of factors. Planned Parenthood accepts most health insurance, including Medicaid and many Health Insurance Marketplace and commercial insurance plans. Contact your health insurance provider for more information on vasectomy coverage and costs. If you don’t have health insurance, financial assistance is available. You may qualify for a reduced-cost or no-cost vasectomy through Title X in Missouri. We periodically offer free vasectomies for uninsured and underinsured people. Check our vasectomy webpage for updates.
How effective is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Because some sperm remain beyond the blocked part of the tubes, the procedure isn’t immediately effective. You must use another form of birth control (like a condom) until the sperm are gone. This can take up to three months, right around when you’ll come back to Planned Parenthood for a post-procedure follow-up appointment. It’s important to remember that a vasectomy does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (sometimes called STDs or STIs). You should use a condom if you’re at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are available for free at Planned Parenthood.
We strongly encourage you to bring a semen sample back to the health center three months after your vasectomy so that a provider can verify that the vasectomy was successful and will prevent pregnancy. If your sample tests negative for sperm, your ejaculate will not cause a pregnancy. There is no additional cost for this test — It’s included in the vasectomy procedure cost.
Does getting a vasectomy hurt?
During your vasectomy, you’ll get local anesthesia to numb your testicles so you won’t feel any sharp pain during the procedure. You will feel pressure. The procedure doesn’t use needles or scalpels. Because the skin puncture is small, you won’t need stitches or have scarring. You may have some discomfort after your vasectomy. Most patients report feeling very little pain — some even say that going to the dentist is worse. If you’d like something to relax before the appointment, a prescription for Xanax is available.
When can I have sex again after a vasectomy?
Following your vasectomy, you should take it easy and protect your groin area. After 48 hours, you can resume your usual daily activities. You should wait 5-7 days before resuming any sexual activity.
How will a vasectomy affect my sex life?
Many patients say that their sex life improves after a vasectomy. When you don’t need to worry about causing an unintended pregnancy, you can focus more on your (and your partner’s) sexual pleasure. Your libido, your ability to get an erection, and your ability to ejaculate (cum) will not change. Your semen will appear the same as it did before your vasectomy. The only difference is that the semen will no longer contain sperm.
Is a vasectomy reversible?
A vasectomy is meant to be permanent. In some cases, a vasectomy may be reversible. Additionally, you can also freeze sperm through a third-party company before getting a vasectomy. If you think you might want to have biological children in the future, a vasectomy might not be the right birth control method for you. Planned Parenthood staff can help you decide which birth control option is a good fit for you.
Where can I get a vasectomy?
To schedule your consultation, call us at 314-531-7526 or book online.
Looking for other health services at Planned Parenthood? Learn more about our men's health services.