Recent Blog Articles
Icy fingers and toes: Poor circulation or Raynaud’s phenomenon?
Evoking calm: Practicing mindfulness in daily life helps
Finding balance: 3 simple exercises to steady your steps
Boosting your child’s immune system
Study: No effect on cognitive functioning from treatments for advanced prostate cancer
Surprising findings about metabolism and age
Thinking about COVID booster shots? Here’s what to know
POTS: Diagnosing and treating this dizzying syndrome
Did we really gain weight during the pandemic?
Dropping anchor on big emotions
What Is It?
A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is done to make a man sterile (unable to father children). The procedure is usually done by a urologist, a specialist who deals with the male reproductive system. A vasectomy cuts or blocks the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm away from the testicle to be added to semen. There are two vas deferens, one for each testicle on each side. Once the vas deferens are cut or blocked, sperm cannot pass from the place where there are manufactured, the testicle, to the reservoir where semen and prostatic secretions (secretions from the prostate gland) are stored. It is the combination of sperm and the secretions from the prostate that allow sperm to survive. During ejaculation, this sperm containing fluid is ejected through the ejaculatory duct and through the penis during orgasm. After a vasectomy, a man can continue to have normal erections, normal sexual intercourse and normal ejaculations of semen, but this ejaculate is sperm-free and cannot impregnate a female sexual partner.
About 500,000 vasectomies are done each year in the United States. This procedure usually takes only 15 to 20 minutes, and almost all vasectomies are done in the urologist's office or outpatient operating room.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.