How Vasectomies Work

If you're sure you don't want to have any more children, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of vasectomy. See more men's health pictures.
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Perhaps the exhausting days and sleepless nights of raising kids have worn on you. Or, as a single man, you may realize that you never want to have children at all. You may be one of a growing group of men who view vasectomy as an environmentally conscious decision -- by refusing to bear children, some believe that they're helping to preserve the Earth's resources, eliminating their role in global overpopulation. No matter the reason, you want to be absolutely, positively certain that your days worrying about getting your partner pregnant are over.

While the results are appealing to many men, the vasectomy surgery itself can provoke fear. Thoughts about genital pain, health risks and sexual dysfunction worry many of the men who even contemplate this procedure. But are these fears supported by science? Do men experience faulty erections or chronic pain after vasectomy surgery? Can it cause cancer? And what happens if you change your mind? Can your vasectomy be reversed?

Vasectomy is a safe and largely effective birth control method that allows men to enjoy a healthy sex life without worrying about unintended pregnancies. Many couples praise its benefits, but vasectomy is somewhat permanent, and it is not a procedure to undergo on a whim. In this article, we'll explain how vasectomy works and where it came from, and we'll summarize the latest medical research on vasectomy side effects, risks and complications.