Published On: 01/31/2017

3 Leading Questions Women Have About Vasectomy, Answered


At some point in almost every couple’s lives, the discussion about whether or not to have more children comes up. When a couple decides that their family is complete and it’s time to explore permanent methods of birth control to prevent future pregnancies, a vasectomy is a trusted and effective choice.

While a vasectomy is performed on a man, many women have questions and concerns about this procedure as well.  For most men, anxiety about whether a vasectomy will hurt or cause sexual dysfunction is among the top concerns (and no, vasectomy does not interfere with sexual function, does not cause erectile dysfunction, and only causes minor, temporary discomfort in most men). Aside from the procedure itself, many women wonder how a vasectomy will affect their relationship, both sexually and emotionally.

Top 3 Questions Frequently Asked by Women about Vasectomy

  1. How effective is a vasectomy as a permanent form of contraception?

According to David Fenig, M.D., associate director of Male Fertility, Sexuality, and Microsurgery at Chesapeake Urology, a vasectomy is 99.85% effective as a favored birth control method and will not interfere with a man’s sex drive, ability to have erections, sensation of orgasm, or ability to ejaculate. If a woman becomes pregnant after the man has a vasectomy, it is most often due to the couple not waiting for the sperm count to be zero. It typically takes about 20-25 ejaculations before no sperm is present in the man’s semen following a vasectomy. It is very important that the man have a follow up test of his semen to confirm a zero sperm count before forgoing all other methods of birth control.

2. Is having my “tubes tied” easier or more effective than a vasectomy?

A tubal ligation, also known as having the “tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure where a gynecologist closes off the fallopian tubes so that no sperm is able to reach an egg. The procedure, however, when not performed during a C-section, typically requires a hospital setting, general anesthesia and incisions in the abdomen. This poses a higher risk of complications such as bleeding and scar tissue and a longer recovery.

A vasectomy, on the contrary, is usually performed in an ambulatory surgery center and rarely in an office or hospital setting, requires local anesthesia, can be performed using  a “no scalpel” technique requiring no incisions, and takes only about 15 to 20 minutes. Typically, there is minimal to mild discomfort, and full recovery occurs within a few days.

3. What if we change our minds? Can a vasectomy be reversed?

Sometimes, life circumstances change (divorce, remarriage), and years after having a vasectomy some couples wish to be able to conceive a child naturally. Chesapeake Urology’s Vasectomy Reversal Center of America is one of the country’s leading vasectomy reversal centers, offering success rates of more than 90% to couples who wish to have a vasectomy reversed and conceive naturally. In fact, Chesapeake Urology’s fellowship trained microsurgeons are some of the leading vasectomy reversal specialists in the country.

[Learn more at ]


Women: have your questions about vasectomy answered. Download Chesapeake Urology’s free pamphlet – “What Women Want to Know about Vasectomy,” for more information specifically for women.