About 18% of New Zealand men have had a vasectomy.


A vasectomy is a highly effective form of contraception. The tubes that transport sperm are cut and sealed so that no sperm comes out when you ejaculate. Apart from not being able to get a woman pregnant, sex and your orgasm will be the same as normal. Your sperm only makes up less than 5% of your ejaculate so you won’t notice any difference in the amount.

A vasectomy is considered a permanent form of contraception. For this reason, it’s chosen by men after they’ve had their children and are certain they don’t want any more.

It’s not recommended for young men, even if they don’t want children. Circumstances can change and they might end up regretting the decision.

Although vasectomy reversal may be possible, it is not guaranteed to work, so if there is any doubt about not wanting children in the future, don’t get a vasectomy.


A small cut is made at the base of the penis and the two sperm carrying tubes are cut and the ends are sealed.

This is done under local anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes.

After the operation, avoid any strenuous activity, including sex, for about a week until you are fully healed and pain free. If you have a desk job, you can go back to work the next day.

You can expect a little swelling and bruising. Like any surgical procedure, there is a very small chance of complications like internal bleeding and infection.

You will be offered a consultation appointment before you have the procedure. We recommend you take a few days between them so that you can think it through thoroughly.


No, it doesn’t work straight away.

Your sperm can still be present in your tubes for a couple of months. You’ll need to keep using another form of contraception until your sperm count test shows that you have no more sperm present in your ejaculate.

Yes, a vasectomy might be reversible, but don’t count on it. There is about an 85% success rate.

This is an expensive procedure that involves reconnecting the severed sperm tubes (the vans deferens).

After having a vasectomy, you might gradually produces less and less sperm, so even if the vasectomy reversal is successful, you may have a very low sperm count.


Your body will still create new sperm after a vasectomy. Because it isn’t ejaculated, it gets broken down and absorbed into the body.

After a while, your body might create less sperm.



Tom's Vasectomy

Tom, 27, had a vasectomy two months ago. He spoke to Men’s Health about the whole experience and how he came to make the decision.

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Here are some useful brochures and resources that you can download for more information on vasectomies.