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 Overview/Lessons Learned | Contraceptive Methods | Key Issues
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Male Sterilization

Male sterilization, also called vasectomy, is a permanent contraceptive method for men who do not want more children. The method requires a simple surgical procedure and is performed under local anesthesia. Male sterilization is not castration; it does not affect the testes. The method does not interfere with intercourse or affect a man's sexual ability. No medical condition absolutely restricts a man's eligibility for the method. Male sterilization is generally safer and less expensive than female sterilization and it is a good way for men to share in the responsibility of family planning. Providers should encourage couples to discuss this option. Some characteristics of male sterilization are highlighted below.


0.1% to 0.15% failure rate in the first year after the procedure

Age limitations         

No restrictions

Parity limitations

No restrictions

Mode of action

By blocking the vas deferens (ejaculatory duct) to prevent sperm from being released into the ejaculate

Effect on STD risk

Not protective

Drug interaction

Certain antiseizure medications (barbiturates, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primadone) and antibiotics (Rifampin and Griseofulvin) may affect the effectiveness of anesthetics

Duration of use

Male sterilization is a permanent contraceptive method

Return to fertility

The method is not effective immediately; a man is sterile and his ejaculate is sperm-free about 3 months or 20 ejaculations after the procedure is completed

Return to Contraceptive Method List

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