A vasectomy (also called male sterilization) is one of the most effective kinds of birth control. It’s almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Is a vasectomy effective?
A vasectomy is one of the most effective kinds of birth control out there, and THE most effective method for people with penises and testicles. Vasectomies are almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy — but not right away. It takes about 3 months for your semen to become sperm-free.
A few months after your vasectomy, your doctor will do a simple test called a semen analysis to check for sperm in your semen. You’ll masturbate into a cup or use a special condom when you have sex to collect a semen sample. Your doctor will tell you when there’s no sperm in your semen and the vasectomy is working as birth control. You shouldn’t have unprotected sex until your doctor says it’s safe.
A vasectomy is really effective because it’s designed to be permanent, and you can’t forget to use it or mess it up. It prevents pregnancy round the clock for the rest of your life. So once your doctor says there’s no longer sperm in your semen, that’s pretty much it — you don’t have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. Vasectomies are get-it-and-forget-it birth control.
There’s a very slight chance that the cut ends of your vas deferens can grow back together after a vasectomy, which means you could cause a pregnancy. But this is super rare.
Do vasectomies protect you from STDs?
No, a vasectomy won’t protect you or your partners from sexually transmitted infections. Semen (cum) can still carry STDs, even if it doesn’t contain sperm. And for some STDs, all you need is skin-to-skin contact to get them from someone.
Use condoms to lower your chances of getting or spreading STDs.