Permanent form of contraception
A minimally invasive procedure
Short recovery time
About the procedure
Local anaesthetic injection
Length of appointments
Approx. 60 minutes
Continue with your day, minimising physical activity
A No-Scalpel Vasectomy is a straightforward procedure carried in a clinic (or outpatient) setting.
We will begin by discussing any questions and concerns that you may have about the procedure, methods of pain relief and ensure that you are ready to go ahead with the no scalpel vasectomy (in the same appointment if you have requested this option).
Once we have completed the consultation element of the appointment, we will then ask you to undress (in private) and lie down on the couch. Once you’re ready and comfortable, we will do a scrotal examination to make sure Vas is felt easily and you are suitable for the Vasectomy procedure.
If it is safe to proceed with the no scalpel vasectomy, your doctor will clean the skin with antiseptic solution and inject a local anaesthetic injection to the site of the incision. This may cause some minor discomfort but will quickly start working. This will not make you feel any sharp sensation but you feel the touch and the pull sensation when the procedure is carried out. We can use more local anaesthetic if needed at any time during the procedure if required.
Once we have confirmed that the area is numb and local anaesthetic is working, we will puncture the skin using a special instrument on each side to expose vas deferens, and remove a small part by using a Hyfrecator. This is what will prevent sperm from travelling from the testes. The skin puncture is brought together with an instrument and closed. The punctures from the ‘No Scalpel’ technique are so small that you will not require any stitches. However, if we find that an adhesive is needed, we can offer you some adhesive strips.
As the local anaesthetic wears off, you may start to feel some discomfort, but ‘over the counter’ painkillers will help to alleviate this (and please do use an ice bag). And it is advisable to take painkillers on a regular basis for 1-2 days after
You may then re-dress and we’ll make sure you’re feeling alright and answer any further questions before the end of your appointment.
Before leaving, we will give you aftercare advice and a pot to post a semen sample 16 weeks after your appointment.
Is the no scalpel vasectomy right for me?
A no scalpel vasectomy is the right option for you if you are totally, 100% certain that you do not and will not want to expand your family at any point in the future.
All of your contraceptive options can be discussed with one of our clinicians in a consultation appointment. Fill out one of our questionnaires to arrange an appointment.
Who can get a no scalpel vasectomy?
A no scalpel vasectomy is a safe procedure and suitable for most people. However, it is essential that you’re certain that you no longer want to extend your family as the procedure is not easily reversed. This procedure is also safe if you only have one testicle.
As such a no scalpel vasectomy is only available to people over the age of 18. However, if you are under 30 and have had no children, many specialists will advise alternative methods. Sperm production is a continual process throughout the life of a man; if he is still having a sexual relationship and does not want any children/further children, he can undertake the procedure at any age.
It is important to share details of any surgery, injury and undescended testicles with your practitioner. On occasions the tube (vas) may be too short on examination and it may be advised to have the procedure under a general anaesthetic.
Anyone over the age of 18 can request a no scalpel vasectomy.
Will any antibiotics or treatments affect my no scalpel vasectomy?
Most antibiotics do not affect the no scalpel vasectomy process. If you are on any medication at the time of your no scalpel vasectomy, please be sure to make your clinician aware so that they can advice and proceed accordingly.
Some vasectomies are more difficult than others and I would definitely like a chat with you prior to your operation if you fit in any of the following categories of patients:
What health conditions can affect the no scalpel vasectomy?
There is no strict guidance that will stop one from being eligible for having a no scalpel vasectomy apart from being allergic to local anaesthetic (or refusing to take it).
The following factors indicate that the client needs additional counselling or preparation before undergoing no scalpel vasectomy:
- Age under 30 years: associated with increased risk of regret
- Psychological disorders: associated with increased risk of regret
- Diabetes: if not well controlled, refer to NHS
- Currently taking aspirin or other antiplatelet medications: discontinue at least 3 days prior to
- History of easy fainting: discuss with surgeon as this may necessitate adjustments during the
- procedure (for example, slight head down position during procedure, transfer to recovery via
- wheelchair, longer recovery time)
- The following conditions must be managed before performing no scalpel vasectomy
- Scrotal mass
- Current gastrointestinal, genitourinary or systemic infection that may increase the risk of postoperative infection, including:
- Scrotal skin infection
- Active sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- Other systemic infection with the following exception: neither having HIV nor being at risk for HIV is a contraindication to no scalpel vasectomy
- Clients with the following conditions generally need specialist referral:
- Inability to locate, isolate or move one or both vasa deferentia
- Previous scrotal injury or scrotal surgery with extensive visible scarring
- Large varicocele or large hydrocele
- Severe immunocompromise
- Clients with the following conditions cannot have a no scalpel vasectomy at BPAS and must have specialist referral:
- Inguinal hernia (unless vas easily palpable)
- Coagulation disorders
- Cardiac pacemaker in situ (these clients may not have a no scalpel vasectomy with cautery)
The consultation and procedure happen in one appointment, as long as it’s safe to do so.
In order to be most prepared and leave plenty of time for discussion and procedure, we will ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire.
In the consultation, we will review your questionnaire, discuss any questions that we may have and a physical examination to confirm suitability for the procedure.
After ensuring that you are numb from the local anaesthetic, we will make a tiny puncture hole in the skin to reach the tubes and close off the ends using heat (by Hyfrecator). We’ll then clean the site and bandage you up (no stitches required) before explaining the aftercare.
16 weeks after your no scalpel vasectomy, we will request you to offer a semen sample (by hand masturbation) into a pot we will provide and post this directly to the lab (results in approx. 4 working days).
Upon confirming that there is no sperm in the sample, we will send over a ‘Clearance Letter’ that you can also share with your GP. Your no scalpel vasectomy is now working!
If you’ve just had a no scalpel vasectomy performed by us and are seeking advice on recovery and aftercare, we’ve got the information for you.
When should I book my no scalpel vasectomy?
You should only book a no scalpel vasectomy if you are 100% sure you do not and will not want to extend your family at any point in the future. At Clarewell Clinics, we book appointments up to two weeks in advance.
What are the possible complications of having a no scalpel vasectomy?
All invasive procedures carry a very small risk of infection, but rest assured that our clinicians are highly trained and our clinic is a highly sanitised environment.
Before the appointment
How can I prepare for my no scalpel vasectomy?
There are no special requirements to prepare for your no scalpel vasectomy.
What travel arrangements should I make for after the no scalpel vasectomy?
Whilst the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, we recommend that someone else drives you home. We would also be more than happy to book a taxi for you.
Will I need to take time off for my no scalpel vasectomy?
If your job is desk based, then there is no need to take time off. However, if you have a more physically intensive job, then we recommend taking a week off.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes. You can bring your partner, friend or family member to your appointment.
However, if you feel that you would rather not bring someone to the appointment, rest assured that our staff are here to support you and make you comfortable in any way possible. Clarewell Clinics is a safe space.
During the appointment
Does the no scalpel vasectomy hurt?
We will ensure the local anaesthesia is working before making an puncture. Most men say the injection is a more painful bit which stings a bit for a few seconds but starts to work straight away. You should not feel any sharp sensation after the local anaesthetic. If you do, we can offer you more local anaesthetic.
During the procedure, you may feel a slight tugging sensation whilst the tube is being cut and tied. Rest assured, it is a quick procedure of less than 10 minutes and you will be home before you know it.
Can I have an STI test during my appointment?
Absolutely. Please request this at the time of booking so that we may book you an extended appointment.
For more information about our STI tests, please visit this page: https://www.clarewellclinics.co.uk/sexual-health-clinic/.
What happens if my no scalpel vasectomy does not go as planned?
Some patients may not be suitable (please see eligibility section above) in which case we will refer them to a hospital setting for the no scalpel vasectomy to be performed under general anaesthetic.
After the appointment
What should I expect after my no scalpel vasectomy?
The no scalpel vasectomy procedure can cause some swelling, bruising and discomfort for a few weeks. It is normal to see blood in your semen for the first few ejaculations after the procedure. However, this will all subside.
As a method of contraception, there should be no ongoing side effects.
Will I require a follow up appointment after my no scalpel vasectomy?
A follow up appointment is not usually required. If you have any questions after your procedure, you can contact our receptionists and they will arrange a follow up call for you.
However, after 16 weeks, it will be required to send a sample of semen to be tested in the lab to confirm sterility.
When will the no scalpel vasectomy start to work?
You will need to wait 16 weeks before we can confirm that the method is working. In the meantime, you and your partner(s) will need to use another method of contraception.
It may be necessary to repeat the test if the laboratory cannot confirm the absence of sperm on the first sample. The results will be sent to your GP within 72 working hours of completion of the tests.
How soon after my no scalpel vasectomy can I have sex (using contraception)?
We recommend waiting 2-7 days before having any sex. However, if you feel that you need a little more time, then please wait until you are comfortable.
How soon after my no scalpel vasectomy can I have sex (without contraception)?
Until we have confirmed that there is no sperm in your semem (i.e. 16 weeks) we do not recommend having unprotected sex.
Please note that methods of pain relief (where medically appropriate) are included in the fee.
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Page reviewed by Dr Praveen Jayadeva
Last reviewed date: 1 April 2022
Next review due: 1 April 2025
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- NHS: Vasectomy (male sterilisation)
- Sexwise: Sterilisation (vasectomy and tubal occlusion) – Contraception
- FSRH: Male and Female Sterilisation – Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
- Andrologia: Vasectomy
- Fertility and Sterility: Safety and effectiveness of vasectomy – ScienceDirect
- Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England: Complications of vasectomy
- Fertility and Sterility: Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal – ScienceDirect
- British Journal of Urology: Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal. – Abstract – Europe PMC
- Journal of Urology: Vasectomy: AUA Guideline
- Fertility and Sterility: Microscopic Vasectomy Reversal
- The Journal of Urology: The No-Scalpel Vasectomy – ScienceDirect
- Contraception: Vasectomy: the other (better) form of sterilization
- British Journal of Urology: Complications of Vasectomy: Review of 16,000 Patients
- Journal of Urology: Vasectomy Reversal for Treatment of the Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome
- BMC Medicine: Vasectomy surgical techniques: a systematic review
- Urologic Clinics of North America: Risks and Complications of Vasectomy