How Long Does a Vasectomy Take?

Good News About This Surprisingly Quick and Simple Procedure

A man sits in a doctor’s office.
A man sits in a doctor’s office. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

A vasectomy is a relatively quick procedure that takes only about 30 minutes. Doctors don't even need to put you under. The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic. This reduces post-operative recovery time, minimizes any side effects that might occur with a general anesthetic, and reduces the cost of the procedure. In fact, it's all so quick and simple that it can be done on an outpatient basis.

You may require about an hour of recovery time before being cleared to have a friend or family member drive you home.

Here is some further recommended reading on the topic of vasectomies:

  • Are you and your partner considering a vasectomy? It's a big decision, as this procedure is intended to be irreversible. Here are some of the things you should consider before going through with it.
  • Here's a more in-depth overview of what a vasectomy is, including its intended purpose: to render a man sterile.
  • Is a vasectomy an affordable option for you? Do most health insurances generally cover the procedure? Here are the answers to all your money-related questions.
  • Now that you've made the decision to have a vasectomy, what can you expect? Read through the step-by-step process of this procedure, including what you can do to prepare for your vasectomy.
  • Here are some frequently asked questions about vasectomies.
  • Is a vasectomy risk free? Read all about the possible complications and side effects following a vasectomy. Don't worry. It's not as terrifying as it sounds.
  • Also, to ease your mind, here are five myths about vasectomies that just aren't true.

And a Vasectomy Is Just One Option for Long-Term Contraception

Many couples find a vasectomy to be an attractive option because it's less invasive than the available option for women: tubal ligation (in which the woman's fallopian tubes are closed or blocked).

But if you feel uncertain about taking such a decisive move, there are still other types of contraception to consider. Aside from condoms and birth control pills, whose failure rate is typically attributed to user error, there are hormonal implants for women, in addition to intrauterine devices (IUDs), a form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) used by women. The benefit in using a LARC is that your partner doesn't have to think about it so much (making it more effective than the pill), but it's not completely permanent (hence the use of the word "reversible"). An IUD can stay in for five to seven years or, if and you and our partner change your mind and decide you want children, her gynecologist can pop it right back out.

Talk to your medical professional to determine which choice is right for you.

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