Unintended Pregnancy Prevention:
Vasectomy is a safe and highly effective method of birth control accepted
by many couples throughout the world. Vasectomy, a form of permanent
contraception, is also known as male sterilization. This procedure can
prevent pregnancy by blocking the transport of sperm out of the testes.
Those who seek a permanent form of birth control may want to consider the
potential benefits of vasectomy. Some benefits of vasectomy include the
- Simple outpatient surgical procedure
- Short recovery period
- Relatively inexpensive and often covered by insurance
- Highly effective and safe
When considering a vasectomy, it’s important to understand that failures can
occur. CDC research has estimated there is a probability of 11 per 1,000
procedures over 2 years; half of the failures occurred in the first three
months after the vasectomy, and no failures occurred after 72 weeks.1 CDC research also examined regret among women whose
partner underwent a vasectomy.2 In interviews with female partners of men who
received vasectomies, CDC found that while most women did not regret their
husband's vasectomies, the probability of regret over five years was about 6%.
This is why it is important to know facts about this and other permanent
forms of birth control before making a decision.
- Jamieson DJ, Costello C, Trussell J, Hillis SD, Marchbanks PA, Peterson
HB. The risk of pregnancy after vasectomy. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004;103:848–850.
- Jamieson DJ, Kaufman SC, Costello C, Hillis SD, Marchbanks PA, Peterson
HB. A comparison of women’s regret following vasectomy versus tubal
sterilization. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002;99:1073–1079.
Vasectomy in the United States, 2002.
Vasectomy is a medical procedure intended as permanent birth control for
men. An estimated 526,501 vasectomies were performed in the United
States in 2002, representing a slight increase from previous data
available. This article presents information gathered on various
vasectomy procedures and protocols used. Journal of Urology
National Library of Medicine
Conduct a search for more information about vasectomy and other health
We recommend that you review abstracts of our reports and other
publications by using the resources of the National Library of
PubMed service. PubMed is a searchable database that provides
abstracts of biomedical articles and reports. You may also be able to
obtain full text articles (some services may require subscriptions to
view full text articles).
Facts about Vasectomy Safety (National Institutes for Health)
Information for Men (National Women's Health Information Center)
CDC Men's Health
Search PubMed for articles on Vasectomy
This search is being conducted on PubMed an NLM/NIH service.
Page last reviewed: 5/7/09
Page last modified: 4/4/07
Division of Reproductive Health,
National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion