Permanent Birth Control

What is a vasectomy (male sterilization)?

  • A vasectomy is an operation to make a male body sterile (unable to make a pregnancy happen).
  • Vasectomys work 99.9% of the time.
  • This is a permanent method of birth control.

How does it work?

  • In a vasectomy, the tubes (vas deferens) that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut and tied.
  • After the operation, sperm made in the testicles can’t get into the fluid (semen) that comes out of your penis when you ejaculate (“cum”).

How is it done?

  1. A vasectomy can be done in a doctor’s office or in a hospital’s out-patient department.
  2. You will get local freezing (like the freezing in the dentist’s office).
  3. The doctor makes (a) small cut(s) in your scrotum (bag of skin that holds the testicles) to reach the vas deferens.
  4. The doctor then cuts the vas deferens and ties the ends.
  5. Sometimes, the doctor does not need to make a cut. The skin is pierced (not cut) so that you won’t need stitches. This is called a “no scalpel” vasectomy.

Are there risks to having a vasectomy?

There is very little risk to a vasectomy when an experienced doctor does the operation. Your doctor will explain any risks.

How long will it take me to get back to normal?

  • A vasectomy is a minor procedure.
  • You will need to take it easy for a couple of days.
  • You may need to avoid heavy lifting or heavy exercise for a week.

Does sterilization work right away?

  • No. There will be sperm in the vas deferens that was made before you had the vasectomy.
  • You will still be able to get your partner pregnant until you give several samples with no sperm present. Your doctor will tell you when and how to give these samples. Your doctor will tell you when you are not producing sperm anymore.
  • The surgery is permanent and starts working once the doctor confirms you are not releasing any more sperm.
  • You need to use condoms or another method of birth control until there is no sperm in your ejaculate (“cum”).

When can I have sex again?

  • You can have penis-vagina sex when you feel comfortable, about five days after the operation.
  • Talk to your health care provider.

Will anything be different after the sterilization?

  • The same amount of fluid will come out of your penis as before the vasectomy. The only thing that’s different is that there are no sperm in the fluid.
  • Your orgasm will feel the same as before the vasectomy.

Does it protect me from STIs and HIV?

  • No. Always use a safer sex barrier, such as a condom, to reduce the risk of getting an STI (sexually transmitted infection) or HIV infection. Consider getting tested regularly for STIs and HIV.

Where can I get a vasectomy?

  • Talk to your health care provider. If you need a regular health care provider, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111 or toll-free at 1-866-690-8260, or go to www.gov.mb.ca/health/ familydoctorfinder.

Do I have to pay for a vasectomy?

  • Vasectomies done in a hospital are completely covered by the provincial health care plan.
  • If your doctor does the vasectomy in their office, you’ll have to pay a fee to cover the cost of the supplies they use.

Can I undo the vasectomy and make a pregnancy happen in the future?

  • It is very unlikely. Vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control.
  • Do not have a vasectomy unless you are sure that you want this change to be permanent.
  • Reversing a vasectomy may not work. It is an expensive operation and is not covered by the provincial health care plan.

Where can I get condoms and other birth control supplies?

Condoms, birth control, and safer sex supplies are available at community health centres, and many pharmacies.

Where can I get more information?

  • From your health care provider, community health clinic, or public health nurse. If you need a regular health care provider, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111.
  • From a teen clinic, if you are under 22 years old.
  • From the Facts of Life On-Line: e-mail your questions to thefactsoflife@serc.mb.ca.

What is tubal ligation (female sterilization)?

  • Tubal ligation is an operation to make a female body sterile (unable to get pregnant).
  • Tubal ligation works 99.6% of the time
  • It is a permanent method of birth control.

How does it work?

  • In a tubal ligation, the tubes which carry egg cells (ova) from the ovaries to the uterus are closed.
  • This prevents the sperm from meeting the egg (ovum).

How is it done?

  • Tubal ligation is done in a hospital.
  • You will get local freezing (like the freezing in the dentist’s office) or general anesthesia (you will be“asleep”).
  • The doctor makes a small cut in the abdomen so the fallopian tubes can be reached.
  • The doctor will close each tube by either using cutting and tying the tubes, or cauterizing (sealing with heat) the tubes.
  • Another tubal ligation method is when the doctor inserts steel coils into the tubes through the vagina and cervix.
  • This is day surgery. You will be home the same day.

Are there any risks for tubal ligation?

There is very little risk to tubal ligation when an experienced doctor does the operation. A doctor or health care provider will explain any risks.

How long will it take me to get back to normal?

  • Tubal ligation is an operation. You will have to rest for about two days.
  • You will need to be slow and gentle with your movements for about a week.
  • You may need to avoid heavy lifting and heavy exercise for several weeks.

Does tubal libation work right away?

  • Yes.

When can I have sex again?

  • You can have vaginal sex when you feel comfortable, usually about one week after the operation.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.

Will anything be different after the tubal ligation?

  • Your orgasm will feel the same as before the tubal ligation.
  • Your menstrual cycle will not be changed and you will still get your period.

Does it protect me from STIs and HIV?

  • No. Always use a safer sex barrier, such as a condom, to reduce the risk of getting an STI (sexually transmitted infection) or HIV infection. Consider getting tested regularly for STIs and HIV.

Where can I get tubal ligation?

  • Talk to your health care provider. If you need a regular health care provider, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111 or toll-free at 1-866-690-8260, or go to www.gov.mb.ca/health/familydoctorfinder.

Do I have to pay for sterilization?

  • Tubal ligation is completely covered by the provincial health care plan.

Can I have my tubes connected again (undo the sterilization) and have children in the future?

  • Tubal ligation is a permanent method of birth control.
  • Do not have a tubal ligation unless you are sure that you will not want to make a pregnancy happen in the future.
  • Reversing tubal ligation may not work. It is an expensive operation and not covered by the provincial health care plan.

Where can I get condoms and other birth control supplies?

Condoms, birth control and safer sex supplies are available at community health centres.

Where can I get more information?

  • From your health care provider, community health centre or public health nurse. If you need a regular health care provider, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111.
  • From a teen clinic, if you are under 22 years old.
  • From the Facts of Life On-Line: e-mail your questions to thefactsoflife@serc.mb.ca.

SERC believes that all individuals have the right to access unbiased sexual and reproductive health information and services. They must also have the opportunity to explore their values and attitudes in making informed choices that are most appropriate for them, and have those choices respected and supported. SERC supports and defends a pregnant person’s right to choose parenting, adoption, or abortion.

Developed in collaboration with Klinic Community Health and Literacy Partners of Manitoba 2007
Sexuality Education Resource Centre 2016