Effective birth control

Vasectomy is a simple procedure that prevents sperm from moving from your testes to your prostate. It’s one of the most effective forms of birth control. When sperm can’t mix with semen from the prostate, pregnancy can’t occur after sex. At UW Health, we provide no-scalpel vasectomies.

We also do vasectomy reversals, which are more complex. If you decide you’d like to father children after having a vasectomy, a reversal may make it possible.

Treatments and research

No-scalpel vasectomies

Permanent pregnancy prevention

Vasectomy is considered a permanent way to prevent pregnancy. We usually perform these procedures in the office. They’re common, and they work very well.

This procedure is like a conventional vasectomy but involves reaching your vas deferens through tiny holes in your scrotum. We block the vas deferens the same way. Compared to conventional vasectomy, no-scalpel procedures cause less pain. They also result in a quicker recovery.

This procedure involves making a small incision on each side of your scrotum. The surgeon accesses your vas deferens through the incisions. Your vas deferens is the duct that carries sperm from each testicle to the duct that carries semen and urine out of your body. Vasectomy involves cutting the vas deferens and sealing it. Your testes continue to make sperm, but your body will absorb them. At UW Health, we perform no-scalpel vasectomies.

What to expect

A vasectomy takes about 30 minutes to perform. 

  • We numb the small incision sites on the scrotum so you won’t feel pain. After the procedure, you may have some discomfort, but acetaminophen can help. You should avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, as they raise your risk of bleeding. 

  • For the first few days, it’s best to avoid strenuous activity. It’s also important to wear an athletic supporter for at least a week. It will protect your scrotum during the healing process. 

  • After your vasectomy, sperm could remain in your semen for several months. You’ll need to use other birth control until a semen sample confirms that your semen is sperm-free.

Vasectomy reversal

Vasectomy reversal could make it possible for you to father a child again naturally.

This is a delicate surgery performed under general anesthesia. Specially trained surgeons use a microscope that helps them see the tiny vessels involved. The sooner they do this operation after your vasectomy, the better the chances of it restoring your fertility.


We don’t know which procedure you’ll need until surgery begins. That makes it important to have a surgeon trained and experienced in both. You’ll find them at UW Health.

We perform two vasectomy reversal procedures:

This involves reconstructing the vas deferens tubes that were cut during your vasectomy. It takes about two hours on each side of your scrotum.

This surgery might be the best option if you had your vasectomy long ago or if you have a lot of scar tissue. In this procedure, the surgeon “bypasses,” or eliminates, the vasectomy site. The surgeon reconnects your vas deferens directly to the side of your testicle. 

Meet our team

Trust our experts to provide your care

Doctors at UW Health provide expert care for vasectomies and vasectomy reversals. Some are also fertility specialists. They make sure you get the help and support you need. 

Urology providers
Family medicine providers


Find a location close to you

UW Health Urology has locations throughout Madison and the region. The help you need is close by.

Patient and support services

Resources to assist you

We offer several resources that may be helpful if you’re considering vasectomy or vasectomy reversal. 

Generations Fertility Clinic 

When you’re hoping to have a baby with your partner after a vasectomy, our Generations Fertility Clinic might help. Sometimes in vitro fertilization is a better option than vasectomy reversal. This involves retrieving a sperm sample. We use it to fertilize an egg from your partner. Then we transfer that egg to her uterus.

Clinic staff can help you weigh your options. We work with you and your partner to find the easiest, most effective way to have a baby.

More information

These resources can help you learn more: