Vasectomy is a surgical procedure performed to make a man sterile or unable to father a child. It is a permanent male birth control measure and a means of contraception used in many parts of the world.
Generally, vasectomy leaves the patient unchanged except that the vas deferens—the tubes leading to the testes—are blocked. The testes still produce sperm, but the sperm die and are absorbed by the body. The level of testosterone remains the same and all male sexual characteristics remain the same. For most men, the ability to have an erection is unchanged.
A total of nearly 50 million men have had vasectomies, a number equal to about five percent of all married couples of reproductive age. Approximately half a million vasectomies are performed in the United States each year. Nearly one out of six men over age 35 has had a vasectomy.
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