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doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.10.001

European Association of Urology Guidelines on Vasectomy

Gert R. Dohle a, , Thorsten Diemer b, Zsolt Kopa c, Csilla Krausz d, Aleksander Giwercman e, Andreas Jungwirth f

a Department of Urology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
b Department of Urology, Paediatric Urology and Andrology, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg GmbH, Campus Giessen, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany
c Andrology Centre Department of Urology Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
d Sexual Medicine and Andrology Unit, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
e Reproductive Medicine Centre, Skane University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
f EMCO Private Clinic, Department of Urology and Andrology, Bad Dürrnberg, Austria

Keywords

Vasectomy. Sterilisation. Male contraceptives. Vasectomy reversal. Pregnancy. Testis. Vasovasostomy. European Association of Urology EAU. Guidelines.

Resumen

Vasectomy should be considered as a permanent method of contraception with few relative contraindications. Comprehensive preprocedure patient information is of the utmost importance, and the decision to proceed should be based on all relevant information available. All potential postoperative complications, although rare, have to be mentioned, and patients should be informed that the procedure is not 100% effective and that recanalisation may occur over time. A written consent form is strongly advised for this procedure.

Context

The European Association of Urology presents its guidelines for vasectomy. Vasectomy is highly effective, but problems can arise that are related to insufficient preoperative patient information, the surgical procedure, and postoperative follow-up.

Objective

These guidelines aim to provide information and recommendations for physicians who perform vasectomies and to promote the provision of adequate information to the patient before the operation to prevent unrealistic expectations and legal procedures.

Evidence acquisition

An extensive review of the literature was carried out using Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from 1980 to 2010. The focus was on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of RCTs (level 1 evidence) and on well-designed studies without randomisation (level 2 and 3 evidence). A total of 113 unique records were identified for consideration. Non–English language publications were excluded as well as studies published as abstracts only or reports from meetings.

Evidence synthesis

The guidelines discuss indications and contraindications for vasectomy, preoperative patient information and counselling, surgical techniques, postoperative care and subsequent semen analysis, and complications and late consequences.

Conclusions

Vasectomy is intended to be a permanent form of contraception. There are no absolute contraindications for vasectomy. Relative contraindications may be the absence of children, age <30 yr, severe illness, no current relationship, and scrotal pain. Preoperative counselling should include alternative methods of contraception, complication and failure rates, and the need for postoperative semen analysis. Informed consent should be obtained before the operation. Although the use of mucosal cautery and fascial interposition have been shown to reduce early failure compared to simple ligation and excision of a small vas segment, no robust data show that a particular vasectomy technique is superior in terms of prevention of late recanalisation and spontaneous pregnancy after vasectomy. After semen analysis, clearance can be given in case of documented azoospermia and in case of rare nonmotile spermatozoa in the ejaculate at least 3 mo after the procedure.