What did my doctor do when he did my vasectomy?

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To understand the answer to this question you must first understand some basic anatomy in the region in which the procedure was done. The sperm are made in the testes (testicles). They then travel and are collected into a structure outside the testis called the epididymis. The epididymis is a thin walled tube that runs down the center of the back of the testis. As it gets closer to the bottom of the testis, the epididymis becomes thicker and straighter. Eventually, when it reaches the scrotum, it straightens out completely and becomes quite thick. This area is called the vas deferens and this is the tube that carries the sperm.

When a physician performs a vasectomy, he is not affecting sperm production, just the flow of the sperm to the testes. He is cutting the vas deferens, the tube that carries the sperm. The inside of the tube is often sealed and the two ends tied and buried at different levels in the scrotum so that they cannot reconnect themselves. A few doctors may specifically damage the epididymis, although this is unnecessary and inadvisable as it makes the possibility of a reversal much more difficult. When a man ejaculates, he pushes out fluid containing mature sperm. However, most of the fluid that he ejaculates comes from organs other than the testicles (the prostate, seminal vesicles, bulborethral glands), the fluids do not contain sperm. This is why men who have had a vasectomy still have normal ejaculation with significant fluid. However, there are no sperm in it.

 
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