University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Student Outreach Clinics now offering free vasectomies

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UNR Med SOC providing no cost vasectomies.

For information on vasectomies, or to schedule a consultation, contact the Student Outreach Clinic at (775) 682-8646 or studentoutreachclinic@med.unr.edu. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds.

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Student Outreach Clinics are now providing free vasectomies.

According to Daniel Spogen, M.D., chair of UNR Med Family and Community Medicine, men have historically had limited choices when it comes to birth control options. “Family planning has focused more on women, women’s health, pregnancy and childbirth. Vasectomies offer a highly effective contraceptive option and allow men the opportunity to take on a greater role in their contraceptive responsibility.”

A vasectomy is minor surgery to block sperm from reaching semen, preventing pregnancy by removing the ability for sperm to fertilize an egg. After a vasectomy, the testes still make sperm, but they are absorbed by the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vasectomy prevents pregnancy better than any other method of birth control, except abstinence. Data shows that only one to two women out of 1,000 will get pregnant in the year after their partners have had a vasectomy.

Vasectomies are intended to be permanent. The procedure is meant for men who feel 100% confident that the vasectomy is what they want for their contraceptive choice, for the rest of their lives. Though vasectomy reversal procedures are available, they are technically complex, expensive, and have variable success rates. Any male over the age of 18 is eligible for a vasectomy.

There are two common vasectomy methods: incision and no-scalpel. The UNR Med Student Outreach Clinic offers both. Patients should discuss their options with a physician before selecting a method. Licensed faculty and clinical community physicians perform the procedure and provide patient care, while medical students observe or assist.

The outpatient procedure is short, taking anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Patients are required to have a ride home and should rest for two to three days afterwards. Vasectomies typically do not have major side effects and are only linked to a very small chance of infection and mild pain. 

Patients seeking vasectomy services at the UNR Med Student Outreach Clinic are advised to schedule a vasectomy consult before coming to a clinic for the procedure. Patients are required to complete paperwork and a physician examination a month prior to the procedure.

In general, vasectomies are considered a lower-cost surgical option, typically costing between $500 to $3,000. Vasectomies also offer no ongoing costs to maintain. The UNR Med Student Outreach Clinic is the only northern Nevada facility offering no-cost vasectomies. For those who are able, financial contributions can also be made at the time of visit or via an online donation.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the Student Outreach Clinic at (775) 682-8646 or studentoutreachclinic@med.unr.edu. Student Outreach Clinics are held at UNR Med’s Family Medicine Center, located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus at 123 17th Street, Reno, Nevada, just north of Mackay Stadium off North Virginia Street. Take RTC bus route 7 to North Virginia Street or the Sierra Spirit bus.

UNR Med offers free Student Outreach Clinics as a way to give back to the community and prepare medical students as future physicians. The Student Outreach Clinics are made possible by the support of the Nell J. Redfield Foundation; Patricia D. Cafferata in memory of H. Treat Cafferata, M.D.; and the John and Rosemarie Dooley Family Foundation.


Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.