FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Ask Anything About Vasectomy
What do I do prior to the procedure?
Prepare the pubic area and scrotum two nights before. A lather and shave is suitable, though good results often follow clipping or cutting hair short, then using a hair removal cream such as Nair or Veet. Follow the product instructions carefully, and use the low irritant or ‘for sensitive skin’ variety of the product. Bring two pairs of supportive underwear to the procedure. Patients should refrain from any aspirin ibuprofen, or alcohol on the night before and the day of their vasectomy. They should avoid fish oil supplements for 7 days prior to the procedure.
Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions. Vasectomy should only be considered by those couples whose family is complete: it is meant to be a permanent procedure. Microsurgical reversal of vasectomy has a moderate failure rate of achieving pregnancy, due to either technical issues, re-stenosis, or anti-sperm antibodies following the original vasectomy. Patients considering vasectomy should carefully consider the implications of no longer being able to sire children, in the context of relationship breakdown, changed circumstances, death of existing child etc. Younger couples without children, or younger men not in a stable relationship should generally avoid vasectomy until 30 years of age. A consultation will generally allow the doctor to better understand patient requests in these circumstances.
Does this affect my sexual performance and volume of ejaculation afterwards?
Sexual performance is not affected at all, and you can expect to see no changes in the volume of ejaculate post procedure. Studies have shown that having had a vasectomy often enhances couples’ sexual relationship.
What can I expect afterwards?
Patients can expect some bruising and soreness for several days following the procedure. Patients will be fit to conduct sedentary duties the day following the procedure but should avoid any heavy lifting for three days. Patients should wear 2 pairs of supportive underwear for at three days following the procedure and for at least 7 days if they are conducting any lifting or more strenuous activities. Bring the underwear to the procedure in order to wear home. Patients will need to continue their contraception until a semen test conducted at 4 months following the procedure confirms the absence of sperm. Read more about vasectomy aftercare.
Is the procedure reversible?
The procedure should be seen as irreversible. In 60-70% of cases the procedure may be able to be successfully reversed and a pregnancy achieved. Reversal is expensive and success is not guaranteed. Patients who are considering reversal should not proceed with a vasectomy.
How long after the procedure can I have intercourse?
It is recommended patients wait for 7 days and until discomfort following the procedure has settled. It is not uncommon for patients to notice some blood in the ejaculate in the first few ejaculations following vasectomy.
Can I drive home after my vasectomy?
Patients should not drive for the remainder of the day, nor take alcohol for the remainder of the procedure day. A driver should be arranged beforehand: prompt return home and commencement of ice packs is desirable.
When can I fly following my vasectomy?
It is recommended that patients not fly for at least 48 hours following their vasectomy.
Can I have sedation during my procedure to alleviate anxiety?
Patients are routinely recommended to accept light sedation prior to their procedure, at no extra cost. This is not a general anaesthetic and will not put you to sleep. Sedation aids patient relaxation, and softens the spermatic cord structures within the scrotum, making for a more comfortable procedure. It is not strictly necessary and may be dispensed with if desired by the patient. Sometimes, in patients with highly retractile testicles, sedation will be necessary in order to proceed.
Can I have my vasectomy counselling and procedure on the same day?
A separate consultation prior to procedure day is recommended: this allows adequate consideration of the process, although pre vasectomy counselling and procedure on the same day can be arranged where circumstances make separate visits inconvenient. Patients should be aware that there is a slight chance they will be assessed as unsuitable to have the procedure (due to inability to locate their vas deferens). This occurs in around 2% of patients.