A vasectomy is the surgical procedure for permanent male sterilisation. It is an effective and permanent way to prevent pregnancy, and suits men who are certain they don’t want future children.
Vasectomies don’t have any lasting effects on sexual activity or performance, and the procedure is easier and less expensive than female sterilisation.
About five per cent of married men of reproductive age have vasectomies.
The vasectomy procedure involves cutting the vans deferens; the reserve of sperm in the seminal vesicles gradually depletes over about eight weeks before infertility is achieved, which is confirmed with a pathology test.
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Vasectomies prevent pregnancies 99.85 per cent of the time.
After undergoing a vasectomy, couples no longer need to use birth control.
A vasectomy has no long-term effects on your health and does not alter your hormones.
Testosterone levels are unchanged, so hormones and sex drive are unaltered.
Only a few days off work are required, with full recovery typically within a few weeks.
Vasectomies are performed with local anaesthetic, and mild discomfort is easily managed.
Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic which you should start taking the morning of the procedure. You can eat, drink and shower as normal. Please shave the whole area including above and below, so the hair does not get in the way. Do not use hair removal cream as it will burn.
Please bring two pairs of briefs for support (not boxers). This will prevent swelling and soreness. Wear these for about two weeks after the procedure, even in bed at night, for support.
Payment is due at the time of surgery using exact cash or EFTPOS. A Medicare rebate is available.
You will receive a script for painkillers (Panadeine Forte for a few days of pain relief if you need it, which will show up as a narcotic on a drugs test but should be out of your system by the time you return to work), anti-inflammatories (Brufen for 10 days, which does not show up on a drugs test and does not affect reflexes) and antibiotics. It is important that you take all the medication until the courses are finished.
Some swelling, bruising and pain is normal. You do not need to use antiseptic creams or lotions. You will need to shower when you get home to remove the excess Betadine, and shower as normal thereafter. Do not go swimming.
Avoid lifting and strenuous activity for a few days. Take about three days off and do nothing. A lot of healing takes place quickly, so leave the site undisturbed. Sexual activity can resume when you feel comfortable. The stitches are dissolvable so you can expect them to disappear in about one week.
A nurse will review you in-centre after two weeks. In about two months, you will send a semen sample to the QML Pathology Laboratory at the Gasworks on Shakespeare Street. We will give you a container with instructions; please read them carefully as there are specific guidelines for collection. This pathology is bulk billed.
Semen samples must be sent for testing until they are clear. You must use another form of contraception until confirmation of a zero sperm count on your semen analysis.
Men generally tolerate the operation very well and are surprised how little pain they endured. Pain relief is via local anaesthetic.
It is prudent to rest for the first 24 hours and then take things quietly for the next two days. Some pain over these three days is not unusual and you may use simple analgesia such as paracetamol or codeine for pain relief.
You should consider a vasectomy as non-reversible as we cannot guarantee that an individual can undergo reversal successfully.
In general, reversal is successful in the first 10 years after vasectomy, but the success rate drops after that. The cost of reversal is several thousand dollars. Our centre does not perform reversal procedures. You should ask your GP for a referral to see an appropriate surgeon.
Using IVF techniques, one sperm obtained by testicular biopsy can be injected into an egg to achieve pregnancy. There is a cost involved in this treatment.
Vasectomy procedures usually take about 10 to 30 minutes.
No, a vasectomy will not affect libido, sex drive or testosterone. The purpose of the procedure is simply to prevent semen travel.
No. The vasectomy procedure is directed toward the vas deferens tube and doesn't involve any other sexual organ or tissue.
There has been no proven link between vasectomies and increased risk of cancers or heart disease.