1. How effective is vasectomy?
Vasectomy is probably the most effective method of contraception. The failure rate is less than 1%. Although failure rate is low, it is usually picked up when a 3 month sperm count [or 20 ejaculations] is performed. A post-vasectomy sperm count is therefore important.
2. Does vasectomy work straight away?
NO - some sperm will remain in the vas deferens above the operation site for weeks and sometimes months after the operation. These sperm gradually clear after ejaculation Alternative methods of contraception must be used for a few months until you're informed that your semen is free of sperm. Thus more than 1 sperm count may be required. It is important to remember that even though you have been given clearance there is a very small chance of late failure.
3. Does vasectomy affect my body?
The testes continue to produce sperm. These sperm enter the epididymis and because they can’t get through the blocked tubes they are re-absorbed by the body. Vasectomy does not alter the production of the male hormone – Testosterone -, nor does it affect ejaculation. Masculine characteristics ie. beard, voice do not change.
4. Will vasectomy affect my sex life?
With no change in testosterone production, there is no reason why vasectomy would alter your sex-ife. There is no change in sexual desire, erection or orgasm. Rarely psychological effects can occur. However most people enjoy greater sexual freedom as there is no longer the worry of an unplanned pregnancy.
5. Does vasectomy increase the risk of cancer?
To date there is no evidence linking vasectomy to cancer of the testes and or prostate. However it is important to have regular male health and screening checks as part of your general well being.
6. Vasectomy and Sexually Transmitted disease (STD)
Vasectomy does not protect against ‘AIDS’ and or other STD’S in any encounter where there is a risk of contracting or transmitting disease. Condoms should be used as a means of protection against infection.
7. Do I need my partner’s consent?
This service is completely confidential and it is your choice whether or not to have a vasectomy. However, if you are in a relationship it is better to discuss the procedure with your partner.
8. Is my medical history important?
Your medical history is very important. Any previous surgery on your testes, scrotal area or hernia repair may make vasectomy under local anaesthetic more complicated or in fact difficult to do. This may then have to be done under a general anaesthetic. It will be discussed at the pre-operative consultation. Any allergy or bad reaction to medication, local anaesthetic, dressings etc need to be informed. Prolonged bleeding or bruising should be notified. Any other significant conditions such as chest, heart, diabetes or any recent long term illnesses should also be discussed. Mostly it should not affect the procedure, but the doctor should be aware of these conditions.
9. Is it painful?
Everyone experiences pain in a different way and I cannot guarantee that there will be no discomfort. The local anaesthetic injection causes a short sharp pain which starts to work straight away and the area then feels numb. Penthrox Inhalation sedation is available. A local anaesthetic will still be given (but not felt) to provide for a pain free procedure. The anaesthetic lasts for the rest of the day and thereafter there will be some discomfort which can be controlled with most ordinary painkillers.
10. Do I need to take time off work?
The procedure can be done on any day during the week and one should ideally take one or two days off work. If your work is very physical then a few extra days may be recommended.
11. When can I resume normal activities?
Avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for the first week or two. Overexertion may lead to increased swelling and pain. Strenuous and physically demanding sports should be avoided for a longer period.
12. When can I resume sexual activity?
Sex can be resumed whenever you feel comfortable but it is recommended that you wait a few days.
To prepare for your vasectomy follow the following instructions:-
- Do not take aspirin, medicines containing aspirin or anti- inflammatory medication for at least 10 days prior to surgery.
- Alcohol should be avoided.
- Shaving is important – all hair of the genital area, including above the penis and the front and sides of the scrotum, should be shaved the night before using a scissors followed by a razor.
- Shower the evening before and again on the day of the procedure.
- Firm fitting underwear should be worn for the procedure and a week or two after.
POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS
- When you leave, go straight home and relax. If required, take it easy for 48 hours.
- Do not lift heavy objects or do any strenuous exercise for 7-10 days.
- Ice may be applied to reduce swelling.
- The gauze dressing can be removed at the next shower.
- Short showers may be taken.
- Keep the wound clean and dry by applying Betadine anti septic solution to the wound after showering.
- Sex can be resumed whenever you feel comfortable but it is recommended that you wait a few days.
- Pain control is important. The local anaesthetic will wear off after about 6-10 hours. General pain tablets can be used. Occasionally stronger medication may be required.
It is advisable to contact me if you have any of the following signs:-
- Inflammation and redness of the wound.
- Continuous bleeding.
- Excessive bleeding, tenderness or pain.
- Feeling unwell or feverish.
- A growing lump.
- Any other concerns.
Some sperm will remain in the vas deferens above the operation site for weeks and sometimes months after the operation. These sperm gradually clears after approximately 20 ejaculation Alternative methods of contraception must be used for a few months until you're informed that your semen is free of sperm. Thus more than 1 sperm count may be required. It is important to remember that even though you have been given clearance there is a very small chance of late failure.