Male vasectomy: Everything you should know

In addition to our expert skin cancer services, we also perform male vasectomy procedures at our centre in Ridgehaven, SA. Our doctors have over 30 years' experience in performing these procedures and our medical centre is equipped with dedicated consulting rooms and surgical theatres, with a team of skilled support staff for your aftercare.

Let's take a look at everything you should know about this procedure for permanent male fertility control.

What is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is the surgical procedure for permanent male sterilisation.

During ejaculation, sperm is combined with other fluids to make up the ejaculate. The volume made up by the sperm is only one per cent and so there is no noticeable change in the volume of ejaculate after a vasectomy procedure. Some weeks after the procedure, the reserve of sperm in the seminal vesicles will gradually deplete and then infertility is achieved. The doctor will provide pathology forms for sample testing to be 

Sex drive remains unaltered. The levels of male hormone (testosterone) are unaffected by the operation as this hormone is carried by the blood stream directly from the testis.done eight weeks after the procedure. It takes this long for the reservoir of sperm to deplete.

The procedure reliability is very good and the late failure rate (tubes spontaneously re-joining) is about 1 in 1,000.

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What you should know before a vasectomy:

  • You can save the doctor time by shaving your scrotum prior to the operation.
  • Do not take aspirin, anti-inflammatories, or fish oil in the week prior to your procedure as these can increase bruising.
  • You should plan three days off work for recovery time. Should you have a complication such as excessive bruising, you may need several weeks to recover.
  • You may drive yourself to and from the centre unless you are having medication for sedation, in which case you need a driver. Partners are welcome to sit in.
  • If you are likely to suffer excessive anxiety during the operation, we can provide sedation via oral medication. This needs to be discussed at your first consultation.

What's involved in the vasectomy procedure?

  • You will remain awake throughout the procedure.
  • Pain relief is via local anaesthetic.
  • We use the "no scalpel" method which gives a smaller skin puncture and therefore carries less complications.
  • Two to three centimetres of tube are removed from each side. The top ends of the tubes are cauterised, and the bottom ends are left open.

What you should expect after the procedure:

  • Men generally tolerate the operation very well and are surprised how little pain they endured.
  • 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.
  • Some bruising visible under the skin is not uncommon but please report any excessive bruising. Showering and normal bathing is fine.
  • You should avoid strenuous physical activity for two days or longer if you are uncomfortable. You may resume sexual activity after two days if you are pain free.

When is a man considered sterile after a vasectomy?

Consider yourself fertile until proven otherwise after testing. Most men only require one semen test at eight weeks post-operatively. You will be supplied with some pathology forms and specimen bottles at your first visit. Please discuss the test results with the doctor.

Have questions? Learn more here or call North East Skin Cancer Centre on 08 8396 3398.

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