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 done eight weeks after the procedure. It takes this long for the reservoir of sperm to deplete.

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.

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

About

Before the procedure

• Please shave your scrotum in the days leading up to your procedure and wash thoroughly with soap and water the morning of.

• Please 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 procedure, we can provide sedation via oral medication. This needs to be discussed at your first consultation.

 

The procedure

• You will remain awake throughout the procedure.

• Pain relief is via local anaesthetic.

• 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.

 

Post-operative care

• Men generally tolerate the procedure very well and are surprised how little pain they experienced.

• 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 an ice pack 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 five days after your procedure, longer if you are uncomfortable. 

NSCC Vasectomy Procedure Benefit

Frequently asked questions

Is the vasectomy procedure painful?
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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.

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Can a vasectomy procedure be reversed?
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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.

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How long does the vasectomy procedure take?
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Vasectomy surgery usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

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What is involved during the vasectomy procedure?
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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.

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