Vasectomy is a popular method of contraception for men. About one in four Australian men over the age of 40 has had a vasectomy.
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the tubes that carry the sperm from the testes (the vas deferens or the “vas”). After the procedure, ejaculated semen will not contain sperm. Instead, the sperm will be reabsorbed into the body.
What is the process for getting a vasectomy?
Step one – assessment:
If you are looking to have a vasectomy, you will need to have an initial assessment. During this visit the vasectomy procedure is explained and an examination is performed to make sure that you are able to have the procedure safely performed under local anaesthetic. We will take you through any questions you may have to make sure the procedure is right for you.
Step two – procedure:
The procedure takes approximately half an hour and is done under local anaesthetic.
It is a quick, effective and relatively painless procedure.
Step three – recovery:
After the procedure, it is normal for there to be a small amount of bruising and mild discomfort which supportive underwear and over-the-counter pain killers will help with. You can also use an ice pack to reduce swelling.
You can return to work, or light duties if you have a physically demanding job, within a few days. After five days, you can resume sexual activity. Your vasectomy will not impact your sexual performance or ability to ejaculate. However, it is important to note that your vasectomy will not be immediately effective. It will take a few months after the vasectomy for the sperm to clear out of the ducts. You will need to use a different method of contraception until you get the all clear.
After a fortnight you can resume exercise. After a month you can resume heavy weights, contact sports and cycling.
Step four – follow up sperm count:
After three months, you will need to have a sperm count done to confirm that the vasectomy has been successful. This test is looking to see that there are no longer any live sperm in the semen. You should not stop using contraception until we have confirmed with you that your sperm count is zero. You should still use a condom in situations if you are at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
You will be $293.40 out of pocket after receiving your Medicare rebate. The total fee billed, including Medicare rebate, is between $500 and $650.
If you’ve arrived at this page, you’re probably at least curious about vasectomy and wanting to know more. You probably have a few questions. The practicalities of vasectomy aren’t often part of public conversation so there are a few myths and misconceptions out there. We’re here to put you at ease with a quick fact check because, let’s be honest, not knowing is often the worst part.
If you have any extra questions or want any clarification check out the information below.
Can vasectomy be reversed?
Vasectomy should be considered a permanent method of contraception. You need to be certain that you do not want any more, or any, children.
Vasectomy reversal involves re-joining the cut ends of the vas deferens, usually by microsurgery. This operation is much more complex than vasectomy, needs to be done under general anaesthetic and can take several hours. Success is not guaranteed and it can be very expensive.
Will it affect my sexual function/ability to ejaculate?
Vasectomy will not affect your libido (sex drive), sexual function or ability to ejaculate in any way. The only thing that changes is that your semen will no longer have any sperm in it.
One study found men who had had a vasectomy reported improved sexual satisfaction, perhaps because of less stress since unintended pregnancy was no longer a worry.
Will it affect my testosterone levels?
A vasectomy does not remove your testes, which is where testosterone is produced, so your testosterone levels will remain unchanged. It simply redirects sperm by cutting the vas deferens so that it can’t mix with semen.
Is it going to hurt?
Many men don’t even feel the local anaesthetic needle. Once the anaesthetic takes effect, you won’t feel the procedure which only lasts about 30 minutes.
Some bruising and pain or aching is normal for up to one to two weeks after vasectomy. Rest, elevation and over-the-counter pain killers will help.
Usually the thought is far worse than the reality. It’s nothing like a kick to the balls, despite what your friends may tell you!
Will my semen/ejaculate look different afterwards?
The amount and colour of semen you produce should look the same as it did before vasectomy. Sperm only makes up about 2% of the volume of an ejaculation.
How effective is vasectomy?
Vasectomy is more than 99.85% effective making it one of the most effective forms of contraception.
Is it similar to female tubal ligation?
Female sterilisation or tubal ligation in women is a more complex procedure than a vasectomy, usually performed laparoscopically with one or two scalpel incisions under general anaesthetic. The fallopian tubes are cut and then tied off, clipped or cauterized.
Vasectomy only requires a single small puncture in the skin of the scrotum and requires about three stitches.
Book an assessment
You can book an assessment without referral by phoning our practice on 07 4055 4556.