FAQ - Vasectomy

You will need to be at the doctor’s office for approximately 45-60 minutes. Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Allow 5 minutes for the sterile preparation, plus approximately 10 minutes for the procedure itself. You will then be asked to remain in the doctor’s office for an additional 15 minutes.

The vasectomy will be mostly pain free. You may be sore/sensitive for a couple of days and should take a mild painkiller as directed if necessary. With the No-Needle No-Scalpel technique, the discomfort level is much lower since it is minimally invasive.

NO! The vasectomy is not effective immediately. In fact, it can take up to 3 months for the vasectomy to be completely effective. The semen needs to be tested 12 weeks after the procedure to ensure that there is no remaining live sperm. Approximately 90% of men will have a zero sperm count after 3 months. Another semen sample may be required if the results are unclear. The vasectomy has not successfully worked until the sperm count in the semen is down to zero. Until then, another form of contraception should be used.

No. Although you should avoid all forms of sexual activity for the first seven days after the procedure, the vasectomy has no effect on the male hormones produced by the testicles. Sexual function does not change! Sensation, erection and ejaculation will remain the same! The only difference lies in the fact that the ejaculate no longer contains sperm. Some men have however noted an increased sex drive after vasectomy.

You should avoid all forms of heavy physical labour and sports for seven days after your vasectomy. Do not lift anything in excess of 15lbs (including babies/small children) for the first few days, and avoid all forms of strenuous activities or exercise. If your work does not require any physical labour (such as an office job) you may go back to work sooner.

Men under the age of 30, men who have young children under 6 months of age, or men who are unsure whether or not they may eventually want children or more children, should consider waiting before proceeding with a vasectomy.

A successful vasectomy reversal, consisting of a 3-hour operation that may require general anaesthesia, cannot be guaranteed. If a reversal is attempted within the first 3 years after the vasectomy, there is a 70% chance of success. This percentage falls drastically after 10 years. Even though the tubes (vas deferens) can successfully be reattached, the sperm that flow through the tubes may be infertile.

Having a vasectomy creates permanent sterility, and statistics show that a significant number of men who have undergone a vasectomy later change their minds about their desire to have children, stating reasons such as death of a spouse, death of a child, divorce, separation, etc. For these reasons, some men may consider sperm storage prior to undergoing a vasectomy, which consists of cryogenically freezing and preserving sperm, as a type of insurance policy in the event of a future change of heart. The Ottawa Fertility Centre can be contacted for more information on sperm storage.

You are welcome to visit the website of Dr. Douglas Stein, urologist in Tampa, Florida. He has an excellent vasectomy counselling video as well as further information on No-Needle No-Scalpel Vasectomy.

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