View our commonly asked questions Dr Michael Read is here to answer any questions you have regarding your Vasectomy procedure. Please take a look at our FAQ’s to see if your question has already been answered. If your questions haven’t been answered below feel free to contact our clinic on 1800 377 323 What is a Vasectomy? A minor 15-30-minute operation, under local anaesthetic performed in an out-patient operating theatre. Vasectomy offers the most effective permanent means of surgical contraception. It has one of the lowest incidences of side effects when compared with other contraceptive methods. How does a vasectomy work? The doctor closes the tiny narrow tubes through which the sperm (male seeds) travel. This tube, the vas deferens, gives the operation its name. Is it okay to take medicine before a vasectomy? Prior to a vasectomy, it is best to avoid medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), ketoprofen (brand name: Orudis), or naproxen (brand name: Aleve) for one week before the procedure. The reason being that these can all thin your blood and increase bleeding. Ibuprofen and naproxen can be taken once you’ve had the procedure, but you shouldn’t take aspirin for another week. You can also try acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) to relieve pain. Will the vasectomy work right away? No. After the procedure, the male will need to ejaculate as many as 15 to 20 times or wait up to 3 months before the sperm will be cleared from both vas deferens. It is advised that during this period you continue to use some form of birth control. Your doctor will ask you to bring in samples of your ejaculation two or three months after the procedure and only after you have a sperm-free sample will you be considered unable to get a woman pregnant. What can I do in case I change my mind? A vasectomy is considered a permanent procedure because although it can be reversed, the process to do so is far more difficult and expensive than the original vasectomy procedure and it is often not covered by insurance plans and most importantly, is rarely successful. For this reason, patients may want to consider sperm banking, just in case the decision or opportunity arises to father another child in the future. There are several companies providing this service. Patients are charged for the testing of the sperm, blood tests necessary for sperm storage, and for storage yearly fees. What is Prostatitis? Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland that may be caused by a bacterial infection. At least half of all men will be affected by prostatitis at some time during their lives. Having this condition does not increase your risk of any other prostate disease. The symptoms of prostatitis are as follows: Trouble urinating Burning when passing urine Strong, frequent need urinate, even if only small amounts Chills and high fever Lower back pain or body aches Pain in the groin or low belly or behind the scrotum Rectal pressure or pain Discharge from the urethra during bowel movements Rectal and genital throbbing Loss of sex drive and other sexual problems Painful ejaculation What is an Enlarged Prostate (BPH)? BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Benign means non-cancerous and hyperplasia means abnormal cell growth. This results in an enlarged prostate. BPH does not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer but the symptoms for BPH and prostate cancer can be similar. They are as follows: Trouble starting a urine stream or making more than a dribble Frequent urination, especially at night The feeling that the bladder is not entirely empty The strong and sudden urge to urinate Weak or slow urine stream Stopping and starting while urinating Straining to begin urination What is Prostate Cancer? Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It tends to grow slowly compared with most other cancers. The cell may change 10, 20, or even 30 years before a tumour is large enough to cause symptoms. Eventually, cancer cells may spread (metastasize). It is possible that by the time symptoms appear, cancer may already be advanced. By age 50, very few men have symptoms of prostate cancer, yet some precancerous or cancer cells may be present. Symptoms of prostate cancer are: trouble urinating the frequent urge to urine weak or interrupted urine stream frequent night time urination pain or burning during urination blood in the urine or semen painful ejaculation pain in the back, hips or pelvis How does this prevent pregnancy? Sperm travelling through the tubes enter a man’s sexual discharge (semen). Cutting the tubes prevents sperm from reaching the semen. When there are no sperm in the semen after a vasectomy, the discharge at sexual relations cannot cause pregnancy. What happens to the sperm? The sperm die, dissolve and are absorbed by the body, a process which occurs with all cells – for example 5 hundred million red blood cells die every day. Does a vasectomy involve a man’s sex organs? No, neither the penis nor testicles are affected. Semen and male hormones are produced as usual. Studies on men, both before and after vasectomy, have demonstrated that no hormonal changes occur. Does vasectomy affect sex enjoyment or a man’s ability to reach a climax? There is no change. A man enjoys sex as much as before and continues to have erections, orgasm and ejaculations of semen but the discharge is sperm-free. Removal of fear of accidental pregnancy may add a greater sense of pleasure. Is a vasectomy painful? With local anaesthetic, there is usually no pain. As with other minor surgery some discomfort or tenderness may be felt afterwards. This can be relieved with Paracetamol. Does the operation require time off work? Most men can return to their jobs after 2 to 3 days, it is advised to avoid heavy work or sport for 7 to 10 days. Is a vasectomy safe? All surgery involves some risk but a Vasectomy is safe. The most frequent complications are local swelling, bleeding and infection, (about 1 in 100). Serious bruising, pain or other complications (less than 1 in 1,000). How long after a vasectomy can you have intercourse As soon as you are comfortable which may be only a few days. Can a man get a woman pregnant after a vasectomy? Active sperm may remain in the vas (tube) ahead of the cut and come out in the semen for some time after the operation. This varies with each man, but might take up to several months. A contraceptive method must still be used until the semen is tested and the man told his discharge contains no sperm. In very rare instances a tube may grow back together, letting sperm pass through, or one side may have more than one tube. Can fertility be restored at a later time? Some success has been recorded in reconnecting the tubes surgically although no one should count on reversing the operation. Couples should use vasectomy only when they are certain they do not want more children. Medicare does not have a refund for reversals. Before my vasectomy? Avoid Aspirin and anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen. Shave the scrotum and pubic area and thoroughly clean the area. Firm underpants rather than boxers. How do men who had have a vasectomy feel about it? The great majority are happy about it and recommend it to their friends. Few men express reservations or regret. Usually these have had complications, insufficient discussion beforehand, expected it to solve a previous problem, or were pushed into having the operation. How is a vasectomy arranged? Call the Vasectomy Clinic on 1800 377 323 to book your consultation or visit your GP for advice. Is the cost refundable from medicare? Yes, but the amount varies with Federal Government policies. Does a vasectomy require surgery? Here at the Gold Coast Vasectomy Centre, Dr Michael Read performs what is known as a Keyhole vasectomy. This open-ended, no-scalpel method involves no stitches as only a small puncture wound is made upon the scrotum. The procedure is performed in the clinic eliminating the need for hospital admission and additional hospital and anaesthetist fees. No referral is necessary either, so if you are considering undergoing a vasectomy, all you need to do is simply call us on (07) 5531 3205 to book a consultation with Dr Michael Read. Are contraceptives necessary after a vasectomy? Unfortunately, you will still need to use contraceptives for some time after your vasectomy. Sperm does remain in the vas deferens tube after it has been cut meaning that your ejaculate will still be able to impregnate. The doctor will be able to advise you on exactly when your semen is no longer carrying sperm, where after you will be able to enjoy the benefits of your vasectomy. What is the recovery time after a vasectomy? At the Gold Coast Vasectomy Centre, our vasectomy method of choice is a non-surgical procedure called a keyhole vasectomy. This involves only a small puncture in the scrotum and no stitches are necessary. The recovery time is estimated to be only a few days but you can resume sexual intercourse as soon as you feel comfortable. Don’t forget to share this via Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.