For many men, the thought of a vasectomy may be intimidating. However, it’s really a very simple and quick procedure. A vasectomy is an outpatient, or same day procedure. While Philadelphia urologist, Dr. Sloane, will talk with you about everything you need to know, here are some things to expect when getting a vasectomy.
Before a Vasectomy
Before getting a vasectomy, there are a few things you should do:
- Every doctor is required to have you sign a consent form that allows him or her to perform the surgery. It also states that a vasectomy is not 100% guaranteed to make you sterile.
- Don’t take any aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for two weeks before the surgery. These can cause bleeding after the procedure. Be sure to inform your doctor about any other medication you may be taking.
- Arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up after your surgery.
- Shower and wash your scrotum the day of the surgery. You may also be asked to shave the area.
- Bring a pair of snug cotton briefs or an athletic supporter to the office.
- Eat no more than a small snack before your surgery.
During a Vasectomy
The entire vasectomy procedure usually lasts less than 30 minutes. During that time you can expect the following:
- After undressing and lying down you’ll be given an injection of local anesthetic in your scrotum or lower groin to prevent any pain. You may also be given medication to help you relax.
- Once the area is numb, one or two small incisions will be made with a scalpel or with a pointed clamp (no-scalpel method).
- The vas deferens are lifted through the incision and cut. They are then sealed off using one of several methods.
- If stitches are needed they will be administered.
After a Vasectomy
After a vasectomy, your scrotum may look slightly bruised or swollen; this is perfectly normal. In order to ease discomfort, you can follow these tips:
- Lie flat on a bed or sofa as much as possible for the first two days.
- Continue to wear an athletic supporter or snug cotton briefs for support.
- Reduce swelling with an ice pack or frozen peas placed in a thin towel.
- If you have discomfort, take medications with acetaminophen (such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Aleve). Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
- Wait 48 hours before bathing.
- Avoid any heavy lifting or exercise for 7 days.
Contact us immediately if…
- You experience increasing pain or swelling
- See a large black and blue areas, or growing lump
- You get a fever or chills
- Increased redness or drainage of the incision
- You have trouble urinating
Sex After a Vasectomy
Having a vasectomy does not change the way you function sexually. When you begin to have sex again, it should feel the same as before. You will NOT become sterile immediately and will need to continue to use other forms of birth control. For most men, it will take between 8 weeks to 3 months to become sterile. In some cases it may take longer. In order to confirm that you are sterile after this time, your doctor will have you come back into the office for semen exams. Once you’re confirmed to be sterile, you’ll no longer need to use other forms of birth control.
While this does protect against unwanted pregnancy, a vasectomy does not protect you from STDs. Continue to practice safe sex if you have more than one partner.
If you’d like to find out more about if a vasectomy is right for you or to schedule an appointment, call Philadelphia Urology Associates today at (215) 563-1199 or contact us online.