Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable is a vasectomy?

Whilst a vasectomy is probably the safest form of permanent contraception, you will not be sterile immediately; for most it takes a minimum of  8-12 weeks for the sperm stored in the seminal vesicle (which is above the site of the vasectomy) to be cleared from the system. After 12 weeks a sperm count is performed which involves taking a specimen of your semen to a pathology centre where it will be sent away to be examined for the presence of sperm. When no sperm are found, sterility has been achieved. One in 10 patients still have sperm present and repeat tests are performed monthly until none are left, 99% are clear by 6 months. The overall failure rates quoted are about 1 in 1000 compared with 1 in 250 in women who have tubal ligation. This includes failure to identify and deal with the vasa, an extra vas and early or late spontaneous rejoining of the ends with re-canalisation. Once it has been established that the semen is clear of sperm subsequent failure of the procedure, due to the spontaneous rejoining of one or both vasa is very rare, occurring only in about 1 in 5000 vasectomies.

Is it painful?

Most patients report that ‘it was much better than the dentist’. There is no sudden pain post operatively which can occur after waking from general anaesthesia or after the use of standard local anaesthetics or sedation.

How is a ‘non-scalpel’ vasectomy performed?
No-scalpel vasectomy instruments, used in China since the mid-70’s and introduced into the United States and Australia in 1989, are simply a very sharp artery forcep, used initially to make a tiny opening into anesthetized skin of the scrotal wall, and a ring clamp, used initially to secure each vas tube in turn beneath this opening. The sharp artery forcep is then used to spread all layers (the vas sheath) down to the vas tube itself and to then deliver a small loop of the vas through the opening as the ring clamp is released. In turn, the ring clamp is used to hold the vas, while the sharp artery forcep spreads adherent tissue and blood vessels away from the vas under direct vision, so that the vas can then be divided and the upper end tied off so that it will seal closed.
Can a vasectomy be reversed?

Vasectomy should be considered irreversible as reversal operations and all other techniques are not universally successful. If you are contemplating a reversal then vasectomy may not be the best choice for you.

The functional success rate for reversal operations quite high (up to 90% in the first 5 years following vasectomy) but declines with time due to decreased sperm production and the development of anti-sperm antibodies. An alternative to reversal for future pregnancy is an ‘IVF’ procedure using stored sperm or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (which involves taking an immature sperm directly from the testicle and injecting it into an egg)

Sperm storage is available and can be organised.

Note: Medicare does not rebate reversal operations or ICSI or sperm storage.

Does a vasectomy affect sexual function?

Physically a vasectomy makes no difference to your sex drive or performance, as testosterone and semen production (apart from the sperm component) remains unaffected. Many men say their sex life is improved because they no longer have to worry about the higher rates of contraception failure with other methods.

What happens to the sperm?

The cut end of each vas closest to each teste is left open letting the sperm which are still produced in the testes after the vasectomy escape into the scrotum. As the volume of immature sperm is miniscule they are reabsorbed by the body without causing any swelling. This “open-ended” technique minimises post-operative discomfort as there is no build-up of pressure in the testes and epididymis.

Are there any side effects of the vasectomy?

Most men experience little or no pain however a few experience discomfort, bruising and swelling of a minor and transient nature. This is usually relieved by rest, simple pain medications and supportive underwear. Serious side effects are extremely rare. Long-term pain and tenderness (1-2% of cases), infection, epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the epididymis and testes), scrotal haematoma (blood clot inside the scrotum), bleeding, cyst and granuloma formation, reactions around internal sutures, development of anti-sperm antibodies, delayed wound healing and adverse reactions to the skin preparation, latex gloves, local anaesthetic and heat cautery/diathermy can occur.

Prostate Cancer, heart attacks and other issues

There have been media reports in the past of links with cardiovascular disease, male menopause and cancer of the testes and prostate these have not been supported by large studies in many countries.

The American Urological Association Vasectomy Guideline Panel reviewed very carefully the concept that vasectomy might be a risk factor for prostate cancer and concluded that there is no risk.

Although this does not mean that there can be no possible ill effect on health, vasectomy remains the safest and most effective permanent contraceptive choices available.

No-needle Vasectomy

The spray penetrates to about 5mm, enveloping the vas. For “techies,” the MadaJet is a rather simple but precisely machined device. A cocking leverlifts a piston (shaft) to a locked position, compressing a strong main springand drawing anesthetic from a fill chamber into a cylinder at the bottom of ahead assembly. When a release button is pressed, the spring forces the piston down into the cylinder, ejecting the anesthetic under high pressure through a tiny orifice at the end of an extended tip. A MadaJet® is a spray applicator which delivers a fine stream of liquid anesthetic at a pressure great enough to penetrate the skin to a depth of about 5mm, deep enough to envelop the vas tube held snugly beneath the skin. Each vas is positioned in turn beneath the very middle of the front scrotal wall and given two or three squirts. That numbs the skin and both vas tubes adequately for 99% of men. The other 1% (usually men who have thick skin or scarring due to prior surgical procedures in the area) will require a bit more anesthetic delivered with a fine needle, usually with no pain at all because of the partial anesthesia achieved with the MadaJet.  If you require the ‘no needle’ option please let our staff know at time of booking. There is an extra charge of $100 for this.

Is it a Laser vasectomy?

No.The vas tubes are most easily and safely divided under direct vision with a fine surgical scissors. But the expression “LASER” has great popular appeal, and use of laser energy in the performance of a simple vasectomy serves no purpose but to play up to this popular appeal. Lasers have proven indispensable for certain types of retinal (eye) and skin procedures, and they offer an alternative, though not necessarily better, means for destroying tissue (prostate and certain tumors) and kidney stones. But a laser (like any other form of light) cannot pass through opaque tissue without burning a hole in it, so a laser cannot be magically directed at internal organs such as the vas tubes without an access opening in the same way that sound waves can be used to destroy kidney stones without an incision. “An Update on Laser Use in Urology” in the October 2003 issue of Contemporary Urology by MJ Manyak and JW Warner from George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC did not even mention vasectomy as a potential laser application. The authors maintained that with the CO2 lasers used in office environments, “use is typically limited to surface applications because CO2 laser energy is absorbed by water, resulting in a shallow depth of penetration (<0.1 mm). … Because the CO2 laser produces a plume that has the potential for vaporizing infectious viral particles, an appropriate fine mesh filtration mask must be used by all operating room personnel during all cutaneous procedures. Other drawbacks of the CO2 laser include poor coagulation of vessels with a diameter greater than 1.0 mm and development of oxidized char that impedes vaporization of underlying tissue.” So lasers play no role in a procedure as simple as vasectomy and introduce an unnecessary element of risk. A recent search revealed no articles in the medical press.

How to organise a vasectomy?

Phone our friendly staff on 1300 377 647

Most prefer to have their pre-vasectomy consultation and vasectomy procedure performed on the same day. (Note: you must ask the receptionist to notify the doctor and discuss by phone if you are taking aspirin prescribed by a doctor or if you are on any other anti-coagulant Isocover/Co-Plavix Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis or warfarin)

Alternatively you can organise a separate pre-vasectomy consultation to discuss the operation in detail and have time to consider the information before making an appointment for the procedure.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the vasectomy procedure is $750.00; a deposit of $100 is required at time of booking the appointment for the procedure. This deposit is fully refundable if notice of cancellation is given at least 4 days prior to appointment. The balance of $650.00 is payable on the day of your appointment, MasterCard, Visa, Amex, Diners and eftpos facilities are available.

You will receive a rebate from Medicare of approximately $201.00; the out of pocket expense does count toward the Medicare safety net which may qualify you a tax deduction. We have the Medicare Easy Claim System facility which allows Medicare to electronically put your rebate back into your account within 3 working days. If you have not registered already notify Medicare on phone 13 20 11 (select option 3) of your bank details and present your current Medicare Card on arrival.