• January 19, 2024
  • Dr Luke Wee

Last updated on April 5, 2024

When it comes to family planning, a vasectomy stands out as a definitive choice for permanent birth control. A common question we often get from men is how to prepare for a vasectomy.

We created this guide to ensure you have all the bits and bobs that you need to make an informed decision and for the best possible experience on the day of your vasectomy procedure.

Understanding the vasectomy procedure

A vasectomy is a quick surgical procedure (usually performed in your healthcare provider’s office). It involves cutting or blocking the vas deferens to prevent sperm from entering the semen, creating permanent sterility. At The Cooper Clinic, we use the fast, efficient and relatively painless no-scalpel technique, usually as an outpatient procedure rather than a procedure in the operating room.

how to prepare for vasectomy

How to prepare for vasectomy – Many families choose a vasectomy as it is a brief surgery with minimal risks and is considered a fully reliable method of birth control for when you feel your family is complete.

Preparing for vasectomy: how to get ready for the big day

A vasectomy involves more than just undergoing a medical procedure; it’s a significant life choice that impacts both your emotional and physical well-being. This important decision not only affects you but also your partner and family, making it essential to weigh all factors carefully and ensure you are prepared for this permanent step.

Are you ready for a vasectomy?

Emotional readiness: Understanding your emotional state is essential. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I prepared for the permanence of this decision?” and “How do I feel about not having more children in the future?” It’s vital to be emotionally aligned with the idea of not having any more children.

Impact on relationships and family considerations: If you are in a relationship, this decision should ideally be a joint one. Open communication with your partner is crucial. Discuss your thoughts, feelings, and apprehensions. Consider your partner’s perspective and your current family situation. Are you both content with the number of children you have, or do you have plans for more? A vasectomy should align with your long-term family goals.

Pre-vasectomy sperm banking: The choice to store sperm provides a backup plan if you have a change in personal circumstances and a vasectomy reversal is not an option. It ensures you may still be able to have children with any future partners, but you should consider the cost of cryogenic sperm storage and the necessary medical insemination process (such as IVF). If this is an option for you, please speak to one of our friendly team members who can provide recommendations and advice.

Taking the time to weigh these considerations carefully can help ensure that you are making the best decision for yourself and your family. Remember, a vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control and life choice that requires thoughtful deliberation.

how to prepare for vasectomy

How to prepare for vasectomy – It’s important to involve your partner in the decision-making process, as it affects them too. They may not feel that your family is complete so don’t want the ability to potentially conceive taken away from them.

The steps to getting a vasectomy

Now you have decided that this procedure is the right choice for you, follow these steps for what to do before vasectomy day:

Initial consultation: The first step involves a detailed discussion with a healthcare provider. This is where they will establish your medical history, and any allergies and provide advice on preparing for your vasectomy. You can ask questions and express any concerns. You need to make sure you understand what a vasectomy procedure entails, including the recovery time and success rate before signing a consent form. The Cooper Clinic offers comprehensive consultations that combine your first appointment and your vasectomy into one single appointment.

Choosing the right clinic and doctor: Research and choose a clinic and doctor based on factors like experience, success rates, and patient reviews. Put The Cooper Clinic at the top of the list as we believe in providing fuss-free and relatively painless procedures.

Scheduling: A suitable surgery date and time for your procedure will take into consideration your work commitments and recovery time. The Cooper Clinic offers convenient Friday clinics, so you can have a quick snip and seal, recover over the weekend and be back at work on Monday!

How to prepare for vasectomy

In the week prior to your procedure, we advise you to make some changes and arrangements for a smooth recovery:

Lifestyle: In the days leading up to your vasectomy, you should aim to stop smoking and avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (or avoid alcohol altogether). Get enough sleep and try to take a day off in order to mentally prepare for the procedure, reducing anxieties around the procedure.

Arrange transportation: Plan for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you might not be in a position to drive yourself. Having a support person helps alleviate anxiety. This is especially important if you have sedation.

Medications: Avoid certain medications, such as blood thinners or other anti-inflammatory medication, as advised by your doctor.

how to prepare for vasectomy

How to prepare for vasectomy – You will be provided with pre and post-operative instructions to help you prepare for your vasectomy procedure.

The morning of the vasectomy procedure

  • Review pre-operative instructions: Check the instructions to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Diet: You can eat a normal breakfast, as long as it is not anything too heavy. Aim to keep it light and nutritious.
  • Personal hygiene: We strongly recommend you have a warm shower and shave the surgical area (your pubic hair) the morning of your procedure.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, with very supportive underwear such as firm-fitting underwear. Don’t wear boxer shorts.
  • Arrival: Once you arrive at the clinic for your consultation and vasectomy procedure, the doctor will go through your consent form, discuss the procedure again and ensure you are ready.

After your vasectomy procedure

You will be discharged home with post-operative care instructions and other pain relief medication. This will include things such as:

  • Ice packs to help with swelling and discomfort in the initial few hours post-vasectomy
  • Avoid ejaculation for a week
  • Avoid heavy lifting and contact sports for several weeks
  • If your job includes manual labour, is strenuous or involves heavy lifting you may need to take at least 1 – 2 weeks off
  • Be sure to use contraception until you have had a semen sample tested for the presence of sperm and been given the all-clear

how to prepare for vasectomy

How to prepare for vasectomy – The recovery period is relatively short, especially with a no-scalpel vasectomy procedure. You can return to regular activities within a few weeks.

Preparing for vasectomy made easy

Choosing a vasectomy is a significant decision that impacts more than just your physical health – it touches on emotional well-being, relationships, and future family planning.
At The Cooper Clinic, we understand the weight of this decision and are here to support you every step of the way, from initial consultations to post-procedure care.

Our commitment is to provide you with all the necessary information and guidance on what to do to prepare for a vasectomy, ensuring a smooth and informed journey through your vasectomy procedure.

FAQ

What should I do the night before my vasectomy?

The night before your vasectomy, it’s important to follow any specific patient instructions provided by your doctor. Generally, you should:

  • Avoid consuming alcohol
  • Ensure you get a good night’s rest
  • Follow any dietary guidelines, such as fasting if required
  • Prepare your clothing and essentials for the next day, choosing comfortable attire
  • Ensure you have over-the-counter pain medication such as paracetamol at home

How can I be sure I want a vasectomy?

It is a serious decision to make and you need to consider all aspects of this procedure. Reflect on your long-term family planning goals and whether you’re certain you don’t want more children. You need to have an honest discussion with your partner and ensure they are on board with your decision.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

A vasectomy is a permanent method to prevent pregnancy, and while reversal operations are possible they are a more complicated operation and the results aren’t guaranteed. So whilst your doctor may offer vasectomy reversals, you need to prepare yourself for the possible risks that fertility can’t be restored.

Dr Luke Wee

About The Author

Dr Luke Wee

Meet Luke, our very own vasman. NZ men benefit from his hands-on experience in performing nearly 3,000 vasectomies! Luke has a special interest in men’s health and vasectomy procedures. He’s a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, a member of the Association of Surgeons in Primary Care and an international vasectomy peer group. Luke keeps his thumb on the pulse and consistently updates his skills and knowledge by attending national and international conferences.

Ask Us a Question

Have a query about vasectomies or family planning? Our dedicated team is here to help! Drop us a line with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the procedure, recovery, or any other aspect of vasectomy. We’re committed to providing informative and personalised answers to support your decision-making process.

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