The first step is of course to ensure that you have made a fully informed and considered decision.
Please review information on our site and elsewhere and proceed only if you feel confident and happy with your choice.
Important Questions Before Having a Vasectomy
How can I be sure I want a vasectomy?
You don’t want to father a child under any circumstances.
You want to enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy.
You want to save your partner from the surgery involved in having her tubes closed, which carries a higher risk and failure rate.
If this is true in your case, then a vasectomy may be right for you.
Talk to your partner- it’s a good idea to make this decision together. Consider other kinds of birth control. Talk to a friend or relative who has had a vasectomy. Think about how you would feel if your partner had an unplanned pregnancy. Talk to a doctor, nurse or family planning counselor.
A vasectomy might not be right for you if:
You are very young, your current relationship is not stable, you are having the vasectomy just to please your partner, you are under a lot of stress, or you are counting on being able to reverse the procedure later.
Vasectomy reversal is a more complicated operation than the original vasectomy procedures. Reversal success rates are up to 70% and vary based on how long it has been since the original surgery. Intramed does not offer vasectomy reversals.
Please also be aware that Alberta Health does not cover vasectomy for men who have had a previous vasectomy.
Eight reasons for having a No-Scalpel Vasectomy
Less chance of bleeding and other complications
Just as effective
Can a No-Scalpel Vasectomy be reversed?
Yes, but reversal operations are expensive and not always successful. If you are thinking about reversal, perhaps vasectomy is not right for you. We definitely recommend that you consider vasectomy a permanent form of contraception when making your decision. Pre-vasectomy Sperm Banking (cryopreservation) is a good idea for almost anyone considering a vasectomy. Ask our staff for details.
You will have a consultation appointment in our clinic with our doctor prior to your surgery.
If you are coming from out of town and have chosen the same day consultation option you will have the consultation the same day as your surgery. Otherwise the consultation and procedure will be seperate appointments.
Once the consultation is complete your surgery date will be scheduled and it is important that you follow the instructions below. Please also review the After Vasectomy information so you know what to expect after the procedure.
The Week Before
Starting seven days before the procedure, do not take any aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication. These thin the blood somewhat and increase the risk of bleeding. You can still take other pain relief medication like Tylenol.
In addition to aspirin you must entirely avoid Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Advil, Naproxen, Diclofenac, and others. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is acceptable because it does not impact your risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
Don’t take aspirin and the other anti-inflammatories for your own safety. Our doctor may not perform your procedure if you have taken these drugs recently. If you have a medical requirement to do so please discuss with Dr. Crouse.
Two Days Before
Please avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before and after the surgery.
Wash and then shave your scrotum two nights before your surgery. We recommend shaving then instead of the night before so that any discomfort due to shaving will have passed before you come into the clinic for your vasectomy procedure.
The image at left shows where to shave, and you may choose to cut first carefully with small scissors prior to shaving with a safety razor or an electric if that is your preference.
Shaving Before Vasectomy
For our much improved visibility and for hygienic reasons (keeping hair out of the surgical area), we recommend that you shave from the base of the penis and along front and sides of your scrotum. Avoid dry shaving; do it while showering.
While we could easily perform your procedure without having you shave at all, we believe that this is an important step in performing a meticulous surgery.
The Day of Your Vasectomy
Wear very supportive underwear. Please do not wear boxer shorts, as they do not provide the necessary support.
Wear comfortable clothing. Choose pants that you won’t mind getting iodine on after the procedure.
We also recommend that you wear a T-shirt because the room in which we do the procedure is hot and anything heavier may be uncomfortable for you.
The heat of the room relaxes the scrotum and makes the procedure easier to perform.
You can imagine yourself on the beach on a southern vacation during the brief surgery.
Eat a good breakfast! You will feel much more comfortable during the procedure.
Minimize coffee, but have one if skipping it causes you material stress.
Plan to arrive a little earlier for your appointment.
Important Questions Before a Man’s Vasectomy
Is it the right time for my vasectomy?
You will want to be certain that you are content with the number of children you have. If you have a child under six months of age, you might want to wait because of the “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)”, a condition where a child can die after a few months of life for no apparent reason. Six months of age is often considered the threshold at which SIDS is least likely to occur. Although SIDS is not common (1 in 2000 infants), this might possibly affect the timing of your plans for vasectomy.
Should I Store Sperm?
Choosing to have a vasectomy is a serious decision because it is carried out with the intention of creating permanent sterility. Our experience with patients over the years has shown that some men who opt for a vasectomy later change their minds about their desire to have children. Reasons for this include death of a spouse, death of a child, divorce, separation, or just changing their minds.
The decision on whether to store sperm as a way to potentially conceive a child in the future is an important one. Conception using stored sperm is not certain, and the necessary medical insemination process can be costly.
Cryogenic sperm storage is a good insurance policy, but is not a fully reliable method. If you are concerned to ensure future ability to conceive a child, then the vasectomy itself should be reconsidered.