These are the results of a non-scientific survey of visitors to Vasectomy-Information.com in which men were asked about the procedure itself. Specifically the information provided during the initial consultation with the doctor or practitioner, discomfort during the procedure, recovery and how long it took to become sterile.
Information provided in pre-vasectomy consultation
The first question was”What information were you given at the consultation”?
Based on the newsgroup discussions, the information we feel is important is as follows:
- post procedure underwear. It’s important to wear supportive underwear for a week or so afterwards, and the jockstrap is the most recommended type by men.
- Ice. To relieve swelling in the first day or so, have an ice pack handy.
- Advice on what medication can, and can’t be taken afterwards.
- Signs of infection, and what to do if you suspect you may have one.
- How many days to take off of work.
- General information on how to look after yourself, what you should expect as normal and what isn’t. How to get medical attention if necessary.
The survey participants rated all of the above pretty highly. Mind you, many of the participants had been here before they went to the doctors, so knew what to discuss!
Satisfaction with pre-vasectomy consultation
We also asked about overall satisfaction with the initial consultation. As the majority of men were clearly given essential information, it’s no surprise that overall satisfaction is similarly high. 75% of men rated the consultation as good or very good, 15% of men rated it OK. Only 10% said it was poor or very poor.
Anaesthetic and sedative given
We asked this question to see how many men had a general anaesthetic. Unsurprisingly, this was a low percentage but still higher than I would have expected. The sedative was a separate question, but is combined with the anaesthetic question in the graph opposite. 31% of men had a sedative in addition to the anaesthetic. This was generally the men in the USA, where it seems to be a fairly usual practice to administer a sedative. Outside the USA it appears to be less common.
Discomfort during vasectomy
We asked men to compare the discomfort of the procedure with other common procedures that may have some level of associated discomfort to find some form of common reference. The discomfort of the vasectomy procedure is often compared with dentistry – hence the emphasis in comparisons with dental procedures such as a filling or root canal work. Piercing refers to ear or body piercing.
Post vasectomy problems
One important aspect of the survey was to look at what complications were common, and at what sort of incidence rate.
- Slight swelling or bruising
- Swelling or bruising took more than two weeks to go
- Post operative infection cured by antibiotics
- Short term intermittent pains lasting less than 3 months
- Intermittent pains lasting longer than 3 months
- Longer term pains
Days taken off of work
The number of days taken off of work varies. In some cases we have heard of men having a long lunch break and going bak to work after the vasectomy. Some men do a very physical job and require more time. In all cases, men should discuss their individual needs and circumstances with the doctor and take the advice on recovery and time off work given.
Men who submitted sperm samples after vasectomy
Doctors want men to submit samples in order to prove you are sterile. 93% of our survey participants did return with samples. But maybe this results represents more the website demographics than the general picture. Some surveys quote much lower statistics on this question. Generally speaking, the object of whatever protocol is used is to get the maximum number of men to return for the testing. Some doctors feel that one sample only is more likely to get the maximum number to return for samples.
Number of sperm tests asked for by doctor
We asked how many samples you were told would be necessary in the initial consultation. The post vasectomy samples procedure varies from doctor to doctor. Some ask for one sample, some ask for two or more.
Number of sperm tests before sterile
The importance of samples is shown in this question – how many samples did you have to submit before you actually were given the all clear? 78% of men were cleared in two or less samples, and but that does leave 15% of men that took longer to be cleared (less the 7% of men who didn’t submit a sample). With 15% of our sample requiring 3 or more samples to be declared sterile, it does seem that the protocol of two samples is the more realistic one.
Months before being declared sterile
The length of time taken before we were declared sterile is within the ranges produced by other surveys. 70% of men were cleared in 3 months or less, and only 2% took longer than 6 months. 7% of the sample did not submit a sample for analysis.