Common Questions about Vasectomies:
- Is a vasectomy reversible?
It is recommended that patients consider the procedure to be irreversible. Although it is possible to reverse a vasectomy, there is no guarantee it will be successful. Vasectomy reversal is expensive, and not insured by Alberta Health, and its success decreases with time. At 10 years after the procedure, the success of reversal is less than 35% of getting viable sperm count.
- Can a vasectomy fail?
The failure rate of vasectomy is approximately 0.5 %, or 1 in 200. The main cause of failure is reattachment of the two cut ends. Although the technique used in our clinic reduces the likelihood of this, it is always possible for the procedure to fail. One of the benefits of vasectomy is that it can be tested. If the procedure fails, it may be repeated.
- Is the procedure effective immediately?
No, it takes 12 weeks and approximately 25 to 30 ejaculations to empty the seminal glands which store sperm for ejaculation. Contraception will continue to be required until a sperm count is done to confirm the procedure has worked.
- Is a consultation or referral required prior to booking the procedure?
You do not require a referral to book with us. Although a consultation with the doctor is not mandatory, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the procedure, you may book an appointment to discuss it prior to having the procedure done.
- What about no needle and laser procedures?
Vasectomy requires the introduction of local anesthetic to the skin, and the deeper structures of the scrotum. As there is a very low density of sensory nerves in the scrotum, the fine needle used in the procedure is relatively painless. The introduction of the lidocaine (freezing) itself causes very brief discomfort, which is inevitable regardless of how it is introduced. Laser is used occasionally instead of cautery to seal the severed end of the vas deferens, but really offers no advantage to the procedure, only cost.