Sterilisation procedure: How to prepare and what you can expect
Male sterilisation, also known as vasectomy, is a minor surgical procedure on the sperm tubes to prevent pregnancy (fertilisation). Read more about male sterilisation performed at Andros Clinic, the largest urological clinic in the Netherlands. A urologist is a doctor who specialises in male genital organs.
How to prepare yourself for sterilisation
It is important to prepare yourself to contribute to successful sterilisation. Read what you need to do yourself.
Do you use blood-thinning medications?
If you use blood-thinning medications, there may be a higher risk of bleeding. Therefore, it is necessary that you stop taking these medications a few days prior to the sterilisation procedure. Ask your attending doctor or your anticoagulation clinic when you must stop taking these medications and when you can start taking these again.
If you have your blood checked by the anticoagulation clinic, please ask for an INR (International Normalized Ratio) check, one working day prior to sterilisation. Your INR has to be lower than 1.7. If this is not the case, please contact us. Important: If you use Ascal (carbasalate calcium) or acetylsalicylic acid, you can keep taking these.
Your visit to our clinic
Before starting the sterilisation procedure, you will meet and talk with the urologist who will carry out the sterilisation. During this talk, the urologist will discuss the procedure in detail. If you have any questions, the urologist will be happy to answer these. And then, it’s time to start the procedure.
After your talk with the urologist, you will be asked to lie down on the treatment table. Your scrotum will be disinfected and two injections will be administered to numb the skin. The injections may feel somewhat uncomfortable, which is why you’re advised to take two paracetamol tablets just before you leave your house.
After receiving the anaesthetic, you will feel no pain. You may feel some tugging and pulling of the sperm tubes which may feel uncomfortable to your lower abdomen.
The urologist will make a small cut left and right of your scrotum to reach the sperm tubes, and then cuts and removes a small section of both tubes. The ends of both tubes are then tied. The cuts in the skin are closed with stitches or an adhesive strip and covered with sterile bandages. The sterilisation takes about 15 minutes as performed by the experienced urologists at Andros.
Recovering after the procedure
When the procedure is done, you will be asked to take a seat in our waiting room where you will be offered a cup of coffee or soup. We want to make sure you’re feeling okay before you leave our clinic.
After the sterilisation procedure
For the remainder of the day, you need to rest to avoid any post-op bleeding. If you experience any pain in your scrotum or groin area after the anaesthetic has worn off, you can take paracetamol or try to cool it down (usually not necessary).
We advise you to wear tight-fitting and comfortable underwear or swim shorts to help support your scrotum till you no longer feel any pain or discomfort in the groin area.
Lifestyle advice after sterilisation
To prevent complications, we advise you to stick to a number of rules following the days after the procedure:
- 24 hours after the procedure, you can remove the bandage yourself and you are allowed to take a shower.
- You may go to work if you feel you are capable to do so. Avoid any straining physical activities, especially during the first few days after the procedure.
- Cycling, exercising, swimming or heavy lifting is allowed one week after the procedure.
- Contact sport is allowed 10 days after the procedure
- Sexual intercourse is allowed one week after the procedure, but please keep in mind that you are not instantly infertile after the procedure.
- If the skin has been stitched, the stitches will dissolve by themselves after approx. one week, and so do not need removing.
Side effects and complications
One or two days after the procedure, our nurse will contact you by phone to inquire after your wellbeing and if you have experienced any complications. Generally, there are almost no complications. After the procedure, you may experience one or more side effects. These side effects are more common and will disappear after a few days.
After the procedure, you may experience a haematoma which will cause a blue discolouration of your scrotum and / or the base of the penis.
Blood or fluid loss
There may be some blood and fluid loss. Please do not be concerned as this will pass within a few days.
Post-op pain is more common and can be felt as a painful sensation in the testicles during walking. You may want to take pain killers.
Feeling of propulsion
In the first few weeks after the sterilisation, you may experience a feeling of propulsion which can feel somewhat uncomfortable prior to ejaculation. Do not worry, as this is temporary in general.
Contact us in the following cases:
- If you develop a fever (higher than 38.5 °C);
- Large swelling of your scrotum;
- If your wound keeps bleeding;
- If you experience excessive pain.
Contact information (if you experience one of the abovementioned complications):
within 48 hours
If a complication occurs within 48 hours after the procedure, please contact us immediately at the Andros emergency telephone number: 026 – 389 06 82. This phone number can be reached at any time. The operator will put you through to your attending doctor.
More than 48 hours after, within our opening times
If a complication occurs more than 48 hours after the procedure, and within our opening times, please contact us immediately at the Andros general telephone number: 026 – 389 17 53. Our opening times are Monday through Friday, 08:30-17:00.
More than 48 hours after, outside our opening times
If a complication occurs more than 48 hours after the procedure, and outside our opening times, please contact the nearest out-of-office-hours GP service immediately for a check-up or examination. After the sterilisation procedure, you will receive a letter with information about your sterilisation for any future reference. Please make sure to take this letter with you if any complication occurs and you are to go to the nearest out-of-office-hours GP service.
After sterilisation, about 5% of men experience prolonged pain in the scrotum and/or epididymis (post-vasectomy pain) which is caused by interaction between the scar tissue and the nerve running parallel with the sperm tube to the scrotum. It is important that sterilisation is carefully performed. At Andros only well-experienced urologists perform sterilisations. As a result, there is hardly any occurrence of post-vasectomy pain.
Sperm check after three months
After the sterilisation procedure, you are not instantly infertile. The first months after the surgery, there will be sperm cells in your semen at ejaculation as there are still sperm cells present in the seminal vesicles and the prostate.
After approximately three months and at least 30 ejaculations, your semen will be tested to find out if the procedure has been successful.
After the procedure, we will provide you with a sterile plastic container to collect and hand in your semen. To have reliable results, it is important that you carefully follow the instructions in the information leaflet about the sperm check. The results of the test will be ready within one week. You will receive an e-mail informing you that your test results are available to access in your digital patient file.
It may occur that you have to hand in an additional sample. One to three patients in 1,000 experience renewed fertility after a long period of time caused by re-attachment growth of the sperm tube ends, creating free passage to sperm cells. Read more about the sperm check
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