The Best Questions You Should Ask Before a Vasectomy

January 21,2020 |
Man talking to his urologist.

Questions to Ask Before a Vasectomy

Getting a vasectomy is a safe and simple procedure that provides an effective form of birth control without excessive risks. When compared to female sterilization, vasectomies have fewer risks, have faster recovery times, and are less expensive.3 If you and your partner decide that you need a more permanent approach to birth control, there are a number of questions to ask before a vasectomy. After getting all of your questions answered, you and your partner can work together to come to a decision. While this article is a good starting point, don’t be afraid to ask any other questions you may have. Your doctor is well prepared to help you understand your vasectomy and will be able to provide all of the answers you’re looking for. After all, part of your doctor’s job is to make sure that you understand the surgery and that you know the risks before making a decision to get a vasectomy.


What is a Vasectomy?

To begin, it’s important to understand exactly what a vasectomy is. A vasectomy is an operation done on males that makes them sterile.1 It works as a permanent method of birth control and involves removing a piece of the vas deferens, which effectively blocks the ability of sperm to transport to the testicles.1 This doesn’t eliminate the release of semen, instead it just takes out the part that’s used to fertilize a woman’s egg. A man who has had a vasectomy is thus, unable to have children.

The Best Questions to Ask Before Your Vasectomy

After understanding the very basics of a vasectomy, you’ll likely have a number of follow up questions. To help get a few of them answered for you, here is a list of the 13 best questions to ask before your vasectomy. If you have any other questions, or want further clarification, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.


  1. Is Having a Vasectomy the Right Decision?

    Many men immediately ask this question and it’s a difficult one to answer. Every relationship is different and a vasectomy is a decision that you will need to make on your own. If you feel like you’re being pressured into a vasectomy, and don’t particularly want to go through with it, it’s probably not the right decision. 


  2. What are the Risks and Side Effects?

    The primary risks and side effects of getting a vasectomy are mainly from the incision itself. Bleeding, irritation, pain, infection, and scrotal hemorrhaging are all possible, but very rare.2 Talk to your doctor about what to do to reduce the risks of any side effects and always ensure that you stay hygienic during post-op care to avoid any sort of infections. To reduce infections from occurring, most doctors prescribe a preventative post-op antibiotic for patients to take.


  3. Does a Vasectomy Increase Risks for Health Issues?

    For some reason, many people think this is a high possibility, but it’s not. There is currently no scientific evidence or data that makes a connection between vasectomies, prostate cancer, or other health issues.6


  4. What are the Success Rates?

    Vasectomies are considered the most effective form of birth control.1 Failure only occurs in about 1 in every 2,000 men, but can be checked by your doctor.1 Keep in mind that it will take time for the sperm to clear out of your system, so discuss your options with your doctor if you plan on having sex before you’re sterile. Your vasectomy will be confirmed with a follow-up test.


  5. How do you Know it Worked?

    Every man who receives a vasectomy will need to return to his urologist for a follow-up test to ensure that the procedure was successful. The semen sample is done after about two to three months or 20-30 ejaculations after the procedure.6 The sample is studied in the lab to determine whether or not there is any sperm in the semen. If there are none, the vasectomy worked and you can resume sexual activity without an additional form of birth control.


  6. Are Vasectomies Permanent?

    As a whole, vasectomies are permanent sterilization treatments. While there are now many vasectomy reversal procedures available, they’re not 100% guaranteed to work.2 If you make a decision to get a vasectomy, you should consider it a permanent surgery.


  7. Do Vasectomies Affect Testosterone Levels?

    No. Your testosterone levels will not be affected by getting a vasectomy.5 Your sex drive shouldn’t change either. In fact, you may find the opposite is true. Without the need to worry about unintentional pregnancies, a lot of men who get vasectomies report having a more active sex life with their partner.5


  8. What are the Pre-Op Requirements?

    Prior to undergoing surgery, you and your doctor will work through all of the pre-op paperwork, requirements, and patient history. You will need to sign a consent form, discuss previous scrotal surgeries, and plan your way home post-surgery. To prepare, don’t take any aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for 2 weeks before your surgery as they can increase the risk of post-op bleeding.4 Shower, clean your scrotum, and, if directed by your doctor, shave it.4 Eat only a small snack before surgery and bring a jock strap or snug briefs to increase post-op comfort.


  9. What is the Procedure Like?

    The entire procedure only takes about 30 minutes, often less.4 Your doctor will numb the area and begin the surgery with two small incisions on the scrotum. Next, the vas deferens are lifted through the small incisions, cut, and sealed off.4 Afterwards, your doctor will stitch you up and let you relax until you feel ready to head home.

    Since your doctor numbs you before the surgery, there should be no pain throughout. If you feel any pain, alert your doctor immediately.


  10. What is the Healing Time?

    The recovery time varies from person to person, but the first week tends to be a little uncomfortable. Your scrotum may look bruised, slightly swollen, or have a small amount of bloody discharge coming from the incision—all of which are perfectly normal.4 For the first few days, try to relax and stay off of your feet, use ice packs to help reduce swelling, and avoid any strenuous activity for at least 7 days. Follow all of your doctor’s specific post-op instructions, as they may vary from person to person. Most people feel well enough to resume their daily routine on the fourth day of recovery. 


  11. When Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?

    The most common question is about resuming sexual activity. Talk to your doctor about how long you should wait before having sex. Usually, you should be cleared to have protected sex within about a week.5 If you engage in sexual activity at this time, it will be before you’re sterile, so make sure to use an alternate form of birth control. Sex should feel exactly the same as before as vasectomies do not change any aspect of sexual functioning.4

    If you feel like your sexual ability is decreased, or are experiencing a lower libido, it is likely from mental distress. If this is affecting you, talk to your doctor about your options.


  12. Are Vasectomies Covered by Insurance?

    Most insurance providers do cover vasectomies, but you should always double-check with your provider prior to scheduling anything. Different insurance providers will have different co-pays, waiting periods, or other necessary qualifications for coverage. Again, always confirm with your provider to see if your eligible to receive a vasectomy covered by insurance.


  13. Can I Store Sperm Before a Vasectomy?

If you don’t anticipate wanting children, but are a little nervous about the possibility of changing your mind in the future, there is an opportunity for you to store viable sperm prior to getting your vasectomy. Sperm freezing is an effective way to ensure that you have reproductive sperm available if a future vasectomy reversal procedure doesn’t work. Again, if you have any doubts, it’s important to fully consider your actions before getting a vasectomy.



Before getting a vasectomy, you should seriously consider all of your options and make sure that you’re mentally ready and willing to move forward. If you have any doubts, it’s better to continue using alternative forms of birth control. While there are a number of vasectomy reversal procedures now available, they’re not 100% guaranteed to work so it’s risky. In the mean time, if you need any urological supplies or want to learn more about urology procedures, illnesses, or products, visit our educational support page or our product selection guide. Byram Healthcare is proud to offer full-service urological care and we have all the high quality urological supplies that you need. If you need to order any urological supplies, all of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home, at any time of the day. If you have any urological questions or need personalized, confidential services, our teams of knowledgeable urological customer service specialists are here to help.