FAQs

Planning, preparation, your visit, aftercare, your test

Planning

Vasectomy Planner

When can you get back into action? The following general advice gives you a good idea as to when you can get back to full duties – Sooner than most guys think.
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Advice is general and should be confirmed with the doctor

Is it Dr Dick at each clinic?

One of the most common questions, and the answer is Yes.

What are the clinic schedules?

Dr Dick’s schedules for each location:

Cleveland (East Brisbane)Most weekdays
Coomera (Gold Coast/M1)Thursdays fortnightly
Newstead (North Brisbane)Wednesdays fortnightly
Greenslopes (South Brisbane)Fridays fortnightly
Springfield (serving Ipswich)Some Tuesdays

Can I have a vasectomy in one visit?

At The Vasectomist, we offer an all-in-one visit with no referral necessary. The majority of guys can simply make a vasectomy appointment online. This appointment automatically combines the consultation with the vasectomy. The vasectomy does not go ahead if you decide not to proceed or if you are not suitable. There is no routine need for a separate appointment.
However, we ask you to make an appointment for a consultation-only if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:
  • You have any uncertainties about permanent contraception, or
  • You are age 25 to 27 years and not fathered, or
  • You are age under 25 and fathered in a long term relationship, or
  • Your BMI is greater than 50. You can calculate your BMI here.

Unfortunately, we are unable to see men directly under 25 years who have not fathered. We are a regulated service, and act in accordance to standard practice.  Your best option is to see your GP and discuss your options that may include a supportive referral letter. In our experience, such referral letters are usually an unsupportive ‘please see and advise.’

For a consultation-only simply follow this link to schedule a ‘vasectomy suitability check’ – these appointments are only available in Cleveland. Please note you won’t pay more for deciding to visit us in advance. Your combined out of pocket costs for a vasectomy suitability check and later vasectomy will be the same.

Do I need sedation?

Sedation is not required. Furthermore, we actively discourage sedation.

Feedback from (even) super-anxious patients after their procedure shows a very high satisfaction rate.
Remember, it’s normal to be anxious. Prior to the procedure, all patients are asked how they are feeling on a scale from 0 to 10. The average score is 3-4

The most powerful relaxant is banter – even if it’s one-way!

Men who feel very anxious about getting the snip may request a sedative tablet. Fewer than 1% of guys take a sedative prior to the procedure. A sedative tablet is taken just after the consultation. The tablet takes around 30 minutes to work, and you will need someone to drive you home.  You can book online but call us at least 1 day prior to the procedure so we can give you an earlier arrival time which will be around 40 minutes earlier than your original appointment time.

How long does Vasectomy take to perform?

No-Scalpel Open-Ended vasectomy with Fascial Interposition (with internal stitches) takes around 20 minutes.
You will be in the clinic for around 45 minutes.

Can my partner come in with me?

Your partner is welcome to attend the consultation and/or the procedure. After all, you probably attended your partner’s delivery.
25% of guys come with their partner to the clinic, of whom half stay for the vasectomy.

Preparation

How should I shave before Vasectomy?

icon showing where to shave prior to a vasectomy

Before the vasectomy, the area to shave or clip should include the upper front and side of the scrotum (‘the sac’). The tiny incision is higher up in the midline than many guys think. Lift your penis out of the way to get to the area of the sac that needs the most attention.

Go higher than you think!

Wet shaving is probably easier than a beard trimmer which tends to cause cuts.
You can shave slightly away from the skin to reduce nicks. Stubble is fine!

What should I wear at the Vasectomy appointment?

Wear firm or supportive underwear, and avoid boxer shorts. You can’t go wrong with briefs, jocks or speedos.
You will slip off your shoes and belt before lying on the couch, where you lower your trousers and underwear. Those dressing for the occasion can leave the belt at home and wear slip-on shoes.

When can I have a shower after vasectomy?

After your vasectomy, you must keep the area dry that day but can shower the following morning.

Should I eat before Vasectomy?

The Vasectomy is performed under local anaesthetic. It is important to eat something to help prevent fainting – though fainting is truly rare at the clinic, the chance of fainting is lower than during a blood test because you are lying horizontal.
So have a good breakfast to help keep up your energy levels.

What should I bring to the appointment?

Your Vasectomy packing list:
  • Your Medicare card.
  • A payment card (non amex).

Should I stop medication before vasectomy?

Blood thinners include Warfarin, Plavix, Pradaxa, and Xarelto.
No-Scalpel Vasectomy is a low-bleeding risk procedure, and stopping the blood thinners is likely much riskier than the small risk of uncontrollable bleeding during a vasectomy. For this reason, Patients taking blood thinners should continue them unless advised to stop by their treating doctor. However, Patients taking blood thinners for a short period may consider postponing their vasectomy until the medication has been stopped. A typical one-off blood clot is treated with blood thinners for 4-6 months, and it makes sense to postpone the vasectomy until the medication has been stopped.
Dr Dick Beatty is usually happy to perform a vasectomy on men taking blood thinners, except short-term blood thinners or other risk factors for bleeding, such as challenging anatomy.

Men taking blood thinners may still go ahead and book an appointment. However, please let us know in advance the name of the medication and the reason for taking it.

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen, Nurofen, Voltaren, and Diclofenac, have a very mild blood-thinning effect. You should generally stop taking these at least two days before the vasectomy. If you take some accidentally, please mention it to the doctor on the day, but it’s not a big deal.
Low-dose aspirin is not a big deal. Continue ‘mini aspirin’ if you started taking it on a doctor’s recommendation – usually because of a high of cardiovascular disease.
Immunosuppressants should be continued.

Your Visit

Which clinics have parking?

Free Onsite Parking is available at all of our locations.

  • Cleveland – free parking adjacent or behind the building
  • Kedron – free underground car parking (we validate your ticket)
  • Coomera – free underground parking
  • Springfield – parking on the other side of the road from the building
  • Greenslopes hospital – park in the ‘orange car park’ – reasonable price car park < $20

We pride ourselves on being on time.

The best way for you to be relaxed is to arrive in good time! Please note that latecomers may be asked to reschedule in order to avoid the next guy having to wait. A return trip with both tubes intact is very disappointing for all concerned. We also understand that Gold Coast & Brisbane traffic can be congested, so phone us if you’re running late.

Plan to walk through the door 5-10 minutes prior to your appointment time to give yourself enough time to go to settle in and /or go to the toilet for that last-minute nervous pee!

Who do I see at the clinic?

Vasectomy is the only thing going on in Cleveland and Springfield, and usually at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

Patients may be visiting other healthcare professionals in Kedron and Coomera. Still, you will only communicate with Dr Dick Beatty and The Vasectomist team who accompany him to the visiting clinics.

Dr Dick Beatty will welcome you +/- your partner into the consulting room and discuss the following:

  • The benefits of vasectomy.
  • The small risks of the procedure.
  • Some aspects of aftercare

In addition, The Vasectomist care lead goes through your aftercare following the procedure.

Is everyone suitable for a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is the only thing going on in Cleveland and Springfield, and usually at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

Reasons for being unsuitable are:

  • Anatomy is rarely (<1%) not suitable for no-scalpel vasectomy. For example, very raised BMI and/or high testes.
  • The risk of regret.
  • You are not comfortable with the small risks of the procedure
  • You are simply unsure whether to proceed.

The deposit is refunded, and you are charged a small out-of-pocket expense to cover the consultation.

Can I leave straight away?

We’ll let you know when you are ready to leave the clinic! You will be able to leave the clinic soon after the procedure – usually within 30 minutes.

Can I drive home?

We allow you to drive home after the procedure. Nothing expressly excludes driving home after a vasectomy – any more than driving home after a tooth extraction or blood donation.

As a general rule:

  • Wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the car.
  • Be 100% sure you feel fine before driving.

It is possible to feel lightheaded after you leave the clinic, just like after a blood test or dental procedure. Driving in the slow lane is prudent.

The bottom line is that it is generally safe to drive home afterwards as long as you feel fine after the procedure and don’t jump into the car immediately. You will be given the all-clear to leave by the staff at the clinic.

Can I contact the doctor afterwards?

Dr Beatty’s mobile number is given to you after the procedure. Please text the doctor if you have any concerns at all and he will ring you back as soon as possible.
Thankfully, problems are unusual but you are encouraged to contact Dr Beatty with any issues.
The majority of aftercare issues are sorted out over the phone.

A follow up face-to-face appointment is rarely required. You may be asked to travel to Cleveland for the appointment, or prefer to see your own GP.

Aftercare

What should I do when I get home after Vasectomy?

Lie up on the couch & relax when you get the chance.

The Anaesthetic wears off after 3 hours. Pain relief is not routinely required, but Ibuprofen (Nurofen)  may be taken thrice daily.

Shower the dressing off the next morning, and replace it with one bandaid daily (we supply) for the next week.

Continue with supportive underwear during the day for at least three days – longer if you feel it helps.

Avoid lifting >25kg for the first five days.

When can I return to work after Vasectomy?

Non-physical work – return a day or two after the procedure, but nothing stops catching up on emails when you get home.
Physical work – ideally, take at least three days off. Recovery is variable, and you might need longer.

If you require a medical certificate, please ask Dr Beatty or our friendly staff to organise this for you on the day.

How soon can I have sex after Vasectomy?

Ejaculation can start at least 48 hrs after the procedure, and sex itself after one week.
You must continue to use contraception until you get your all-clear.
Whilst the failure rate is very low, remember that you will remain fertile until the ‘swimmers have cleared the pipes’ – typically a few weeks. However, you should assume you are fertile until after the post-vasectomy result.

Play it safe, not with fire!

When can I get back into sport and exercise after Vasectomy?

You can get back into exercise or sport after around a week, depending on how you are feeling and the doctor’s advice. As a guide, we suggest:
Jogging: 5 days.
Gymn: 7 days
Golf: 5-7 days
Swimming in a pool: 5 days.
Surfing: 7-10 days.
Cycling: 7 days.
Footie: 7 to 10 days.
Tennis: 7 days

What should I look out for after the vasectomy?

You don’t need to look out for anything because significant complications are rare, and the symptoms can’t be ignored. Most men with pain after the procedure do not have any complications. 

BLEEDING FROM THE WOUND

Superficial Bleeding onto, or even through, the bandaid may occur in the 1st 2-3 hrs. Apply 10 minutes of firm pressure followed by an ice pack (over a towel) for 20 minutes. Finally, apply a fresh dressing. Bruising is common but settles down within ten days. The bruising may occasionally look impressive but is itself harmless.

Both bleeding around the dressing and bruising are caused by bleeding from tiny blood vessels near the wound’s surface. This type of bleeding is annoying but harmless.

SWELLING

Swelling is rare and may be caused by Haematoma or infection.

Dr Dick Beatty finds it useful to distinguish ‘visible swelling’ (looking obviously swollen) from the ‘feeling’ of swelling. The best test is a photo.

Haematoma (internal bleeding) occurs in fewer than 1% of Vasectomies. The scrotum becomes swollen and painful. Haematoma typically occurs in the first 3-4 days of the procedure, only rarely on the same day as the procedure.  Bleeding eventually stops, and the blood clot is gradually absorbed. A severe haematoma can take three months to resolve but may be painful.

Infection also causes pain and swelling. Furthermore, the skin may be red and/or hot. However, the normal healing process may also be inflammatory in some men. Therefore, mild swelling and pain without significant swelling are often monitored without the need for antibiotics.

Can you get blood in the semen?

Blood in the semen can be alarming. However, a little blood in the semen after the vasectomy is quite normal – for up to 3 months or more.

Please contact Dr Beatty if the blood is large in quantity, causes pain, or does not settle within a few weeks of the procedure.

Your Test

When do I do the Post-Vasectomy sample?

There is a small cost to the semen analysis test in Queensland, and repeating the test (done as a fresh sample) is a minor hassle. Therefore, we advise you to hold off on the test until 14 weeks after the procedure.
More than 25 ejaculations are required to clear the sperm downstream from the procedure.

Very sexually active men – ejaculating at least three times per week – could test at 12 or 13 weeks. However, reconnection of the vas deferens can occur anytime until then, so do not test before 10 weeks.

Infrequent ejaculators (fewer than 1-2 times per week) may consider holding off the test until around 16 weeks.

How do I do the Post-Vasectomy sample?

Time to get serious …

This is your golden ticket to know that you are “shooting blanks”!

TEST PRACTICALITIES

  • You will be provided with a request form and seminal fluid pot before you leave the clinic.
  • Phone your pathology collection centre before you collect your sample. They will advise you what time to arrive with the sample.
You must give advance notice to the Pathology Collection centre that the sample is coming! The sample may otherwise be turned away

DOING YOUR SAMPLE

  • Abstain from ejaculation for 2-5 days prior to the test.
  • You (usually you!) collect the sample into a pot. Make sure you catch the whole sample!
  • Write the time of collection on the pot – this is essential.
  • Take the sample straight to the collection centre.

COMMON REASONS FOR NEEDING TO REPEAT THE TEST :

  • Small volume of semen. Normal ejaculate volume is 2-6mls. A sample of < 1ml may need to be repeated. Remember to abstain, and be sure to collect the whole sample.
  • Make doubly sure you write the time of the ejaculation on the pot.

Where shall I take the sample, and which lab does the test?

You can take the sample to any pathology collection centre of your choosing, but you must check that the collection centre accepts seminal fluid samples.

QML Pathology accepts samples anytime during their office hours at the following regional locations:

Murarrie, Everton Park, St Andrew’s Private Hospital, Wesley Hospital, Morayfield, and North Lakes.

However, many other QML collection centres accept fresh samples with prior arrangements. Each collection centre will offer you one or two times.

You don’t want to go to the trouble of doing a sample and finding out that the collection centre won’t accept it. Find your closest QML website by selecting ‘Semen Fertility Analysis’ and phone the collection centre for a dropoff time.

Sullivan & Nicolaides accept samples at just two locations – Bowen Hills and Southport. We confirmed in march 2021 that SNP ‘accept Semen samples at their main HQ in Bowen Hills. Monday – Friday 7am – 6 pm. No need to set a time. Just bring it in within the hour; otherwise, they have facilities on site to do the sample.’ However, you should obtain up-to-date information and can directly search here for for SNP locations that accept Semen fluid samples.

What is the price of a test?

Pathology companies charge a small fee for post-vasectomy testing. No pathology providers bulk bill post-vasectomy testing. Why? For the same reason that GPs are dropping bulk billing – because the medicare rebate has not kept up with the cost of providing the service.
QML has the largest range of collection centres for post-vasectomy samples around Brisbane and The Gold Coast, and they seem to be the cheapest at approximately $50 out of pocket. You may choose any pathology provider to perform your test, although some providers charge >$75. Note that Mater Pathology outsources its semen analysis testing.

The potential cost of skipping the test goes without saying.

How do I get the results of the post-vasectomy sample?

Your results are sent to you via email or SMS.

Please contact the clinic if you have not received your result within two working days.

All results are sent to you within 3 working days.

I order of likelihood, the reasons you may not have received your result within 3 days are

  • Email has gone to your junk folder
  • Done your test outside Queensland? The result is usually sent by ‘snail mail’
  • Your mobile phone number or email on your registration form is incorrect