Dr Matthew Valentine is an experienced Vasectomy Doctor who sees patients at SmartClinics The Gap & Ferny Hills Medical Centres.
Q Firstly, I didn’t realise that some GPs could perform this procedure, so how experienced are you at vasectomies?
Dr Valentine: I have performed several thousand vasectomies in Brisbane since 2008. I was originally trained in the traditional technique by my colleague Dr Greg Silver who has been performing vasectomies since 1985, so we are both very experienced in performing vasectomies. I have since spent time in the US training in the no scalpel vasectomy technique and perform these daily on Brisbane patients.
Q How effective is a Vasectomy for birth control?
Dr Valentine: Vasectomy is around 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy. Condoms are around 86% effective in preventing pregnancy and the pill around 95% effective. Vasectomy is the most effective form of contraception available.
Q While it’s obvious that you are very experienced, I’m still a bit nervous about the procedure. Talk me through what happens at the appointment and how long it takes.
Dr Valentine: Patients will lie down and relax on the operating bed. It’s very normal to feel nervous so they will be offered some valium if they are feeling a bit anxious. This generally feels like having 6 beers all at once. We’ll put some music on and relax and have a good chat while we do the procedure. Patients generally feel very little during the procedure and are quite surprised by how quick and simple it really is.
Q Is a Vasectomy painful? What is the recovery time like?
Dr Valentine: Patients will generally feel very little during the procedure. They will, however, experience some mild discomfort for the next few days after the procedure. Usually patients are feeling pretty much pain free by day 7 after the procedure.
Q How safe is a Vasectomy? Are there any risks or complications?
Dr Valentine: Vasectomy is a very safe procedure with very low complication rates. The main risks are infection, bleeding and ongoing discomfort. 1-2 % of patients may have a small amount of bleeding following the procedure and develop small haematomas in the scrotum. These will normally resolve by themselves with no ongoing issues. 1-2% may also develop a mild infection which is generally managed with oral antibioitics. Only around 1 in a thousand patients will have issues with ongoing discomfort and may require an additional operation or procedure to resolve this.
Q How soon can I have sex after a vasectomy?
Dr Valentine: Patients can normally have sex around 7 days following their vasectomy. They will need to make sure they continue their contraception until they have a semen test at 4 months that confirms the absence of sperm.