How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Some family medicine or general practice doctors do vasectomies, but most are done by doctors who specialize in the male reproductive system (urologists).

Talking to your doctor

Deciding to get a vasectomy can be a tough decision, since you won't be able to father a child in the future. Before doing a vasectomy, your doctor will want to meet with you to be sure it's the right form of birth control for you.

At the initial appointment (consultative visit) be prepared to discuss:

  • Your understanding that vasectomy is permanent, and that it isn't a good choice if there's any chance you might want to father a child in the future
  • Whether you have children and how your partner feels about the decision, if you're in a relationship
  • Other methods of birth control available to you
  • What vasectomy surgery and recovery involves, and possible complications

Before surgery

Your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare. You may need to:

  • Stop taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications several days before your surgery. These can include warfarin (Coumadin), heparin and aspirin and other over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).
  • The day of the surgery, use scissors to cut the hair around the surgery area. Then shower or bathe, being sure to wash your genital area thoroughly.
  • Bring a pair of tightfitting underwear or an athletic supporter to wear after the procedure to support the scrotum and minimize swelling.
  • Arrange for a ride home to avoid movement and pressure on the surgery area caused by driving.
Feb. 09, 2013