✦ Parenting continues to evolve through the generations, and increasingly we are seeing more open conversations about taking responsibility in family planning.
The Pregnancy, Babies & Children Expo (PBC Expo) is Australia’s largest and in fact, the WORLD’s longest running early parenting event where you get the best information, the latest products and everything you need to know and buy under one roof. The event caters to all stages of parenting. Whether you are just planning, pregnant, with a newborn or a toddler, you can get everything you need at the PBC Expo on 15th and 16th October at MCEC, South Wharf, Melbourne.
Yes, PBC Expo caters to all stages of parenting. But what if you wish to stop having children?
Deciding not to have children is as much a part of family planning as deciding to have one.
Dr Blanks Vasectomies will be at the PBC Expo to clarify any doubts families may have should they decide not to have children. Vasectomy procedures at Dr. Blanks are safe, effective and simple. Their innovative No-Scalpel, No-Stitch technique is virtually painless and helps to dispel fear surrounding the process. Because there are myths and misgivings about the procedure, it is important to provide clear, professional information to help families make choices.
Families can FreeCall 1800BLAN to get more information.
Whenever there is a lack of knowledge or information, there is fear. Dr. Blanks wants to provide straightforward medical information for families so they can have peace of mind to decide.
1. What’s a vasectomy? Is it common in Australia?
A vasectomy is an extremely effective and popular form of contraception for men. In Australia, 1 in every 4 men (over the age of 40) has had it done.
It's virtually painless, and takes 15-20 minutes. It does not involve the penis or the testicles. A small 5mm keyhole is made on the skin of the scrotum only. Through this keyhole, the doctor finds the two sperm tubes, cuts them and removes 1 cm from each one to leave a gap between the two ends. This is then closed off so the tubes do not reconnect.
2. Will a man still ejaculate and orgasm during sex?
The good news is, no one will be able to tell that a man has had a vasectomy.
Erections, ejaculations, sensations during sex, look and feel the same as what they did before the procedure. What is really interesting, and worth emphasising, is that couples report improved sex lives after the vasectomy, simply because the risk of an unplanned pregnancy has been removed. Sex is just better when you're relaxed and not stressed out!
What a vasectomy does is, it stops the sperm ('seeds') from leaving the testes and entering into the semen ('juice'). Dr. Blanks has a slogan to remind people that after a vasectomy, what is ejaculated is All Juice. No Seeds!
3. Does a vasectomy hurt?
Not really. Most men rate the pain as a 2 out of 10 (10 being the most painful). Some men have described the sensation as a pulling or tugging, or a feeling of squeezing or pressure.
4. What's the entire process like?
First, there is ample parking at Dr. Blanks so you can drive there if you wish. As the procedure involves only a local anaesthetic, it won't affect your ability to think or drive. The effect will last 1 to 1.5h which gives you plenty of time to head home on your own after the procedure.
And you can also have breakfast or lunch as usual. It is recommended to be on time for your appointment.
At the clinic, you check in with the nurse and wait for the doctor. The doctor will give you a quick overview of the procedure, and you can ask any questions as well.
You start by lying on your back on the clinical examination bed. When you're ready, you lower your trousers and jocks down to your knees. The doctor places covering drapes around your upper thighs, pelvis and stomach, only revealing your scrotum.
Next, the doctor palpates and identifies the two sperm ducts in the scrotal pouch. Then comes the time to administer a local numbing anaesthetic. The doctor will remind you that you are about to feel a small sting. And that sting is over in just 5 seconds.
5. How effective is a vasectomy at stopping pregnancy?
It's an extremely effective form of contraception. It is 99.9% effective at stopping pregnancy and has a failure rate of 1 in a 1000.
Now let's compare it with other types of contraceptives and you'll have a clearer idea of this.
One also has to bear in mind that currently, there is no form of contraception that can be said to be 100% perfect.
Condoms fail in 25% of cases. Approximately 1 in 4 couples will have an unplanned pregnancy.
The Combined Oral Contraceptive pill has a typical failure rate of about 9%. So almost 1 in every 10 couples have an unplanned pregnancy.
The 'minipill' has a failure rate of 9%, so that's about 1 in every 10 couples.
Tubal ligation for women is invasive and has a typical failure rate of 1 in 200.
6. How does one book a vasectomy with Dr. Blanks? Do I need a referral letter?
You can either request a booking at drblanks.com.au or you can call 1800 252 657 and book directly. You do not need any referral letters.
When you submit a booking online, a friendly nurse from Dr. Blanks will call within 24 hours to ask which day you prefer and to get your medical history from you, or ask about medications you are taking or allergies you may have.
A few days before the procedure, you will receive a call from a nurse to run through the procedure and clarify any other questions.
7. What happens after the procedure?
The doctor will let you know when the procedure is done. You will be advised to keep the dressing on until the next night and then remove it in the shower. It is important to keep it dry on the day you have the procedure.
You can use an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) and apply it to the dressing (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for at least 4 hours. Ice it for that day and taking paracetamol and ibuprofen for 3 days helps with the recovery.
You may experience a bit of ache or discomfort the next day. That is normal.
You can go back to work the next day, but if you work in the trades or manual labour industry, it is best to take it easy for 4-7 days. Don't do any heavy lifting (over 20kg) or do rigorous physical activity. Basically, don't do anything that may cause the scrotum to move around too much. This is to reduce the chance of bruising or swelling.
8. How much does the procedure cost?
Your procedure with Dr Blanks will leave you with an out of pocket fee of $583.40. The procedure fee is $790 and Medicare returns $206.60 back to your bank account.
A final important reminder
It usually takes 12 weeks AND 30 ejaculations for the vasectomy to start working.
This is because it takes time and ejaculations to flush out all the sperm from the system.
Dr. Blanks will do a sperm test to confirm the vasectomy success. 12 weeks after the procedure, the Dr. Blanks team will remind you about the test. You can complete your sample at home and drop it off within a few hours to a Dorevitch or Melbourne Pathology site.
You CANNOT consider your vasectomy successful and ready to use UNTIL YOU PASS YOUR TEST.
Dr. Blanks will call you with your results after you submit your sample.
During those 12 weeks of waiting, please continue using alternative forms of contraception (e.g. condoms, hormone pills etc) until you get the ‘green light’ of clearance from your doctor.
Yes, a vasectomy is a simple, virtually painless procedure, but it's not exactly like going to the store to get a loaf of bread. Men may feel nervous about going through this, and it's a good idea to get what Dr. Blanks call a 'Brosectomy' i.e. get a like-minded mate to be with you to make the experience more enjoyable, memorable and light-hearted for you both.
Men who prefer to be on their own, and feel particularly nervous may request an oral diazepam tablet 60 mins before their procedure or a penthox ‘green-whistle’ during the procedure. Just make sure you have a driver to take you back home afterwards if you choose this option.
Having to wade through generations of myths and misinformation, it is already a big step for anyone to make the effort to learn more about vasectomy. Many men decide to do it because they have seen for themselves the physical side effects and sometimes extreme discomfort their female partners have had to endure with conventional hormone tablets, implants and injections. It is about taking leadership in family planning. Perhaps with time, openness and honesty, vasectomy can be regarded and respected as a normal, regular choice some families opt for.
Contact Dr. Blanks
Locations in Victoria:
Melbourne: St Kilda Rd Medical Suites, 17/431 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic 3004
Frankston: 164 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston, Victoria 3199
Campbellfield: 1655 Sydney Rd, Campbellfield, Victoria 3061
Bendigo: 395 High Street, Golden Square, Victoria 3555
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