A vasectomy is a male sterilization procedure. It can be done through a surgical incision or incision free. The choice is up to you. Before you make that decision, ask a few questions of your doctor and your partner.

* Children – Are you sure that you don’t want any more children? If you already have a family and don’t want any “surprises” it can be a more reliable way to keep accidents from happening. The procedure for men is much simpler than a tubal ligation is for women.

* Can it be reversed? – Life changes happen. You are married or in a relationship now, but in the future you may be divorced or widowed and find new love. A child may be a shining example of your love for your partner. Ask if the technique used to perform the vasectomy can be reversed so that you can become fertile again should you want to.

* Before the surgery – If you opt for a surgical procedure, know what is expected of you before surgery day. This may include blood work, anesthesia screening or refraining from eating after a certain time. You may also be asked to antiseptically clean and shave the scrotal area before surgery to lower the bacterial count.

* What are the risks? – There has been talk that there is a risk of prostate cancer if a previous vasectomy has been formed but that has not been proven. Discuss the risk of failure of the procedure. The chances are small but it is still worth discussing. Ask about what you will feel when you wake up or come out of anesthesia so you are prepared.

* The procedure – Find out exactly what the procedure involves, step by step. This can reduce anxiety over what will happen.

* After the surgery – The scrotal area will be numb for a few hours. You can place ice packs on the area and wear underwear or a jockstrap. Strenuous activity may be prohibited for a few days.

* Effectiveness – It is still possible to get pregnant for several months after a vasectomy. There are going to be sperm in the semen for about twenty or so more ejaculations. Your doctor will inform you of the need for contraception until the coast is clear. He will continually test you to check the sperm count until it is nil.

If you are considering birth control by vasectomy, it is a procedure that takes about 30 minutes to perform. Ask your doctor all the questions you need to make the right decision.