After Your Vasectomy

Follow all your doctor’s advice for what to do at home. You will have swelling and discomfort. There are simple steps to help this pass quickly.

For about a week, your scrotum may look bruised and slightly swollen. You may have a small amount of bloody discharge from the incision. This is normal. To help ease swelling and pain, follow these tips for recovering at home:

  • Try to stay off your feet for the first 2 days. Lie flat when you can.
  • Wear an athletic supporter or snug cotton briefs for support the first day or two, until you feel comfortable without it.
  • Place an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a thin towel. Then place the wrapped cold pack on your scrotum. This reduces swelling. Do this on and off as needed for the first 24 to 48 hours.
  • Ask your doctor which over-the-counter pain medications are best for you to take.
  • Ask your doctor how long to wait before bathing and returning to work.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about heavy lifting and exercise after vasectomy.
  • Ask your doctor how long to wait before having sex again.

Wound Care

The stitch or stitches (if stitches were used) to close the skin will dissolve by themselves in a time frame of 5-10 days. Occasionally, they will fall out sooner and the edges of the skin will open up. If this occurs, the sutures do not need to be replaced as the surgical site will heal on its own. Wash the area gently in the shower only with mild soap to remove any dried blood around the wound. You should not take a bath, swim or use the jacuzzi for 5 days.

Appearance of the Wound

It is normal to experience some redness, swelling and bruising to the surgical area. This usually will last only for a few days. There may be a small amount of drainage around the wound edges which may stain your clothing until a scab is formed. You may place a gauze pad over the wounds to protect your clothing. This can be purchased from a pharmacy. If the gauze pad “sticks” to the wound, you may soak it off in the tub or shower.

Post-Operative Discomfort

It is common to have some discomfort to the surgical areas for a few days after the surgery. Placing an ice pack on and off the surgical area for the first 48 hours or wearing a scrotal supporter (jock strap, briefs, or boxer briefs) may be attempted. You will be given a prescription for pain medication after your surgery. If your discomfort is mild, using an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol, Advil or Ibuprofen is acceptable, following the package information.

Post-Operative Activity

It is recommended to avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours after the procedure. After 48 hours, you may begin to increase your activity with adjustment to your activity if discomfort increases.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call the doctor if you have any of these after surgery:

  • Fever
  • Persistent Pain
  • Marked Swelling of Scrotum
  • Continuous Bleeding/Drainage from Wound
  • Trouble urinating

Remember!

You won’t become sterile right away. It will take time and your doctor’s okay before you can have sex without the need for birth control.

Sexual Activity

You may resume sex after 48 hours when you’re comfortable. You need to maintain contraceptive precautions until your semen samples have been checked and are free of sperm. It usually takes 15-20 ejaculations – or 2 months – for this to occur, but it may be longer. You must have two consecutively negative semen analysis before you should discontinue using any devices or contraceptives.

The Vasectomy procedure has a success rate of approximately 99.8 percent. But you are still “potent” after the vasectomy. Even though the sperm is blocked, there will still be sperm in the semen. It generally takes at least 15 – 20 ejaculations or 2 months—until your semen samples are considered free of sperm, but it may take longer to flush them all out. So you will still need to practice other forms of birth control until your semen is sperm-free.

We recommend patients get their first semen analysis done about eight weeks after the vasectomy, the second about twelve weeks after surgery. Once two consecutive tests show no sperm, you are considered sterile and will no longer need to use other methods of birth control.