The Road to Recovery – A Guide to Healing After a Vasectomy

Keep the genital area clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection. Shower as usual, but avoid baths and allow the scrotum to air dry.

It is normal to have blood in the first few ejaculations after a vasectomy and to even have vasectomy scars. Wear a jockstrap day and night to support your scrotum and reduce discomfort.


A vasectomy cuts the tubes that transport sperm from your testicles to your penis prior to ejaculation. A urologist can perform this procedure at a doctor’s office or surgery center under local anesthesia. You can expect to experience some pain and swelling after the procedure.

You’ll need to avoid aspirin and other drugs that thin the blood and can cause excessive bleeding a week before your procedure. You should also stop using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen, although you can continue to take acetaminophen (Tylenol).

On the day of your procedure, wear loose clothing and prepare for some discomfort in your groin or scrotum area. Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling, and take your over-the-counter pain medicine. Plan on taking a few days off of work to rest and recover from the surgery.

The Day of

If you’re planning on having a vasectomy, make sure you schedule the appointment for a time that allows plenty of recovery time. It’s also a good idea to purchase some essentials for the recovering partner, such as ice packs to help ease swelling and Panadol for pain relief.

Most men are sedated for this procedure, which can be done in a urologist’s office or surgery center. It is important to tell the urologist about any medications you take, including vitamins and supplements. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided because they can affect blood clotting.

After the procedure, a sample of semen is taken and checked to ensure no sperm is present. It’s important to continue using birth control until the urologist confirms that the vasectomy is working, and you are sterile. This could take up to three months.

The First Few Days

It is normal to experience pain, swelling, and bruising after a vasectomy. Most of these symptoms should be gone after a week.

To prepare for your vasectomy, be sure to shave the entire groin and scrotum the night before or the morning of the procedure with a single-blade disposable razor. If your doctor gives you any specific preoperative medications, be sure to take them as directed. Wear a jock strap to decrease pressure and improve comfort.

Avoid sex, ejaculation, and swimming for the first few days after the procedure. This allows the incision or small opening on the scrotum to heal and seal the severed ends of the tubes. Also, remember to continue using birth control until your urologist confirms that your semen is clear of sperm. This could take up to two months.

The First Week

After a week, most of the pain and discomfort should be gone. You can resume most activities but avoid strenuous exercise and sex until the surgical site heals up.

After surgery, you may still experience some pain, swelling, and bruising in the scrotum or lower groin, but this should improve with time. Take painkillers, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help ease any discomfort.

You should also refrain from unprotected sex until your doctor confirms that no sperm are found in your semen. This can be done by submitting a sample to the laboratory at your urologist’s office. If sperm is detected, you’ll need to undergo additional tests. These are rare, though. Many men can return to their lives after vasectomy with no problems. However, it’s always best to follow your doctor’s instructions closely.

The Second Week

Men are often nervous about getting a vasectomy. However, it’s an incredibly quick and safe surgery that can help prevent pregnancy. Before scheduling your procedure, ensure you’re absolutely certain you don’t want to father a child in the future. It’s also important to be aware that vasectomy doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.

During the first week after your surgery, it’s important to rest and avoid heavy exercise. You may experience some pain, discomfort, and sensitivity in the surgical area. It’s also important to use birth control and not have unprotected sex until you receive your post-vasectomy semen analysis results and the doctor confirms that the vas deferens is completely blocked. You should also contact your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection. This includes a high fever, worsening pain, redness or swelling in the groin and/or scrotum, or blood in your semen.

The Third Week

After a week, most pain, discomfort, and swelling should have dissipated. You can resume normal activities, like exercising and light work. However, avoid strenuous activity and sex until your doctor says it’s safe to have unprotected sex at your follow-up appointment. Use an ice pack on your scrotum to reduce swelling and sensitivity, and wear tight-fitting underwear like a jockstrap to support your scrotum.

If you have a fever, chills, or bleeding around the incision site, contact your doctor right away. These symptoms may indicate an infection or severe bleeding. Take over-the-counter acetaminophen for pain. Most men can get by with Tylenol, but if your pain isn’t controlled, talk to your doctor about prescription pain medication. The most common pain reliever is ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). You can stop taking it a few weeks after surgery if the acetaminophen is helping enough.

The Fourth Week

You should be able to resume most normal activities by this time, provided that the surgical site has healed. Expect some pain, discomfort, and sensitivity for a few more days.

Many men describe this as feeling like they’ve been kicked in the nuts. This lingers for two or three days and then comes and goes as you move around.

Wear tight underwear or a jockstrap day and night to support the scrotum. This reduces pressure on the spermatic cords that connect the testicle and vas deferens and helps with healing. Continue using some form of contraception until your doctor verifies that no sperm remains in your semen during a follow-up sperm count. Your doctor can schedule a sperm count for you, usually six to 12 weeks after your procedure. This isn’t guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, though.

The Fifth Week

After a week or so, your pain, discomfort, and sensitivity should be mostly gone. At this point, you can resume most activities. However, be careful with heavy lifting and lawn mowing.

You can also resume sexual intercourse, but you should use birth control. It’s important to have a follow-up appointment so your doctor can test your semen for sperm and make sure the vasectomy is permanent.

Expect mild pain, swelling, and bruising for the first few days. You can help reduce pain and bruising by using an ice pack on your scrotum for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You can also take over-the-counter pain relief medication, like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Avoid aspirin and aspirin-like medications, like ibuprofen or naproxen (Advil, Aleve), as they may increase your risk of bleeding. This is because these medications thin the blood.

The Sixth Week

You can resume exercise and lifting objects over 10 pounds at this point. However, continue to avoid contact sports and heavy lifting for a week or so to prevent complications.

If you experience discomfort in your scrotum or penis, apply an ice pack several times a day. This will reduce swelling and pain but be careful not to touch the area too much – you could cause an infection.

Avoid unprotected sex until your doctor verifies that there are no sperm left in your semen at your follow-up appointment. A vasectomy won’t affect your sperm count or sex drive, but you should still use another method of birth control. Until then, enjoy the road to recovery! It doesn’t take as long as you might think. And it’s well worth the effort!

The Seventh Week

After a week of recovery, the pain and discomfort should be gone, and your surgical site should be healed. You can resume most normal activities, including sex, provided you use another method of birth control (such as a condom) until your doctor confirms that your semen no longer contains sperm. If you have trouble urinating or see blood in your semen, call the urologist immediately. Wear a jockstrap or supportive underwear day and night to reduce the tension on your spermatic cords.

Don’t worry about your testosterone levels or sex drive; the vasectomy won’t affect erections or climaxes. When you shower, be sure to wash the genital area thoroughly and dry it gently. Then, enjoy life without the worries of unwanted children! Most men with vasectomy say their lives are much less stressful after the procedure.

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