Even though a vasectomy is usually a simple surgical procedure, your body still needs time, rest and care to heal from it and avoid complications. Be prepared for discomfort for up to 2 full weeks.

What to do:

  • Get off your feet for a few days and avoid strenuous activity for at least 5 to 7 days.
  • For the first 1-2 days, try applying an ice pack, or frozen vegetables, to relieve discomfort.
  • Avoid aspirin-based products or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or Aleve for a week unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. These pain relievers can thin your blood and cause bleeding.
  • Use Tylenol or other pain medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
  • You may shower the day after your procedure, but do not soak in the tub, a lake, pool, or ocean for at least 7 days.
  • Wear supportive underwear for the first week to help prevent pain.
  • Avoid sexual activity until pain resolves, typically 5 to 14 days.
  • Use soap and water to keep your incision as clean as comfortably possible.

Over the counter antibiotic ointment is not required, but you use may use some on your incision if you wish.   Expect some bruising and swelling, but if your entire scrotum becomes black and blue, or if you feel you have atypical swelling or bruising, please call your doctor. Often the skin is somewhat red at the incision and a small amount of pus may drain from it as your stitches dissolve. Occasionally, the stitches come out sooner than expected.  Any bloody drainage usually stops in a few days, but a few gauze pads in your underwear can protect your clothes. Change these daily beginning the morning after your operation. If you are experiencing more than a little redness (more than a dime size), or if you experience fever equal or greater than 101 degrees, or a significant amount of draining pus (especially if it does not appear to be decreasing), please call us.

A swollen testicle or a firm lump at the vasectomy site, while rare, does happen and can greatly aggravate your pain. If you feel your pain is significantly more than expected, notify your surgeon.

CONTINUE TO USE CONTRACEPTION UNTIL STERILITY IS CONFIRMED by checking the semen. Sperm usually takes 15 or 20 ejaculations to clear completely, but there is no firm timetable for clearing and achieving sterility.

Checking Sterility
Sometime vasectomies can fail, so it is essential to get checked.

What to do:

  • Call your Urology Specialists office to make sure someone will be there to check your specimen on the day you plan to bring it.
  • Place the semen in the cup provided or use any small jar or container with a lid.
  • Do not bring your specimen in a condom.
  • You don’t need to rush your specimen in. Just get it to our office the same calendar day.
  • There’s no need to keep your specimen warm or cold.

Remember, we are looking for sperm, and one dead sperm is still one too many!

Contacting Our Office
Best time to call:
The after-hours physician on call does not know your case, so if you have difficulties, it’s best to call your urologist during office hours. Call after 8:30 a.m., but before noon, so we can locate your chart and get recommendations from your doctor before it gets too late in the day to respond. Recommendations may include light activity and avoiding sex for a longer period, warm soaks, supportive underwear, ibuprofen or aspirin, and occasionally antibiotics for infection.

After-hours help:
When problems occur after hours, and you are uncomfortable waiting until the office opens, the after-hours doctor on call can help. If more than a week has passed since your procedure, and you are experiencing pain or swelling, possibly because you’ve increased activity, you may take 600 milligrams of ibuprofen OR 2 aspirin up to 3 times a day. Get off your feet, and feel free to use ice packs again. Sometimes a hot bath can improve your symptoms. You may take the pain medications your doctor prescribed at the time of your procedure as well. If you get relief, touch base with your doctor the next business day.

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