vasectomy recovery

How To Successfully Recover From A Vasectomy

So you just had a vasectomy—now what?

Now that you know the procedure is nothing to fear, it’s time to focus on your vasectomy recovery. While you’re likely to be back at work in just a few days, recovering fully is going to take a bit longer than that.

Over the next few weeks, you’re going to need to invest more time into personal care and attention to hygiene. To help you do so, we have five tips for recovering from a vasectomy. If you follow these tips over the next few weeks, it should help reduce the risk of post-vasectomy complications. However, if you have questions at any point, don’t wait to reach out to your urologist.

Our hope is that these tips help speed up your vasectomy recovery timeline and get you back to normal as quickly as possible. Follow along with us below to learn how to successfully recover from a vasectomy.

5 Ways To Recover From A Vasectomy Procedure At Home

1. Get Some Rest

As with any period of recovery, rest is crucial. For the first few days after your procedure, you should be resting as much as possible. Try lying down with your feet raised—this will help increase circulation and promote healing.

The goal is to stay off your feet, so avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting or carrying. The less pressure or stress applied, the better.

2. Avoid Infection

Keeping your genital area as clean and dry as possible is one of the most important steps to making a full recovery. While the incision is small, it still runs the risk of becoming infected if not properly taken care of.

Refrain from physical activity or other strenuous activities that may cause irritation or excessive sweating, especially during the first week. Additionally, do not attempt to shower or bathe for at least 24 hours after surgery. We recommend bathing or showering at least 48 hours post-op, provided you pay close attention to cleaning and gently drying your genitals.

Lastly, change into a clean pair of underwear at least once per day. This will help prevent the risk of infection.  

3. Reduce Discomfort

In the days after your procedure, some discomfort is normal. You may notice a bit of swelling and bruising around the scrotum or a feeling of fullness. While these discomforts may be painful, they are normal and shouldn’t last long. However, if feelings of fullness last more than a few weeks, contact your urologist.

To help relieve any discomfort you may experience, try placing an icepack on the scrotum to reduce swelling. Use an icepack intermittently throughout the day to aid the recovery process. It’s also important to note that you should avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen in the first 48 hours. Painkillers like these may actually increase bruising or swelling around the incision, rather than ease your discomfort.

Lastly, we recommend wearing tight-fitting underwear throughout your recovery. Unlike loose boxers, close-fitting underwear will provide support for your scrotum and reduce discomfort. Wear supportive underwear day and night to relieve scrotum pain.

Helpful tip: Wear a jockstrap or athletic supporter for the first 7 to 14 days after recovery. This level of support will play an important role in the vasectomy recovery process.

4. Have Sex

Having sex is an integral part of recovering from a vasectomy. We suggest that you wait at least a week before you start having sex. But, when you’re ready, there are a few things you should know:

There will still be sperm in your semen. While your vas deferens have been cut to prevent future sperm from forming, there will still be stored sperm that needs to come out. It is crucial that you or your partner continue to use some form of contraceptive since conception will still be possible with unprotected sex.

There may be blood present in your semen. Don’t panic, this is completely normal during the first few ejaculations after a vasectomy.

To have unprotected sex, your urologist must first confirm your sperm count is zero—which takes us to the fifth step in the recovery process.

Did you know? You must ejaculate at least 20 times before your semen is clear of sperm.

5. Wait For Your Semen Test Results

Approximately two months after your vasectomy, your semen will need to be tested by your urologist. With any luck, the first test results should show zero sperm is present. However, if the test doesn’t show a complete absence of sperm, a second test will need to be conducted.

Once a sperm count of zero has been confirmed by your urologist, you may proceed with regular, unprotected sexual activity. At this point, your recovery process is complete! Now you can enjoy day-to-day life without the worry of unexpected pregnancy surprises.

Potential Complications During Vasectomy Recovery

While we hope the recovery process is smooth sailing, there are a few side effects that are possible. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your urologist immediately.

Some potential complications include:

  • Numbness or bruising of the scrotum along with swelling and minor pain
  • Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) inside the scrotum
  • Infection at the incision
  • A testicular cyst  
  • On very rare occasions, a patient may develop chronic testicular pain

If you feel a lump on your scrotum, have a fever, experience chills, notice increased swelling of the scrotum, have trouble urinating, or have constant bleeding at the incision, see your urologist as soon as possible. If experienced, these complications may delay the vasectomy recovery process and require additional treatment or care.

Questions About Vasectomy Recovery? Contact Urology Specialists Of The Carolinas

After a vasectomy procedure, many men still have questions. Maybe you want to learn about a vasectomy reversal or what the process is like for checking your sperm count post-op. No matter what your question is, you can count on our team at Urology Specialists of the Carolinas to answer it.

Our team of skilled urologists has been performing vasectomy procedures for over 30 years, and we can help guide you through the recovery process.

Remember, you don’t have to recover alone. Trust your partner, friends or family to help you through the first few days of recovery—those are usually the most important! And as always, you can rely on our team to help you in any way we can.

Do you have more questions about men’s health? We’ve got you covered. Download our free guide below to access your Man-To-Man Guide On Healthy Aging.

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This blog was originally published on October 3, 2014. Content was refreshed on May 31, 2019.