How to recover from a vasectomy: 9 steps (with pictures)

How to recover from a vasectomy: 9 steps (with pictures)
How to recover from a vasectomy: 9 steps (with pictures)

You may be able to go home right away after having a vasectomy, but you will feel pain for the first few days. It will take several months after your vasectomy for it to become an effective method of birth control, so you will need to continue to take precautions. By following your doctor's instructions and taking good care of yourself, you can improve your chances of a quick recovery.


Part 1 of 2: controlling pain after vasectomy

Recover From a Vasectomy Step 1

Step 1. Expect mild swelling and pain

After the surgery, you are likely to have pain and inflammation in your scrotum. You may notice secretions leaking from the incision. This is completely normal and should improve and stop in the following days. Use gauze and bandages when needed and recommended by your doctor.

  • Look at your scrotum with a mirror once or twice a day to see if it is healing. If the swelling continues to get worse or if you notice any significant redness or bruising that does not improve, see your doctor for examination.
  • Keep in mind that most people recover without complications and it will take a few days for your scrotum to return to normal.
Recover From a Vasectomy Step 2

Step 2. Take pain relievers if needed

As a general rule, over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol should suffice. If you need a stronger medicine to control the pain, make an appointment with your doctor so that he can prescribe a stronger pain reliever. However, most men are satisfied with over-the-counter pain relievers and do not need stronger medications.

Avoid ibuprofen and aspirin for pain control, as this could have a negative effect on your vasectomy healing

Recover From a Vasectomy Step 3

Step 3. Use an ice pack to control pain and inflammation

For the first two days after the procedure, apply ice to the scrotum for 20 minutes, approximately every hour. After these two days, use the ice pack when needed to relieve pain and inflammation.

  • Ice helps decrease inflammation of the scrotum and reduce swelling. This is why it is useful in reducing the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
  • If you start applying ice as soon as you get home, you can speed up your recovery.
Recover From a Vasectomy Step 4

Step 4. Give support to your scrotum

Leave the bandage where the doctor put it on the scrotum for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. You could also wear tight underwear, as this can ease the discomfort of the procedure and protect the area.

Recover From a Vasectomy Step 5

Step 5. Try to be patient

After a week has passed, most of the bothersome symptoms, such as swelling and pain, should be gone. Call your doctor immediately if symptoms persist or if you notice any signs of complications such as infection.

  • The most common symptoms seen with a postoperative infection are fever, blood or pus coming out of the surgery site, and worsening pain and inflammation.
  • You should also watch out for other complications, for example bleeding that continues for 48 hours after surgery (or if a large hematoma forms on the scrotum), a "granuloma" (it is actually a lump. harmless that forms on the testicles after some kind of immune response) and persistent pain.

Part 2 of 2: Make Lifestyle Changes After Vasectomy

Recover From a Vasectomy Step 6

Step 1. Avoid taking blood thinners for several days after surgery

You should not take blood thinners for several days after the vasectomy. Be sure to ask your doctor for advice if you are taking blood thinners. These drugs may actually increase the risk of postoperative bleeding.

Note that the length of time you need to stop taking blood thinners varies from person to person (depending on what you took them for). Ask your doctor to tell you when you can start taking your medicine again

Recover From a Vasectomy Step 7

Step 2. Get plenty of rest

One of the most important things when recovering from a vasectomy is rest. You need to take a few days off or reduce your daily activities to facilitate healing. Unless your job is very tiring or requires you to lift some weight, you should be able to get back to it quickly, within two to three days. If your job requires you to lift weight, talk to your doctor about when it is safe to return to it.

  • Try not to overdo it for two to three days after surgery, and don't be afraid to ask for help from others so that you can relax and recover.
  • Keep your activity level to a minimum after the vasectomy. It is recommended that you keep your physical activity as low as possible for five days after surgery, and you should avoid weight lifting for at least a week.
  • When you lift weight, it puts pressure on the scrotal area that could interfere with your healing. After five days you can start exercising again, start slowly and return to normal after two or three weeks.
Recover From a Vasectomy Step 8

Step 3. Avoid any type of sexual activity for seven days

Ejaculation can be painful and can sometimes cause bleeding in the early stages of healing after the vasectomy. Thus, you should abstain from all sexual activity for at least seven days after the vasectomy.

  • When you decide to resume sex (after a week has passed and you feel comfortable enough to do so), remember that you are going to need to use birth control until that time. that your doctor confirms that your semen is sterile. It takes about 20 ejaculations after the procedure for the residual sperm to be completely eliminated.
  • Usually, vasectomy does not affect the functioning of the male genitals. Many men worry that it can affect their desire, erections, and sensations around the time of orgasm. However, studies have shown that vasectomy does not affect any of these areas.
  • Studies have shown that some women's sexual satisfaction increased after their partner's vasectomy. This could come from an increase in their insurance in the impossibility of an unintended pregnancy.
  • Note that there is also a very low risk (0.1% of cases per year) of pregnancy even after a vasectomy. This happens because even if both ends of the spermiducts have been disconnected from each other, there is still a very small risk that sperm can pass through and cause pregnancy. However, the risk is very low, which is why vasectomy (the male counterpart of tubal ligation in women) is considered the most effective form of contraception in couples who have decided not to have children..
Recover From a Vasectomy Step 9

Step 4. Do not bathe 24 to 48 hours after the vasectomy

Depending on the technique used by the doctor, you might have stitches in your scrotum. To prevent infection from developing, you should keep the stitches dry and avoid bathing or swimming for two to three days.

Ask your doctor if you can swim


Do not hesitate to ask for help during the first days after surgery. It is very important to rest and take care of yourself during the early stages of recovery, so you should not hesitate to ask family members for help


  • When choosing over-the-counter pain relievers, paracetamol is the go-to solution. Ibuprofen or aspirin are not recommended, as they could have a negative effect on the healing of the vasectomy.
  • It is important to follow the physical activity restrictions set by your doctor to allow your vasectomy to heal. If you overdo it, you could experience bleeding inside the scrotum and pain.

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