Recovery Tips for a Vasectomy

February 19,2020 |

Recovery Tips for a Vasectomy

Vasectomies are one of the most common sterilization procedures in the United States. They’re fast, safe, effective, and are far less expensive than many female sterilization surgeries. Vasectomies are done through an outpatient surgery that blocks off the vas deferens from the scrotum so that sperm can’t enter the semen.

Men decide to get vasectomies for a number of reasons, but the primary one is done for permanent birth control. The reason that most men opt for a vasectomy rather than having their partner gets their tubes tied is because of safety, cost, and effectiveness. Vasectomies are close to 100% effective when done correctly and confirmed by a sperm test.2 Vasectomies are outpatient surgeries that have a very minimal risk of side effects or complications.2 Finally, vasectomies are much, much less expensive than female sterilization or using other, long-term birth control methods.2

If you’re thinking about getting a vasectomy, make sure that you discuss all of your questions and concerns with your doctor. If you decide to go ahead with the surgery, be prepared with these vasectomy recovery tips.


How to Prepare for a Vasectomy

Preparing for a vasectomy is pretty straightforward, but talk to your doctor about specific pre-op directions to be prepared. Make sure that you discuss any medications your taking, allergies, family history, and feelings of anxiety. Stop taking aspiring for about 7 days before your surgery, as aspiring can thin your blood and cause more bleeding than necessary.3 You should also make sure to shower prior to going into your doctor’s office. Wash the area thoroughly and trim the hair on your scrotum if necessary—if not, your doctor will do this at the office. While getting a vasectomy is an outpatient surgery, it’s always best to make sure and have a ride home for your post-op care.

Aside from these preparation tips, getting a vasectomy is easy and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Just make sure that you’re 100% sure that you want to go through with the procedure prior to scheduling your surgery, as vasectomy reversals aren’t always effective.


How to Recover After a Vasectomy

Immediately after a vasectomy, you’ll likely experience a little pain or aching in the groin area with scrotum sensitivity3 If you notice any granulomas, don’t worry. This is normal and will likely go away over time. Within the first week, you’ll need to take proper care for post-op recovery. Here are a few tried and true vasectomy recovery tips to help keep you healthy, comfortable, and safe.

  1. Rest

    Rest is one of the best things you can do for your body to allow it to recover. Therefore it’s no surprise that after a vasectomy, resting is integral to your healing. For the first few days following your surgery, rest as much as possible. Limit the amount of activity you do for about 48-72 hours and try to stay off of your feet.4 The more you rest, the faster you’ll heal.

    To get the most out of your resting period, lie down and raise your feet.4 Elevating them above your heart will improve overall circulation and help promote the healing process.4 Under no circumstances should you lift anything heavy or partake in strenuous activity—both of these can contribute to tearing and are counter productive to recovery.


  2. Keep Things Clean and Dry

    During your resting period, keep things clean and dry at the incision site to lower your chances of infection. Avoid doing anything that will lead to excessive sweating during the first week of recovery and keep the area dry for 24 hours post-op—that means no showering.4 Instead, shower at least 48 hours post-op and make sure that you thoroughly dry the area after you’re done.4 Do not submerge your genitals in water of any kind for at least a week after surgery.


  3. Try to Reduce Discomfort

    To help you reduce discomfort, try placing an icepack on the scrotum intermittently throughout the day.4 This will help the swelling go down and may provide relief from any irritation. Do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen, as these can make the swelling worse4 and have a tendency to increase the risk of bleeding or bruising at the incision site. To help promote healing, get supportive underwear or wear a clean jockstrap every day for up to two weeks post-op.4


  4. Take Medications Properly

    If your doctor has prescribed you any medications, make sure that you follow his or her post-op instructions and take them properly. If your doctor has prescribed a specific type of painkiller, do not try to supplement it with a different type. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, take the complete round to ensure that no infection occurs.


  5. Have Protected Sex

    Most men report feeling back to themselves, and able to participate in sexual activity again, in roughly a few days to a week.1 Recovery is different for everyone, so don’t rush into anything, but if you feel like you’re ready, it’s okay to have sex around this time. Just make sure that if you feel discomfort when you start engaging in sexual activity of any kind, you stop and wait for your body to properly heal. This will make sure you don’t do more harm than good and you let your body heal to the fullest.

    As a reminder, vasectomies don’t work immediately. If you want to have sex, make sure it’s protected, as your semen will still have able-bodied sperm in it for up to three months post surgery.1 


  6. Wait for Confirmation

Before having sex without alternative forms of birth control, make sure that you get your semen test results back. This will tell you whether or not there are sperm present. If there are no sperm, the vasectomy was effective and you are free to have sex without using birth control. If there are sperm present, you will need to have a second test done later.

Vasectomy Complications and Risks

As with any outpatient surgery, there are a few risks to getting a vasectomy. If you suffer from chronic testicular pain or testicular disease, talk to your urologist before scheduling a vasectomy, as you may not be a good candidate for male sterilzaition.2 Some of the other complications and risks of getting a vasectomy include the following:

  • Mild Swelling – mild swelling is going to be the biggest risk of getting a vasectomy. This will subside within a week or two post-surgery and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.3 If you continue to experience swelling after two weeks, contact your urologist for a follow up appointment.


  • Bleeding – similar to swelling, bleeding may occur at the incision site. Some people bleed more than others, which is normal, but if you feel like there is an excessive amount of blood then contact your urologist.3


  • Vasectomy Failure – this is when the vasectomy is ineffective at filtering out all of the sperm from semen, but it’s very rare.3 To ensure that your vasectomy was successful, practice safe sex until you get a confirmation from your semen test.


  • Chronic Pain – in rare cases, about 1% to 2% of men who get a vasectomy, chronic pain will persist.3 Talk to your doctor to learn more about your risk factors for chronic pain or if you have any other questions.


  • Granuloma – this is a lump that forms near the site of the incision on the scrotum from sperm that leaks out of the vas deferns.3 It’s harmless, not cancerous, and shouldn’t cause a problem. If you have a granuloma and aren’t comfortable with it, talk to your doctor about what you can do to remove it.


  • Regretregret is the biggest risk in getting a vasectomy. If you are thinking about getting permanently sterilized, make sure that you’re 100% sure about not wanting any more children. While there are vasectomy reversal procedures available, they’re not always 100% effective.


As we mentioned, prior to scheduling your vasectomy surgery you need to make sure that you’ve considered all of your options and that you’re 100% ready to move forward. If you have any doubt at all, it’s better to wait and continue with other forms of birth control, as vasectomy reversal procedures aren’t always effective.  In the mean time, if you need any urological supplies or want to learn more about urology procedures, illnesses, or products, visit our educational support page or our product selection guide. Byram Healthcare is proud to offer full-service urological care and we have all the high quality urological supplies that you need. If you need to order any urological supplies, all of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home, at any time of the day. If you have any urological questions or need personalized, confidential services, our teams of knowledgeable urological customer service specialists are here to help.