Vasectomy recovery can be a nearly painless and uneventful experience if you follow a few guidelines. Whether you undergo a vasectomy that involves one or two tiny incisions or you choose a non-incision vasectomy, the vast majority of men who have the procedure experience a relatively care-free vasectomy recovery. If you want to know how to recover from a vasectomy with minimal chances of problems, read on.
Vasectomy recovery guidelines
- Wear a jock strap or snug jockey shorts immediately after surgery and for at least one week thereafter.
- Begin your vasectomy recovery on the right foot by having someone drive you home after the vasectomy. Even if you have had a no-scalpel vasectomy and think you can drive yourself home, it is best to avoid any possible pressure associated with driving.
- Take pain relievers as recommended by your doctor. Immediately after your surgeon has finished the vasectomy, you will likely experience some slight to moderate discomfort (aching, mild pain) in the area of the surgery. Your doctor will advise you about appropriate pain relievers (typically acetaminophen because of low bleeding risk) and antibiotics, if necessary.
- Follow a nutritious diet high in antioxidants (e.g., fruits and vegetables, whole grains), which can help fight infection. Include green tea as part of your daily routine, because along with its antioxidant powers, green tea also has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.
- After you get home from the doctor’s office or hospital, elevate your legs, stay off your feet, and use ice packs on the scrotal area during the first few days to minimize any swelling or discomfort. These symptoms are typically much milder for men who have a no-scalpel vasectomy.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience fever, increasing pain or swelling, drainage, or chills in the first day or two after surgery, as these may be signs of infection.
- Ask your doctor when you can resume taking showers. Typically showers are acceptable within a day or two of vasectomy recovery period.
- Avoid baths or submerging the surgical area in water (e.g., swimming, whirl pools) for at least 48 hours after surgery, as this increases your chances of exposing the vasectomy site to bacteria and infection.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or participating in sports for about a week after your vasectomy. Excessive exertion could cause pain or bleeding inside the scrotum.
- Do not resume sexual intercourse for at last 72 hours after a vasectomy. Some men prefer to wait a week or two after a vasectomy to resume sexual activity. When you do resume sexual intercourse, remember you will not be sterile for at least 6 to 12 weeks or until your doctor has made sure your semen is sperm-free, so you will need to use another form of birth control.
- After sexual activity is comfortable for you, resume ejaculation. It takes at least 10 to 20 ejaculations before any remaining sperm is released. In some men, sperm remains in the semen for three to six months after a vasectomy.
- Keep your appointments with your doctor to have your semen samples checked. Your doctor should provide sterile containers for your samples, which you can collect at home and bring to the doctor’s office or lab. The first sample is usually checked four to six weeks after a vasectomy.
- During vasectomy recovery, you will be asked to provide subsequent semen samples every few weeks until your samples are sperm-free and your doctor determines you are sterile.
- Remember, a vasectomy does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. For protection against STDs, you will need to use a condom.