You probably will not need to wait long before you can return to normal activities after a vasectomy. Full vasectomy recovery time is about eight to nine days for many people. Keep in mind this may vary depending on your individual perception of pain and the ability for tissue healing. It will take longer until you can ejaculate without sperm in your semen.
A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure in which your surgeon cuts and closes off the tubes that deliver sperm from your testicles into your semen. Most vasectomies can be done in a urologist’s office. The procedure itself is quick, taking about 30 minutes or less.
How will I feel right after the procedure?
Typically, your doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of your scrotum before the surgery. Just after the procedure is over, you will not feel much while the anaesthetic is still in effect.
After surgery, your doctor will bandage your scrotum. Once the numbness wears off, your scrotum may feel tender or uncomfortable. You will probably notice some bruising and swelling, too.
You should be able to go home shortly after the surgery. Your doctor will likely recommend that you have someone drive you home so you do not put any unnecessary strain or pressure on the surgical site. You should be able to urinate without any trouble, but it might feel uncomfortable during the vasectomy recovery process.
Immediately following the procedure, the following do’s and don’ts can help keep your pain and discomfort under control while you recover.
- Do wear tight underwear to secure your genital area and avoid injury or stitches falling out.
- Do gently press an ice pack or cold compress against your scrotum for 20 minutes several times a day to relieve pain and swelling. Make your own cold compress at home with a frozen bag of vegetables and a thin washcloth.
- Do keep an eye on the surgical site. Seek medical attention if you notice a lot of pus, redness, bleeding, or worsening swelling during the first couple of days.
- Do take pain relieving medication. Try Tylenol for any pain. Avoid blood thinners like aspirin or naproxen.
- Do not bathe right away. Wait about a day or so to shower or bathe, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
- Do not lift anything over 10 pounds, exercise, or have sex to avoid reopening your incisions.
What Can I Expect From Long Term Recovery?
After a week or more of your vasectomy recovery, you should be able to resume exercising, lifting objects over 10 pounds, and doing other vigorous activities with minimal pain and discomfort. Feel free to start having protected sex or masturbating again if you feel comfortable doing so. Do not have unprotected sex until your doctor verifies there are no sperm in your semen at your follow up appointment.
Your doctor will schedule a postoperative appointment about 6 to 12 weeks after the surgery. At this point, your doctor can send a semen sample to a lab to test for sperm count. Once your semen contains no sperm, you can have sex without protection and without risk of pregnancy. You will usually need to ejaculate at least 15 to 20 times before your semen is free of sperm.