Vasectomy Recovery Tips

A vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It's done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm in the vas deferens. Vasectomy has a low risk for problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Depending on your age, health, and how many children you have, it can be more or less complicated.   Vasectomies are relatively routine procedures, but there are some things to keep in mind during recovery to minimize discomfort. The most common side effects include mild swelling and bruising around the scrotum as well as soreness which can last 3-10 days following surgery. It's important to remember that everyone heals differently! 

While it's likely that you or someone close to you is considering a vasectomy, it's an important decision and one that can be a life-changing decision as the reversal procedure is not always effective. The recovery process can be uncomfortable, but if you follow these tips your discomfort will be minimized. Furthermore, if you experience any severe problems after surgery, contact your doctor immediately!   The first few days following surgery are usually the most difficult simply because of the soreness that accompanies this kind of procedure. If possible, try to arrange childcare before the procedure so you have some time to rest afterward. Don't forget to clear your work schedule! Make sure you have plenty of pillows on hand so that you can be comfortable in bed watching your favorite shows. You probably won't feel like moving around too much, so plan ahead and clear your calendar so that you can have plenty of time to relax and rest.   Before getting a vasectomy, you need to be certain you don't want to father a child in the future. Although vasectomy reversals are possible, a vasectomy should be considered a permanent form of birth control. Vasectomies offer no protection from sexually transmitted infections, so precaution should still be taken.   Some of the most common reasons for having a vasectomy are being sure you do not want to have children, your partner is at risk for health problems if she becomes pregnant, and you are done having children. Once you've had a vasectomy, your semen won't contain sperm so it can't cause pregnancy.   When does vasectomy recovery start? Vasectomy recovery starts right after surgery ends. If you're like most men, pain isn't an issue with this procedure because there's no cutting or stitching involved during the surgery itself. The tubes that carry sperm are sealed by using heat (cauterized). Afterward, some guys experience mild bruising along with swelling. Even though vasectomies are a routine procedure, it's important to take the time to care for yourself as you recover. Vasectomy recovery can last a few days or weeks depending on how fast your body heals and gets back to normal. It's best not to plan any activities for at least 4-6 days following surgery.   Vasectomy Recovery Tips:  To reduce pain, swelling, bruising, and discomfort after your surgery, you will want to prepare well in advance. One of the best things you can do is get supportive underwear, boxer briefs, or a jockstrap to help support your testicles. Undeez is a great solution since it not only provides support, but also comes with ice packs that you can insert into the front pouch called the "testi-cooler". The front pouch allows you to easily insert the ice packs to ice your balls periodically. Here are some additional Recovery Tips: Use Undeez Vasectomy Underwear or apply an ice pack to your scrotum for 20 minutes every two hours for the first day and then three or four times a day for the next few days. Undeez is the preferred method since you can hold your ice packs in place while also having additional support.

Keep your scrotum clean and dry until all sutures are removed (usually within 5 days).

Take pain medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Most men find that over-the-counter pain relievers work just fine, but narcotic pain medications may be necessary if you have severe discomfort. Consult with your doctor of course.

Use scrotal support to help reduce swelling such as Undeez, a jockstrap, or supportive boxer briefs.

Avoid strenuous activity including sex for about 4 weeks. If there are no complications, you should be able to return to your normal level of activity fairly quickly. Most men start feeling better within a few days.

Wear an athletic supporter after surgery until it is no longer needed. Most athletic supporters wrap around your waist and have a hanging pouch in the front to support your testicles

Get lots of rest, but get up and walk around occasionally if you feel like it. It helps improve circulation to reduce swelling and discomfort.

Take nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) according to package directions to relieve pain. Ibuprofen is available without a prescription; follow the maximum daily dosage.

Bathe normally but avoid tub baths, hot tubs and swimming pools until all stitches are removed (usually in 5 days). Light shower rinses are recommended since you likely won't be working up a sweat in bed.

What is involved in vasectomy recovery? Vasectomy recovery involves having someone take you home after surgery, resting, applying ice to your scrotum, and taking pain medication as needed. You will have discomfort for up to 7 days after the procedure so be sure you have enough supplies to last that long. There might also be swelling and bruising which can last three to ten days after surgery, but sometimes less.   Oftentimes, men will schedule their vasectomies during slow periods at work, or during sporting events such as the March Madness Basketball Tournament so that there is plenty of games to watch as you recover. Of course, today there are plenty of shows to stream and binge-watch on Netflix to keep you entertained. You should plan on resting in bed or on the couch for at least a few days as you start to feel better. Some recovery tips below should help you get you back on your feet quicker.   Vasectomy recovery kit: what you'll need for home care If you're having a vasectomy at a doctor's office or clinic, they provide everything you need before surgery and give instructions on what to do at home afterward. If you're performing the procedure yourself with no assistance follow these steps: Gather supplies such as an ice pack, stool softener (such as Colace), comfortable clothes, snacks, drinks, as well as your favorite streaming shows.

Keep the ice packs in the freezer for when you need them. The procedure itself is quick, so you'll want to have at least 1 pack ready if complications arise or you may experience prolonged discomfort.

Wear briefs or jockey shorts afterward until all stitches are removed (usually 5 days). You should wear tightfitting undergarments until the tenderness resolves, because there may be some residual soreness and bruising.

Bathe normally but avoid tub baths, hot tubs, and swimming pools until all stitches are removed (usually 5 days).

The scrotum stabilizes after a few days and most of the pain is gone in 1 to 3 weeks. Although you can resume sexual activity as soon as you feel ready.

Don't have right away. Your Urologist will have recommendations for you on timelines when the time is right. This will reduce the risk of infection and complications.

It is absolutely crucial that you do not have sex until after having your semen tested to ensure that it no longer contains sperm. This confirms that the vasectomy was successful and that it's safe for you to stop using other forms of birth control if necessary.

You can expect to see your doctor 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. He or she will likely check your recovery and test your semen for sperm.

When reactions such as tenderness, pain, and swelling last longer than 3 days you should call the doctor. Also contact the doctor if you have a fever of 100°F or higher along with chills, nausea and vomiting or blood or other symptoms of possible infection. If any of these symptoms occur, seek medical treatment immediately.

If the vasectomy was performed at a doctor's office or clinic, you can expect to receive follow-up information regarding the procedure around 1 week following your surgery. If anti-anxiety medication is prescribed, you will need to arrange transportation since you will be unable to operate a car or motor vehicle.   Even though vasectomies are safe and routine procedures that have few complications when performed by a qualified healthcare professional, there is always an inherent risk when surgery is involved. As with any procedure, risks include infection, pain, and bleeding as well as possible side effects such as bruising and swelling. Vasectomies could also cause worsened scrotal pain or nerve damage resulting in decreased sensation in the scrotum. Sometimes, the tubes come back together on their own and sperm is able to flow again. This is known as a recanalization, and it usually occurs within 3 months following vasectomy; however, there's no way of knowing how long it will take before this happens. Recanalization is more likely to occur if your vasectomy was performed without fascial interposition.   There are some things to keep in mind to minimize the discomfort during recovery. The most common side effects include mild swelling and bruising around the scrotum as well as soreness which can last 3-10 days following surgery. Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting until all stitches are removed (usually 5 days). Resting restores energy levels and reduces blood flow to reduce any chance of bleeding or mild swelling. Take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help alleviate pain and swelling.   Before you get your supplies ready for recovery please make sure you've read the article thoroughly enough to understand what you need! You will want to come home and rest right away, so have everything prepped ahead of time. Make sure you have food and drinks in the fridge as well as your ice packs in the freezer well in advance.   If you're experiencing pain after surgery, call your doctor immediately. This may be a sign of infection or another problem that requires immediate medical attention. Although rare, the vas deferens could reattach to the epididymis, which is why it's crucial to follow your doctor's instructions for aftercare. Check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications for pain relief, because some products can interfere with clotting during the procedure.   In conclusion, vasectomies are safe and effective procedures with a low risk of complications. It's best to have the procedure done by a professional but you can handle it on your own at home if necessary. Vasectomy recovery can sometimes be slow because there may be some swelling and bruising to deal with, as well as soreness in the scrotum. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines for aftercare following the surgery so make sure you follow these tips!   Wishing you a speedy recovery!   Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and the information contained on this page should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about vasectomy recovery and care.