Aftercare & Recovery from a Vasectomy

A vasectomy is a simple procedure and will not require an overnight stay in the hospital or clinic. After surgery you need to arrange for someone to pick you up and drive you home as you will not be able to do so. If possible, try not to drive at all for the first few days to allow yourself to rest properly.  This is because the movement of the car can rub against your testicles and cause more discomfort. The initial resting period is crucial to your recovery. You may feel slightly uncomfortable for a few days after the surgery but this can usually be solved by ‘over the counter’ medicines and pain killers. The amount of discomfort usually depends on the technique involved with your surgery, for example, whether you have had stitches or not.

After the first 24 hours, a good way to help speed recovery is to apply ice to the area of the incision. This helps reduce swelling and promotes healing. It can also help reduce any pain. Some men have reported that ice is very effective at reducing pain and a good alternative to aspirin or ibuprofen as they can often increase the amount of bleeding. It is essential that you do this after the first 24 hours as you should not get the area wet during this time. You may be given more supportive and protective underwear or bandages to wear.

Although there are no links to prostate or testicle cancer, your surgeon may ask you to ensure you go for regular health screenings and check ups. They may also remind you to keep checking your testicles for lumps. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway however after surgery especially, it is recommended. Your surgeon should give you a full list of instructions on how to recover effectively. For most men, 4 weeks is the amount of time required for full recovery, assuming there is no ‘post vasectomy pain syndrome’. Your surgeon should be checking you in the weeks after your surgery to make sure that you are healing correctly.

Return to Sexual Activity after a Vasectomy

This is often entirely dependent on you and how you feel. Most surgeons will advise waiting at least a week to ensure that you are properly healed however it is important to remember that you will not be sterile immediately. You will need to use other forms of contraception for at least 3 months or until your semen tests conclude negative results twice in a row.

Returning to Work

With regards to when to go back to work, this is entirely up to you and how comfortable and able you feel. A surgeon will usually advise that you rest for at least a couple of days and to make sure that no strenuous activity is undertaken for at least a week. This depends then, on the nature of your work too, it may be useful to talk to your boss about perhaps doing some lighter tasks although some men prefer to keep their vasectomy private.

Physical activity should be strictly limited and things such as how you get to work needs to be considered. If you normally bike to work you may need to work out a new way to get there for a while as this may be uncomfortable.

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