A vasectomy is a type of male birth control, which cuts the supply of sperm to semen. This procedure is done by cutting and sealing the tubes carrying sperm. Fortunately, this procedure is low risk, with vasectomy recovery being quite short and not as much of a hassle as one would expect.
What should you do during recovery and how long does recovery last? Many men may feel a bit intimidated regarding the recovery process, but it’s actually not as bad as one would think. Read on to find out what happens after the vasectomy!
How Long is Vasectomy Recovery?
As mentioned, vasectomy recovery doesn’t take too long. You most likely won’t need to wait for a long time before returning to your daily activities after the procedure.
The full recovery time is between eight to nine days for most men, though this depends on your pain perception and the body's ability to heal tissue.
With that said, it is important note that even once healed it may take longer until you’re able to ejaculate without sperm in the semen so be sure to use other means of contraception until you have had at least 2 negative semen tests. To make this process simple, you can use mail-in tests from your home rather than having to give a sample at your doctor's office. Click here to order a test kit today.
How You’ll Feel After a Vasectomy
The doctor uses a local anesthetic to numb your scrotum pre-surgery. After the procedure is done, you won't feel anything, as the anesthetic is still in effect.
After the surgery, the doctor will then bandage the scrotum and once the numbness begins to wear off, it may feel tender, uncomfortable, or a bit painful. You may also notice a small amount of bruising and/or swelling as well, and it may feel uncomfortable to urinate. If you have excessive bruising or swelling, definitely call your doctor right away.
You can go home to complete recovery immediately after the surgery, with your doctor recommending someone to drive you home to avoid putting pressure or strain on the surgical site and because you may feel drowsy if you were given medications to sedate or relax you.
Tips to Recover from a Vasectomy
During the next week or so, you’re able to recover on your own with the right self-care tips:
- Make sure you wear tight fitting underwear, which secures the genital area and supports it, avoiding any injuries or stitches from pulling out.
- Use a cold compress or ice pack against your scrotum for about 20 minutes a few times daily. This can relieve pain and swelling. If you have no ice pack or cold compress, you can make one of your own using a thin frozen washcloth or a frozen bag of peas.
- Monitor the surgical site. If you see bleeding, pus, redness, or worsening swelling or bruising during the first few days, do seek medical attention.
- If you can’t handle the pain, you can take pain relievers, as long as you have the go signal from your doctor. Do not take pain relievers that are also blood thinners, such aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
- Do not bathe right after the procedure. Wait for a couple of days to bathe or shower, unless your doctor instructs otherwise.
- Do NOT lift anything that weighs over 10 pounds, nor should you exercise or have sex for a week or more, as this may risk your incisions reopening. Be sure to ask your doctor when you can resume activity.
With proper rest, you will be able to stop wearing the supportive underwear and take the surgical bandage off after 2-3 days. You can also bathe and shower shortly thereafter, as symptoms should improve quickly and clear up after a week or so. You can resume most daily activities and return to work after a few days, so long as it doesn't require too much moving around or manual labor.
Wrapping It Up
I hope that this article on vasectomy recovery helped inform you of what to expect after the procedure. Vasectomy is low-risk and a relatively safe procedure to have, just make sure that you are well-informed of its effects.