What Should I do After a Vasectomy?

Lainie Petersen

Caring for yourself after a vasectomy involves managing pain and swelling, restricting physical activity that might exacerbate pain or inhibit healing, and ensuring that you have your sperm tested following the procedure to ensure that the vasectomy was successful. While a vasectomy is typically a simple procedure with a low risk of complications, it is still important that you comply with your doctor's after-care recommendations. If you begin to experience extreme discomfort, bleeding, or show signs of an infection after a vasectomy, contact your doctor immediately.

A doctor may suggest reducing physical activity for several days after a vasectomy procedure.
A doctor may suggest reducing physical activity for several days after a vasectomy procedure.

Typical complaints after a vasectomy include some pain and swelling. Your physician may recommend that you wear a jockstrap or some other type of supportive underwear for the first few days after a vasectomy. You may be prescribed painkillers, although over-the-counter pain relievers may be sufficient for helping you cope with any soreness. Many men find that cold packs can be most effective at reducing both swelling and pain. Some even like to use bags of frozen vegetables for this purpose.

As a general rule, reducing physical activity for a couple of days can be a good idea. You may want to schedule the surgery so that you can take a few days off work to recuperate. You may wish to take particular care about having to sit for long periods of time and avoid air travel for a few days until you are healed. The same may be true for riding a bicycle or driving a car. You may also want to delay sexual activity for about a week after a vasectomy.

It is extremely important that after a vasectomy you continue to use contraception while having sex with your spouse or partner. This is because you may still be able to get a woman pregnant during this time. Your doctor will tell you when you should come in for a check-up. At the check-up, you'll be asked to provide a semen sample, which will be tested for the presence of sperm. Your doctor may ask you to repeat the process of giving samples over a reasonable period of time until he is convinced that you are actually sterile. It can take several months after a vasectomy for your system to be cleared of sperm. Until a doctor tells you that the vasectomy is a success, you may be capable of fathering children and should take steps to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

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