Some men may tell you that getting a vasectomy was easy peasy. We wouldn’t go quite that far, but as surgeries go, it’s not so bad once you get over the anxiety. In fact, the surgery is quick and painless, but it’s very important to understand and follow the vasectomy recovery process.
Vasectomy Is a Common and Safe Procedure
About 500,000 men have vasectomies each year in the US. The surgery prevents sperm from leaving your body because the tubes that carry sperm, called the vas deferens, are closed off. It cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. There is low risk of any complications, and the failure rate is extremely low, 1 in 10,000 cases.
Some men worry that it will affect their sex life and enjoyment. That is not the case. Men will still have normal orgasms, and it does not affect sexual function, sex drive, testosterone levels, or performance. It does mean that the semen a man ejaculates during sexual intercourse will no longer contain sperm.
Vasectomy Recovery Process
The first several days after a vasectomy are key. Rest is essential for recovery. Don’t engage in anything strenuous, do any exercise, or lift anything heavy. Best course of action is to find your most comfortable chair and put your feet up. There may be some swelling and discomfort so a frozen bag of peas or any malleable cold pack will help with both issues.
Take some Tylenol or Advil for discomfort.
Other tips for during the recovery process:
- Many men have the procedure on a Friday and are back to work by Monday depending on their job.
- Keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection, but wait until day 2 to shower. Do not bathe for 3 to 4 days.
- Wear supportive underwear for a few days after the procedure. Switch to loose sweatpants as you continue to heal.
- Wait at least a week to do anything strenuous like exercise or other normal activities.
- Do not have sexual intercourse for at least 2 weeks.
- If you do have any lingering pain, contact Dr. Hyman.
- Continue to use a condom for the first three months.
Mark Your Calendar
Three months after your procedure is a milestone. Until you see your doctor and bring a sample of semen, you will not know for sure if your semen is sperm free. Don’t skip that follow up appointment. It’s possible a few stragglers could have gotten through or left behind. You will not be 100% sure the surgery was a success until there is no sperm left in the semen. If some are found, continue using the condom until your physician tells you so.
A vasectomy is safe, very effective, and less expensive than other forms of birth control.