What To Expect After Your Vasectomy
Approximately half a million men in our country undergo vasectomy treatment each year. This form of long-term birth control may be very common but that doesn’t mean it is an easy decision to make. Many men think about a vasectomy for years before making their final decision. In many cases, it’s not the question of permanence that stops them, it’s questions about what to expect after this procedure.
Understandably, there will be apprehension about choosing to have a delicate area of the body operated on. Many stories have been passed around about the aftermath of a vasectomy, which doesn’t help matters. Here, we want to clear up any misconceptions you may have about what it’s like to have a vasectomy. The more you know, the more peace of mind you can have about this advantageous procedure.
Vasectomy Recovery Timeline
Vasectomies are performed as an outpatient procedure. It is possible to drive yourself home or have a loved one drive you to and from your appointment. We recommend going straight home after the procedure and committing the remainder of the day to rest. We may prescribe pain medication to use as directed for a few days. During this time, you may want to stay home and stay off your feet as much as possible. Rest supports the healing process and reduces the severity and duration of post-operative swelling. An ice pack may also be applied for approximately 20 minutes, several times a day. A cloth should be placed between the ice pack and the skin.
During the first few weeks of vasectomy recovery, many men feel more comfortable with a little extra support. An athletic supporter, bike shorts with compression, or other garments that fit more tightly can create a sense of security around the healing scrotum.
Exercise is clearly off-limits, and it is important to also remember that “heavy lifting” includes anything that weighs more than a gallon of mild. If as healing progresses and physical strength improves, lifting is a no-no, as are exercises such as squats and crunches. After about two weeks of recovery, most activities can be resumed, so be patient with your body as it recovers.
What about sex?
This is a common question we hear from our vasectomy patients. Usually, patients can resume sexual intercourse about a week after their vasectomy. It is important to keep in mind, though, that sperm may remain in the vas deferens for several months, which means pregnancy can still occur. A reliable method of birth control should be used until we have confirmed sterilization.