A vasectomy is a common form of birth control in the United States, with up to 500,000 men receiving one each year. It’s popular because it’s far less invasive than other methods and requires no ongoing involvement or expenses.
However, there is a small recovery window that can cause some discomfort, but there are ways to make it easier. Let’s talk about how to have a smooth vasectomy recovery to get you back on your feet in no time!
Vasectomy Recovery Timeline
Because we are talking about recovery, we will not discuss the procedure in this article. For more information about the procedure itself, talk to your urologist or read about the vasectomy process.
However, to understand the recovery process, you first have to understand what was affected during the procedure. The vas deferens is the part of the body that transports sperm that were created in the testicles to your urethra prior to ejaculation. Essentially, a vasectomy cuts off the sperm supply to your semen by cutting the tubes that transport sperm from your testes to the vas deferens.
In the first 24 hours after your procedure, you should be resting and avoiding physical activity. In most cases, you can resume light physical activity after two to four days, but this entirely depends on the success of your recovery. If you engage in activity before you should, it can tear stitches or cause bleeding in the scrotum, which will cost you a trip to the ER.
During the first few days of recovery, you should expect to feel some slight swelling, discomfort, bruising, or even mild pain in your genital area. Don’t worry, as this is to be expected. It is important to wear a jockstrap for the first week which will help decrease the swelling and improve comfort.
The major concern to watch out for is an infection, as you will have an open wound from the procedure. However, this is less of a concern with no-scalpel procedures. More on that later.
You may also experience blood in your semen upon ejaculation, but don’t worry, this is normal in the first few days after the procedure. If the amount of blood seems excessive, contact your doctor.
After a week, you should be fully recovered or nearly recovered. It is generally advised to avoid strict or intense exercise for a few days more than you think you need, especially if there are stitches present. After that, you are good to go!
Tips to Have a Smooth Vasectomy Recovery
Now that you know the typical timeline for a vasectomy recovery and what to expect, there are things you can do to help the process along.
Remember, if you are having intense pain, it’s okay to contact your urologist and let them know how you are feeling. Discomfort is to be expected, but not overwhelming pain. However, here’s what you can do to have a speedier recovery!
Get Plenty of Rest
First of all, the more time you spend sleeping, the less time you have to endure any discomfort you may experience.
Secondly, rest will help you recover. When we lie down with our feet elevated, we improve the circulation in our bodies, allow our bodies to heal, and boost our immune systems, which helps prevent infections and boost recovery.
Consequently, when we are overly active, especially early in recovery, we run the risk of causing more discomfort, delaying recovery, or even tearing stitches. While resting initially is important, it’s still important to lay low for the first week or so and avoid any strenuous activity, so give yourself more rest than you think you need.
When an area is opened, we need to take care of it to prevent infection. Keep your entire genital area clean and change your clothes periodically.
Don’t attempt to shower for at least 24 hours after the operation. Instead, gently clean and dry your genitals thoroughly every 6 hours or so. You will want to avoid baths, pools, and hot tubs for at least 1 week or until your incision is fully healed.
Vasectomies are not always the same, so listen to your urologist’s directions about proper care and try to follow them as closely as possible. They may suggest applying ointment or bandages or advise against doing so.
Remember, this discomfort shouldn’t last too long. However, it can become very difficult to tolerate for many patients. Also, reducing discomfort may reduce potential swelling, which can aid in recovery.
Conversely, you should avoid wearing tight pants or underwear and apply ice to the area where you are experiencing discomfort as needed.
Don’t Have Sex Yet
Of course, more pleasurable sex is a common reason to get a vasectomy. However, there will still be sperm in your semen that was previously stored in the vas deferens. The vasectomy only prevents new sperm from entering, but it does nothing to rid the existing sperm, carrying an immediate risk of pregnancy.
You will want to avoid ejaculation for 1 week. After that you can resume protected intercourse until you are cleared by semen analysis. It is very important to continue back up contraceptive measures until you are cleared by your Urologist that your sample is clear.
Start Having Fun
Look into your treatment options if you haven’t already, get your sex drive back, and feel free to contact us with any questions!