What to Expect During and After a Vasectomy

You can usually start having sex again soon after a vasectomy, but you should use another method of birth control. It takes time and many ejaculations for the sperm to be completely gone.

Before your surgery, shave your scrotum and groin. Ask your urologist what to do about pain, swelling, and other issues after the operation.


A vasectomy is an elective surgery for male sterilization and pregnancy prevention. It’s important to discuss its permanent nature with your doctor and partner before you decide on it.

On the day of your procedure, you’ll want to prepare for the appointment by putting on tight-fitting clothing and applying ice packs. You should also wear a jockstrap or other athletic supporter after the surgery, as this will help support your scrotum and reduce swelling. You can find these in sports stores, pharmacies, and online.

Your doctor will likely give you medication like Ativan to relax you during your procedure. This may impair your ability to drive, so it’s a good idea to bring someone to take you home afterward. You should also eat light and avoid drinking alcohol before your appointment.

During the vasectomy, your doctor will make a cut in your scrotum to reach two tubes called the vas deferens. The doctor will then remove or tie off each tube, cutting off the sperm supply. The doctor might also use stitches to close the cuts. Your doctor will probably need to perform several follow-up semen tests about six to 12 weeks after your operation to confirm that the sperm supply is gone.

The surgery will take place in a special procedure room. You’ll lie on your back with your legs bent and supported by pillows. TPMG’s procedure suites are equipped with Internet and audio technology, so you can listen to music or other media during your procedure. This can be a great way to ease anxiety, and it also helps you concentrate on what’s going on around you rather than the pain and discomfort.

After the surgery, you’ll need to wear tight-fitting underwear and a jockstrap to support your scrotum. You’ll also need to apply ice packs and limit activity for a few days to allow the scrotum to heal.

You can resume your normal activities, including sex when the surgical site is healed. However, it’s important to continue using birth control until your doctor can tell you that the sperm is gone during a follow-up semen analysis.


A vasectomy is a surgical procedure done under local anesthesia, meaning you’ll be awake but not feel any pain or discomfort. The surgeon makes one or two small cuts in your scrotal area, either with a scalpel or with a tool that looks like a pointed clamp (no-scalpel method). Once the doctor locates the vas deferens, they cut it and then seal both ends. This prevents sperm from reaching your penis when you ejaculate.

It’s not a painful procedure, but there may be some soreness or swelling in the groin or scrotal area for 2 or 3 days. You can take ibuprofen or naproxen (Advil, Motrin) to help reduce this pain and discomfort. You will need to use contraception for up to 8 weeks after the surgery because sperm can still be found in your semen. You will need to have up to two semen tests done to be sure that all the sperm has been removed.

The operation is typically done at a doctor’s office or surgery center under local anesthesia. Before the procedure begins, your scrotum and groin will be shaved, cleaned, and draped in sterile towels. You will likely be offered an oral anti-anxiety medication to take about an hour before your procedure starts.

Once you’re under anesthesia, the surgeon will make a small cut in your scrotal area to expose the tubes that carry sperm to your penis. Using the scalpel technique, the doctor makes 1 to 2 small cuts in your scrotal area, about 10 millimeters wide. After finding the tubes, they cut them and then seal the ends with skin glue or stitches.

For a no-scalpel vasectomy, your urologist will insert a sharp tool that looks like a pointed clamp into the skin over the tubes. This tool pierces the tube and then moves down into it to locate the vas deferens, which are then cut and sealed with the same skin glue or stitches. This type of vasectomy has a lower risk of infection and requires less recovery time. You can return to work and other normal activities within about two or three days, and most men are able to resume physical activity like sex by the first week after surgery.


Your urologist will close the surgical incision with stitches or glue. To help the healing process, avoid putting pressure or strain on the area. This means avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous activity for two weeks after the procedure. You can shower or bathe, but be careful not to scrub the genital area. If you feel pain or discomfort, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the first few days. Using an over-the-counter medication like this rather than ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is best because these are blood thinners and can increase the risk of bleeding and swelling around the incision site. If you experience severe pain, fever, chills, or a rash near the incision, call your doctor immediately.

You should rest for a few days after the vasectomy. Your urologist may suggest that you stay home from work for two or three days. You should wear tight-fitting underwear or a jockstrap to support the scrotum while you are resting. Applying ice packs to the scrotum will also help ease the pain and swelling.

It takes about two months for your semen to be completely sperm-free, so you will need to continue using another form of birth control until your doctor tells you that the vasectomy worked. The doctor will test the semen you ejaculate by sending it to a lab to check for sperm. You will need to ejaculate a few times and wait for your results before you can have unprotected sex without worrying about pregnancy.

A vasectomy doesn’t affect your testosterone levels or your sex drive. However, you will still need to use a condom to protect against sexually transmitted diseases when having sex with a partner. It’s also important to be aware that a vasectomy won’t prevent you from developing prostate cancer or other prostate problems in the future. Some studies have suggested that vasectomy increases the risk of these problems, but other research hasn’t found a link.

Post-operative care

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tubes that carry semen from the penis. The procedure is typically done in a urologist’s office or surgery center. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you be fully sedated (put to sleep) for the operation. Your urologist will discuss this with you before the day of the procedure.

Your urologist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area where the vasectomy is being performed. If you are sedated, it is important that you have someone to drive you home after the procedure. If you have a medical condition affecting your driving ability, please talk to your urologist before the procedure.

On the night before and the morning of the procedure, thoroughly wash your groin and scrotum. Be sure to shave the entire scrotum using a single-blade disposable razor. This reduces the risk of infection. Avoid taking any over-the-counter pain medications or anti-anxiety drugs within 48 hours of your appointment, as they can cause bleeding during the surgery.

After the surgery, rest and refrain from sexual activity until the small opening in the scrotum created by the no-scalpel vasectomy heals. Keep an ice pack wrapped in a towel over the scrotum every hour or so for the first two days to help reduce swelling.

It’s a good idea to wear a pair of tight athletic supporters (jockstrap) or compression shorts after the procedure to support your scrotum. This also helps prevent swelling and bruising. Avoid sex until the area has healed, and make sure that you have an effective form of birth control for at least the next year. If you decide to have sex, be sure to wear a condom.

You’ll need to change the dressing over your scrotum when it becomes soaked with blood or soiled, usually within a day or so. You can buy small sterile gauze squares at most drugstores.

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