When considering a vasectomy, it’s easy to find information on the procedure, but post procedure details are equally important. Let’s start with the basics. It’s recommended that you avoid any strenuous activity for 7 days. This is the single most important factor for a faster recovery and quickest relief from discomfort and swelling. Good scrotal support with tight underwear, a jock strap, or compression shorts will also shorten recovery time, especially as physical activity is reintroduced.
Many men experience minimal discomfort after their vasectomy. Non steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) work best. Typically celebrex (celecoxib) is the NSAID of choice as it has no blood thinning properties. It is available by prescription only. Men can also treat their pain with at-home remedies such as ice packs, athletic support, and/or Tylenol. It’s important to maintain good hygiene and avoid lifting, sitting in awkward positions and wearing uncomfortable clothes. It’s popular for men to plan their vasectomies around professional sports tournaments or the newest seasons of their favorite shows, as it allows them to kick back on the couch and let their bodies recover.
In very rare cases, the incision can become infected, leading to swelling, bleeding and the need for antibiotics. It’s also possible that a condition called congestive epididymitis may develop after a vasectomy. The condition results in a painful lump on the scrotum, but will usually go away on its own. Again, NSAIDs can be useful to speed up this process and provide symptom relief.
A week after your vasectomy, you can have sex, but you will not be sterile. For the procedure to reach its full effect, it takes 8 to 10 weeks and 12 to 20 ejaculations. Continue using birth control when engaging in sexual activity until a follow-up visit with your doctor with a semen analysis test confirming sterility. Understanding that vasectomy reversals result in pregnancy roughly 50% of the time is something you should consider before the procedure. Avoid scheduling the procedure if you aren’t sure about the permenant nature of it.
You might be concerned about a vasectomy’s impact on your sex drive, but don’t worry! It’s very rare that a patient’s sex drive or testosterone is negatively affected by a vasectomy. Some couples even find that their sex life improves after a partner’s vasectomy as the stress of an unintended pregnancy is alleviated.
You should also consider that no form of contraception has a 100% success rate. While vasectomy has the lowest failure rate, by a large margin, of any male contraception, large studies have estimated a 1/2,000 chance of pregnancy after vasectomy.
If you’re at risk of acquiring or transferring a sexually transmitted infection, it’s important to note that a vasectomy does not provide protection. You should continue using condoms or other forms of STI prevention when engaging in sexual activity.
At Arkansas Urology, we’re here for you. Our patients’ health has been and will always be our top priority! Do you need to schedule an appointment? Contact us today or book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.