Each year in the United States, approximately half a million men undergo vasectomies, which effectively puts an end to their ability to pass along sperm. While we’ve come a long way with this procedure, including our no-scalpel vasectomy, there are still some steps you should take during your quick recovery period to make sure everything goes smoothly.
At our practice, board-certified urologist and men’s health expert Dr. Robert J. Cornell has extensive experience performing vasectomies, providing our patients with an extremely effective birth control option.
We can do our part during your vasectomy, but you can also do yours after your procedure to ensure the best outcome.
The first 24 hours
Whenever possible, Dr. Cornell turns to an innovative technique called a no-scalpel vasectomy, which, as the name implies, doesn’t involve any incisions. Instead, we make one very small puncture point through which we can effectively block your vas deferens.
Thanks to the lack of incisions, your comfort level is improved and your risks for infection are minimized. Still, after we send you home (a vasectomy is a quick-and-easy outpatient procedure), you may feel some soreness and experience some swelling, especially during the first 24 hours.
You should plan on taking a day or two of rest while you wait for these side effects to subside, and you can use ice packs to deal with any discomfort. If you don’t have ice packs handy, a bag of frozen peas does the trick nicely. Lying with your feet up can also help promote faster healing.
You also shouldn’t bathe for the first 24-48 hours, but do ensure that your scrotum is clean and dry during this time to avoid infection.
The first week
As the initial swelling and discomfort subside, you can get back to your normal activities, but you should avoid any strenuous activities for at least a week, especially anything that involves heavy lifting.
To encourage healing and to help with comfort, we recommend that you wear underwear that provides ample support for your scrotum (in other words, no boxers). Some men use a jock strap for the first week or two after their vasectomy for just this purpose.
Week two and beyond
If everything goes smoothly during the first week, you can add more activities, including sex. In fact, we encourage you to have sex, as you need to clear out any sperm that may still be present. In most cases, it takes three months or 20 ejaculates to reach a sperm count of zero.
This means it’s very important that you use another form of birth control during this time, and that you only stop using this added protection after we’ve performed a semen analysis that confirms your ejaculate no longer contains sperm.
During week two and beyond, you should feel perfectly normal, and you can get back to your usual activities, including exercise.
If you have more questions about your recovery after a vasectomy, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to schedule up an appointment, or use the “book online” button.