Men who want to get a vasectomy can take several steps to ensure that they will heal quickly and effectively after the procedure. This includes consulting with their doctor beforehand, understanding the risks, preparing supplies for recovery, and taking pain medications as needed.
Elevating the groin area and applying ice packs help to reduce swelling and pain. Taking over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen is also important.
Rest and Recovery
The key to any surgery is rest and recovery. That’s even truer when it comes to vasectomy recovery. The first week following the procedure is critical for a full and quick healing. That means sleeping as much as possible and limiting physical activity to the point of discomfort. This is why following your doctor’s instructions about showering and other activities is so important.
Showering too soon can lead to infection in the groin area, so wait until after 24 hours post-op. The same goes for swimming and other forms of body contact that cause sweating. This traps moisture in the area and can cause painful inflammation or spontaneous bleeding at the surgical site.
Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel on your scrotum as needed to further reduce swelling. This will help reduce pain and promote circulation to heal the area faster.
Taking over-the-counter pain medication is also a good idea. Be sure to choose an option with acetaminophen (Tylenol) as opposed to ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). This is because aspirin can interfere with blood clotting, which could increase your risk of internal bleeding at the surgical site. Finally, remember that it takes a couple of months for the vasectomy to become effective as a form of birth control. So, until then, use a reliable form of contraception to prevent pregnancy. This is especially important during the sex recovery period that begins about a week after your procedure.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The medications used during recovery can sometimes cause constipation. Eating foods high in fiber can help prevent this. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat foods that are high in antioxidants and nutrients. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and helps to heal wounds. Lean meats, fish, tofu, eggs, and dairy products are excellent sources of protein. Vegetables, whole grains, and beans are also good choices for protein. Fruits provide a good source of vitamins and minerals and energy-boosting carbohydrates. They are also easy on the stomach and ideal for small, regular portions.
Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and bok choy are rich in iron, which promotes healing. Other vegetables such as carrots, squash, and pumpkin are rich in vitamins A and C, which boost the immune system. Berries are a great source of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants that are essential for boosting the body’s ability to heal from surgery.
Be careful not to eat anything that is very hot, cold, or acidic, as these can upset your stomach. Be especially careful about eating foods or drinking liquids that are carbonated, as this can introduce air into your stomach pouch. You should only eat two to three bites or sips of new food at a time and wait 10 minutes before taking more.
Keep Your Scrotum Clean
You’ll probably experience some pain and discomfort following your vasectomy, especially for the first week or so. The area around your scrotum will be tender and sensitive, but you can reduce this discomfort by keeping the area clean and following your urologist’s directions for care.
Your urologist will likely recommend wearing an athletic supporter or jock strap, which will keep the groin area tight and help to relieve scrotal discomfort. You should wear these items at night and during the day until your urologist gives you the OK to do otherwise.
Before your procedure, you should shave the area that will be shaved, and make sure to use a single-blade disposable razor to avoid irritation. You should also refrain from taking aspirin or other medications that contain aspirin for 7 days before your surgery.
You should also be sure to take a pregnancy test before your procedure. The test will help to ensure that you are not already pregnant, which could cause complications during or after your vasectomy.
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that cuts the ends of your vas deferens, stopping sperm from passing through. However, it doesn’t remove all of the sperm that is in your semen, and you should continue to use additional forms of birth control until your doctor tests your semen and confirms zero sperm. This usually happens after 20 ejaculations. Some family medicine or general practice doctors perform vasectomies, but most are performed by urologists in doctors’ offices or surgery centers under local anesthesia.
Don’t Overdo It
A vasectomy is a surgery that prevents pregnancy by closing off the ends of the tubes (the vas deferens) that carry sperm. It is a permanent form of birth control, and it is one of the most effective ways to avoid pregnancy. However, it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so it is still important to use other forms of birth control if you are at risk for them.
The procedure is usually done in your urologist’s office, although some people may need to be sedated. You’ll lie on your back on an exam table and have a small amount of liquid injected into the scrotum to numb the area. You can expect the procedure to take about 30 minutes.
After your operation, you’ll be given instructions on how to care for your scrotum and other vasectomy recovery tips. Following these instructions is important so you don’t experience any complications.
In the days after your surgery, try to avoid putting too much pressure on your scrotum and testicles. This can lead to swollen, tender epididymis or orchitis, which is painful and not good for your health. Try to rest and take it easy until your doctor tells you to start exercising again. Try to get some walking in, but don’t go too hard – aim for the mall or a shopping center, not an exercise class. You also shouldn’t lift anything heavy.
Take Your Medications
A vasectomy isn’t a pain-free procedure, but the discomfort isn’t usually severe. Your doctor may give you prescription pain medication or acetaminophen to take as needed. Some people find that cold compresses (such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth) can help reduce pain and swelling the first few days after surgery.
You might be able to drive home after your vasectomy, but it’s a good idea to have someone with you for at least the first 48 hours to wake you for medications, help you use the bathroom, and make sure you’re safe in case you feel faint or are injured. This person can also be a lifesaver in case you have an unexpected problem, such as a flat tire or fender bender on the way home.
A vasectomy is the most effective form of birth control for men, but it won’t work right away. It takes a few months for your semen to be confirmed as free of sperm, and until then, you should continue to use other forms of birth control during sex. It’s also important to remember that a vasectomy doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia or HIV/AIDS. So, even if you have a vasectomy, it’s still important to practice safe sex and use protection.
Talk to Your Surgeon
If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery from a vasectomy, make sure to talk to your surgeon. Your urologist can tell you what to expect post-surgery, including if your symptoms are normal or indicate an issue.
Taking proper care of your body after surgery can reduce the likelihood of complications like infections, blood clots, or pain. Your urologist can also recommend medications to help with your pain, swelling, or other symptoms. Always take your medication exactly as prescribed to prevent serious or fatal side effects.
Swelling and pain are common in the scrotum after a vasectomy, but these symptoms usually go away within a week or so. Keeping an ice pack on the scrotum and wearing a jockstrap can help ease these symptoms. It’s important to avoid sexual intercourse and strenuous activities for 3-7 days after the procedure. A semen analysis is usually done 8 to 16 weeks after a vasectomy to ensure that the sperm has been flushed out of the tubes.
You should use birth control as usual until your urologist says that you’re completely sterile. A vasectomy doesn’t protect against STIs, so you should still practice safer sex using condoms. Most men feel like they’ve received a four-year-old kick in the nuts following the procedure. This feeling lasts for a few days and comes and goes as you move around.