Care After the Procedure
After you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Apply ice packs, covered with a towel, on and off during the first eight hours.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Wear an athletic supporter if recommended by your doctor.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Cover the incisions with clean gauze for three days, or as directed by your doctor.
- A small amount of blood on the gauze pads is normal. Tell your doctor if you have excessive bleeding or need to change the gauze pads more than 2-3 times daily.
- Your doctor may give you antibiotics for several days following the procedure. Take all medicines as instructed.
- Do not lift heavy objects or participate in sports for 2-3 weeks.
Most men feel fine to go back to work in only a few days, and may feel ready for sexual activity after about a week. Ejaculation may cause some discomfort in the groin and testicles until the tissues heal.
A vasectomy may not make you sterile right away. Subsequent tests will be done to look for any sperm in the semen. The tests may be done at your doctor's office or with a home test kit. These tests are done to make sure that the procedure was effective.
You are advised to use another form of birth control until the tests show there is no sperm in your semen. Although a vasectomy is very effective, it is not a 100% guarantee that you will never be able to make a woman pregnant.
Final Note: Play it Safe
Though a vasectomy is a simple operation that normally has a minimum of post-procedure problems, do exercise caution as needed. After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills.
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given.