So you decided to man up and get a vasectomy. Whether you made the call or your wife forced your hand, you’re all in now.
Don’t worry buddy, you’re not alone. This fraternity grows by 500,000 each year. And when it comes to long-term birth control, a vasectomy is the way to go. It’s a safe, permanent, and inexpensive procedure.
You’ve probably done your research to understand what you’re getting your genitals into. But knowing the surgery is one thing. Knowing what to do afterward is another.
Vasectomy recovery is a vital part of the process. And if you don’t follow it correctly, you can end up with prolonged pain, or even a surprise pregnancy.
THE FIRST DAYS OF RECOVERY: KICK BACK AND RELAX
The first few days after a vasectomy are all about rest. Even if you feel good, don’t do anything even remotely close to strenuous activity.
You should spend most of the first 48 hours post-surgery sitting down, icing your scrotum with your feet elevated. Not a bad gig, right? Here’s a pro tip: go for the March Madness vasectomy. Think about it: if you’re confined to the couch for two days, you might as well do it when there’s a few full days’ worth of hoops on.
You may have some swelling, mild pain, or bruising the first few days. Icing will help reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected area. Take pain medication as needed—generally over-the-counter pain-killers are sufficient. Also, wearing tight-fitting underwear or a jockstrap will reduce discomfort.
Guys who ignore the rest period often experience prolonged side effects or further complications. So don’t try to be a tough guy.
THE FIRST WEEKS OF RECOVERY: BACK TO NORMAL…SORT OF
Your couch potato days are short-lived. Time to get up and get back to work. You can resume non-vigorous activity after two or three days, but if your job involves heavy lifting, you’ll need to take a week or two off.
You should also take it easy in the gym for the first couple of weeks. No weightlifting or running until the third or fourth week after the surgery.
Oh, and most importantly: no sex. Your man zone needs at least a week without intercourse, and some doctors recommend two weeks.
THE FIRST MONTHS OF RECOVERY: WAIT FOR THE ALL CLEAR
After the initial 2-3 week recovery period, you should be feeling normal and can get back to all regular activities, including sex. However, there’s one caveat: you must use birth control.
Sure, you just had a vasectomy, but sperm can live in your vas deferens for months after getting snipped. So to avoid a surprise pregnancy, you need to use another form of birth control for the first few months.
It takes about 20 ejaculations for sperm to clear out your system, or about three months. How can you know for sure it’s all clear? Well, you’ll need an examination. But if you’re not comfortable returning to the doctor for the test, you can check your sterility at home with SpermCheck, an over-the-counter product that measures your sperm count.
If the test says you’re all clear, you can ditch the birth control. Your vasectomy recovery is complete.
Though a vasectomy is a simple surgery, there are phases of recovery. Make sure you follow each phase correctly to ensure you recover properly and avoid the dreaded post-vasectomy pregnancy.