All surgeries, invasive or non-invasive, carry certain risks. Vasectomies also have some risks, some of which can be prevented by preparing for the procedure and how well you take care of yourself during recovery.
These Are the Vasectomy Guidelines Before and After the Surgery
The Week Before the Surgery:
- Talk to your doctor about the medications you are using to treat other conditions (1). You may be required to stop taking some types of blood thinners for a week before the surgery. They increase the chances of over-bleeding.
- If you are anxious, you need to talk to the doctor for proper medication before the procedure.
- Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication intake also need to be stopped at least a week prior to the surgery. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs also thin the blood.
Instructions on the Day of Surgery:
- Take your anti-anxiety medication reasonably before the procedure.
- You will need to make arrangements for your transport for the day. It is important to have someone for moral support.
- Shave your pubic area and especially the scrotal area for ease of the procedure. The doctor may prefer to have it done at his office.
- Have comfortable clothing and something to support the scrotum after the procedure. Take a shower as you will not have full showers for a few days after the surgery.
Vasectomy Instructions After the Surgery
For the first few days after:
- Abstain sex and masturbation for at least seven days (2). The time will give the scrotum time to heal and avoid discomfort.
- Keep the incisions covered with a minimal dressing for a few days. If you see an alarming amount of blood on your gauze pads, let the doctor know immediately.
- Use ice on your scrotum after the vasectomy and the day after at regular intervals. Avoid applying the ice for prolonged periods at a time.
- Continue wearing scrotal support for up to 1 week.
Beyond one week
Note that sperm is not eliminated immediately from your seminal fluid after a vasectomy. It can remain in your system for up to six months. Use other methods of contraception during this period.
Do semen testing to check for the presence of sperm in the seminal fluid (3). The recommended time for testing is after three months or after 20 ejaculations, whichever comes first. Learn more about post-vasectomy semen testing here.
Wait until the doctor confirms that no sperm is passing through for you to have unprotected sex without the need for other contraceptives.
Looking Out for Signs of a Complication
The doctor will give you pain medication to ease the discomfort. The pain should not be excessive and should lessen with time.
If you are experiencing excess pain, fever, chills, bleeding, difficulty passing urine, or discharge at the incision site, call your doctor immediately. These are signs of an infection.
General Vasectomy Guidelines
Preparing for a vasectomy is not complicated, and neither is the aftercare. Ensuring you have moral support and rest can ease anxiety and aid in your recovery. You should avoid alcohol for 48 hours before the procedure. Alcohol interferes with how anesthesia works.
Keep a healthy diet before and after the vasectomy.
Links to sources used
- Vasectomy (Male Sterilization): Procedure Details https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4423-vasectomy-sterilization/procedure-details
- How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy? https://www.verywellhealth.com/sex-after-vasectomy-faqs-and-information-2328941
- Semen analysis after vasectomy: when and how many? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10971276/