Do’s and Don’ts After a Vasectomy

Please follow your doctor’s instructions for post vasectomy care in order to speed healing and recovery. Key points include:

  • Do not take any NSAID’s (anti-inflammatories) or aspirin for one week before your surgery or 24 hours after surgery. Tylenol is fine to take at any time.
  • Avoid alcohol 24 hours before and after surgery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing on the day of your surgery.
  • Wear underwear with good support coming in for your surgery, not boxers.
  • For the next few days continue with the supportive underwear, including when sleeping.
  • No strenuous activity for two weeks after the operation. That includes no heavy lifting, cycling, going to
    the gym, bending, etc.
  • After surgery, go home, sit or lie down, apply ice pack to the scrotal area and if uncomfortable, take some Tylenol. (No NSAID’s for 24 hours).
  • You can take a shower the evening after your vasectomy. Avoid bathing, hot tubs, swimming pools for a week until the small opening in the scrotum created during surgery is sealed. This will help prevent infection to the operative area while the small hole made for your no-scalpel procedure heals over.
  • No sex or ejaculations for one week.

Detailed Patient Instructions After Vasectomy

After your vasectomy, you should go home and rest for the remainder of the day and evening. Minimize any kind of activity.

Some men have no pain at all while many others have aches in the groin. That’s because the testes originate from the abdomen as an embryo and share some of the same nerve supplies. Anything in the scrotum may be perceived in the abdomen as well.

Please plan on being a couch potato for the first two days after your vasectomy procedure. Even if you feel OK to walk around the very best thing for your speedy return to your regular routing is to rest and maximize the speed of healing.

Support After Vasectomy

If you need support following your procedure, you can contact us during office hours, and we will assist you immediately.
You may also walk into our office.

For after hours support, we are members of the Calgary West Central Primary Care Network (PCN). To access this service call Health Link @ 811. If needed they will connect you with the doctor on call or refer you to the PCN After Hours clinic for a same day or next day appointment. It is located at 5960 Centre Street SE.

If the above options do not meet your needs, you may also proceed to any urgent care centre or emergency room.

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The First 48 Hours

  • Take the medication in your care pack as ordered.
  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for the first 7 days.
  • Use an ice pack on your scrotum for 20 minutes every hour (except when you’re sleeping) for the first two to three days after your vasectomy. You should repeat the icing as often as you can in the first week. You can make your own ice pack by putting ice in a plastic bag and wrapping it in a dish towel, or use a bag of frozen peas. Gel packs also work well.
  • There may be a small amount of bleeding from the skin opening. This is normal.
  • For the first 24 hours, continue to avoid any alcohol, take 2 tablets of extra-strength Tylenol every 6 hours and ice the area regularly.
  • If you have a sedentary office job, you can be back at work the next day, provided you sit down (for the next week).
  • If you have an office job that involves walking and standing, stay at home for a week.
  •  If you have a physical job (construction, police officer, EMT, fire fighter, professional athlete), stay at home for a week.

post vasectomy pain

The First Week

  • Do not strain yourself. Do not have sex or lift anything heavier than 15 pounds.
  • Keep the incision clean and dry, although it is acceptable to take a gentle shower after your surgery.
  • Wear your supportive underwear for the entire week.
  • Leave some clean gauze with antibiotic ointment applied at the opening in the scrotum for a day or two. It is possible that this practice may further reduce post-operative infection rates.
  • Call the doctor if you notice ongoing bleeding.
  • Call the doctor if you get a fever, your scrotum gets very red, or you notice any unusual discharge.
  • Remember, no sex or ejaculation for a week.
  • Light blood in the semen is normal in the first few ejaculations after your vasectomy, and no cause for concern.
  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for 7 days. After one week, normal activity resumes, but not strenuous activities.
  • For the entire first week, avoid any exertion, exercise, extensive walking, climbing, jogging, sports, etc.
  • When pain and tenderness are minimal, you may return to your usual activity.
  • In general, avoid lifting more than 15 lbs in the first week.
  • It is normal to have some discoloration of the skin (blue and black) around the puncture site a few days after your vasectomy. Occasionally bruising may be quite extensive ie covering the scrotum and penis – this is no cause for alarm, it will spontaneously resolve itself.
  • You might notice a lump on each side of your scrotum after your vasectomy for the new few weeks That is a scar where we cut and sealed your vas. It usually feels like a knot the size of a pea and may swell to the size of a marble and be tender for a few weeks after the procedure but then become smaller and non-tender.
  • Specific instructions: Call the doctor if you notice significant swelling (larger than a grape). Small pea-sized swelling is normal.

The Second Week

  • For a second week, avoid any unnecessary exertion, exercise, extensive walking, climbing, jogging, sports, etc. You may risk hurting yourself with excessive straining. Keep in mind that any surgery can take up to 3 months to heal completely.

Post-Vasectomy Semen Testing

Because you are not sterile right after your vasectomy, temporary birth control is needed until a follow-up semen analysis confirms that no sperm are present. You will be given instructions on how to get your sperm tested.

Confirm Vasectomy Effectiveness

After a minimum of three months and 20 – 25 ejaculations you must get your semen tested.

The chance of a sperm passing through the blockage in the sperm tubes is extremely small, especially once the sperm tubes are cut, cauterized and then separated by the fascial sheath barrier, but failure is possible. The incidence of failure varies with the skill and experience of the operator and with the approach used to block the tubes. It is for this reason that testing semen samples is essential.

We are pleased to report that the vasectomy technique we use, over many thousands of surgeries, has demonstrated an outstanding success rate with a very low complication rate. At our clinic the incidence of failure is 1 in 1000 vasectomy surgeries performed.

Important information on post-vasectomy semen analysis

  • Please abstain from having sex or ejaculating for two days before you collect your specimen.
  • With your semen collection kit is a questionnaire – all questions have to be answered otherwise the lab won’t process your sample. This is a lab policy.
  • Collect the semen by masturbating directly into a sealed, sterile specimen container. If you lose a portion of the semen, throw the container out and collect your specimen at another time.
  • If you’ve misplaced the container, please get another one – ask for a urine analysis container. Please do not use any other type of container.
  • Close the container tightly. Label it with your first and last name, date of birth, plus the date and time you produced the sample.
  • Deliver your specimen to the laboratory immediately (within 1 hour) after collection, keeping the container warm in your pocket or next to your body en route.
  • Hand the sample to a live person – don’t leave it on a counter or in a drop box.
Labs For Post-Vasectomy Semen Testing

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