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What Should I Expect after a Vasectomy?

You may be uncomfortable after your vasectomy. You may need mild pain meds to take care of any pain. Severe pain may suggest infection or other problems, and you should see your urologist. You may have mild pain like what you'd feel like several minutes after getting hit "down there." A benign lump (granuloma) may form from sperm leaking from the cut end of the vas into the scrotal tissues. It may be painful or sensitive to touch or pressure, but it isn't harmful. This usually gets better with time.

Your urologist will give you instructions for care after a vasectomy.

You should go home right away after the procedure. You should avoid sex or activities that take a lot of strength. Swelling and pain can be treated with an ice pack on the scrotum and wearing a supportive undergarment, such as a jockstrap. Most men heal fully in less than a week. Many men are able to return to their job as early as the next day.

Sex can often be resumed within a week after the vasectomy. But it's important to know that a vasectomy doesn't work right away. After the vasectomy, new sperm won't be able to get into the semen, but there will still be lots of sperm "in the pipeline" that takes time to clear. You will have to follow up with your urologist for semen analysis to check for sperm in your ejaculate. During this time, you should use other forms of birth control.

The time it takes for your ejaculate to be free of sperm can differ. Most urologists suggest waiting to check the semen for at least 3 months or 20 ejaculates, whichever comes first. One in 5 men will still have sperm in their ejaculate at that time, and will need to wait longer for the sperm to clear. You shouldn't assume that your vasectomy is effective until a semen analysis proves it is.