About To Get Snipped? Here’s The Vasectomy Recovery Rundown
The thought of the “big snip” understandably makes guys cringe, but it’s not as horrifying as you might assume. Sure, the word “vasectomy” isn’t something that just rolls off the tongue, but it’s relatively common, and generally fool-proof. Around half a million men get one done each year, and only one out of 1,000 aren’t successful.
Essentially, the surgical procedure for a vasectomy is quick and routine. A vasectomy renders a guy sterile, so his sperm don’t fertilize any eggs, resulting in pregnancy.
The reasons guys get this done vary. Some never want kids. Others have enough. Maybe their partner doesn’t want to take “the pill” or use another form of birth control. Same for guys—a one-time snip is worth never having to buy condoms again...provided he’s with someone he knows is STD-free.
For the procedure, a urologist goes into the scrotum with their scalpel, does their magic on the vas deferens, and sends the patient home, as it’s an outpatient procedure. In a nutshell (pun intended), the doctor finds the vas deferens and uses small clamps to pull out a bit of the anatomy. With a swift slice, the vas deferens is rendered useless, and the open ends are sutured together.
There is also a no-scalpel vasectomy where stitches aren’t required, as no incisions are made. And yes, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Basically, a hemostat (to prevent blood flow) is used as the doctor punctures the skin to expose the vas deferens. The no-scalpel and scalpel options result in the same outcome, it’s just the way the vas deferens is accessed. Additionally, there are fewer infections, blood clots, and other complications when a no-scalpel vasectomy is performed.
But what about the aftermath? Here’s what you need to know about vasectomy recovery.
Prepare For Post-Vasectomy Soreness
Anything done “down there” that’s not pleasurable or pee-related is going to hurt. Expect mild pain, swelling, and even some bruising in the genital area, but that should go down in a couple of days. You can dull the pain with an ice pack. You can also take pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease your discomfort.
Most importantly, get plenty of rest and don’t overexert yourself. They’ll be plenty of time to get back to your workouts and what-not once your junk is in better shape. No heavy lifting or strenuous activities. Physical activity can take a back seat for a stretch. Now’s the time to be pampered, so milk it to the max.
Your doc will likely suggest wearing tight underwear or even a jockstrap or other type of athletic supporter to keep things “together,” holding the stitches in place and protecting the area from flopping around the first week. Tighty whities or boxer briefs can do the job. Be sure to keep the area clean and look out for infection. If anything seems off, contact your doc.
What About Sex?
You’ll have sex again, and it’ll feel the same. Your sex drive should not be affected. Just don’t be too eager to get it on. Waiting about a week is usually recommended, and stay away from self-stimulation too. You’re probably not going to want to get busy anyhow, so take this time to “Netflix and chill,” literally.
As for the sex—when you have it—you’ll still produce semen when you ejaculate, and the first few encounters will still have sperm left lingering. Be sure to use protection until you see your doctor again and they confirm your “output” is sperm-free after a semen sample is evaluated. It usually takes about 20 ejaculations to get the sperm count to zero. Surely you don’t need our help to get that covered.
Don’t freak out if you see a bit of blood in your semen. This is common after the procedure, and should go away. But if it does keep happening after the procedure, be sure to get it checked out.
As for what else to expect…
You’ll recover and feel back to normal in no time. Rest completely for a full day, and expect to get back to light activity in two or three days. Remember, vasectomies prevent pregnancy, but you can still spread sexually transmitted diseases, so play safe. Like any medical procedures, there are risks and complications. Discuss these with your doctor so you are aware of what’s possible. In most cases, things go smoothly, and the recovery isn’t so bad. Perhaps the best part is that Maury will never tell you, “You’re the father!”