If you’re preparing for a vasectomy, you might wonder how long you’ll have to wait before having sex. The answer is not so straightforward, since your body needs to heal and the remaining sperm need to leave your body before it becomes effective birth control.
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our board-certified providers, led by Philip Weintraub, MD, have years of experience performing vasectomies and monitoring recoveries.
We’re also dedicated to providing our patients with up-to-date information about our medical procedures, including vasectomies. That’s why we’ve put together this post explaining what you should expect after a vasectomy.
What is a vasectomy?
Before getting into post-operation, we’d like to ensure you understand what happens during a vasectomy.
A tube called the vas deferens carries sperm to your urethra. There the sperm combine with your semen and exit your body when you ejaculate. During a vasectomy, we cut and close your two vas deferentia, so your sperm can’t mix with your semen.
We perform vasectomy procedures in-office. We administer light sedation and make a small incision in each scrotum to access your vas deferentia.
Then we cut and seal the tubes, close the incisions, and bandage your scrotum for a quick and simple procedure. After the operation, you stay in our office for some time so we can monitor your short-term recovery.
Once it’s clear that you’re progressing, we send you home to begin your longer-term recovery.
When can I have sex again?
Now to what you’ve been waiting to know — when you can have sex after the procedure. Though the vasectomy is quick and minimally invasive, you need to allow your body enough time to heal.
We recommend refraining from any sexual activity, including ejaculation, for at least a week or two after your procedure. The reason for this waiting period is twofold.
First, the waiting period allows your incision site to heal fully and properly. This also reduces the risk of complications like an infection or discomfort and pain.
Second, your vasectomy doesn’t work as effective birth control immediately. You still need birth control for up to three months, or 20-30 ejaculations after your procedure, since it takes time for the sperm in your reproductive system to work their way out.
You’ll have follow-up visits after your procedure, during which we monitor your semen samples. We let you know when it’s safe to stop using other forms of birth control.
What else should I know about the recovery?
You’ll have some discomfort, pain, and possibly swelling after your procedure, but this is short-lived and should go away after a few days. Most men who have vasectomies return to their normal activities within a week.
To help with the discomfort, apply an ice pack to the incision a few times a day and take over-the-counter pain relievers, if needed. This eases the pain and reduces any swelling. Wear tight, supportive underwear to keep everything in place and prevent your stitches from coming out.
Contact us immediately if you develop a fever over 100 degrees, notice blood or pus around your incision, or have unbearable or extreme pain or swelling. Any of these symptoms may indicate an infection.
If you have any more questions about vasectomies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Schedule an appointment by giving us a call today.