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Vasectomy recovery and aftercare 

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Vasectomy recovery tips 

After your vasectomy, you should ensure you take some time to recover. We recommend that you go straight home and rest for at least 48 hours after your procedure. 

On this page, we explain what you can expect after your vasectomy procedure and how you can support your recovery. We have a 24-hour dedicated aftercare line, where you can talk to one of our nurses about your aftercare and recovery on 0345 122 1441.  

Your vasectomy booklet 

This booklet will give you the aftercare information and advice you need after your vasectomy. It is important that you read this information. 

Recovery on the day of your vasectomy  

We recommend that you go straight home and rest for at least 48 hours. For the next few days, avoid any long periods of standing, walking, or driving. You must not drive yourself home from your appointment. 

The local anaesthetic you were given will wear off in a couple of hours and you may feel sore. If you are feeling uncomfortable, take a painkiller such as paracetamol and / or ibuprofen. Some people should avoid using ibuprofen and others should use it with caution. Always follow the dosage instructions on the packet and don’t exceed the recommended maximum dose. 

Do not take aspirin as this can increase the risk of bleeding. However, if you take aspirin for medical reasons, we will discuss this further with you. 

Cooling down the sore area can also help reduce pain and swelling. Hold an ice pack, wrapped in a clean towel, against the sore area. Take care not to get the wound wet as this may affect the healing process and cause infection. 

Recovery after a vasectomy 

It is important that you take all the time you need to look after yourself. We are here to support you. Click on the tabs below to see our recommendations to help your recovery after a vasectomy. 

Most men find they get some bruising around their testicles, and this can spread to the penis and groin area. Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can help, if you can take them. Some people should avoid using ibuprofen and others should use it with caution. We strongly recommend that you rest regularly and avoid being too active.  

You might notice that a small pea-sized lump develops around the wound. This is nothing to worry about. This is your body’s natural reaction to the healing process and does not need special treatment. 

As we only need to make a small puncture hole in the skin of your scrotum, your wound will be covered using just a simple dressing.  

The dressing should be kept dry and held in place for at least 48 hours by wearing tight-fitting, supportive underwear during the day and at night. This provides more support, can reduce pain and swelling, and will be more comfortable. Please avoid taking a bath or shower during this period. 

48 hours after your procedure:  
– Have a short bath or shower to help remove the dressing.  
– Avoid long soaks in the bath until the wound has healed.  
– Do not use toiletries such as bath oils or talcum powder as they can irritate the area.  
– Dry the area thoroughly. Put on the clean dressing you were given. 

You can resume sexual activity when you feel comfortable. We advise you refrain from sexual intercourse for 48-72 hours after the procedure.

Please make sure that you use contraception until we confirm in writing that your vasectomy has been successful.  

Remember, only condoms help to protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

You should be fit enough to get back to everyday tasks after a couple of days. If your daily tasks are physically demanding, you should wait a little longer. If you have a job that involves heavy lifting, we recommend that you only return to work if you are able to avoid the physical tasks for two weeks. 

Please call us for advice if you are unsure if your particular type of work or activity could affect your recovery. 

Avoid sports and physical exercise for at least two weeks following the procedure. This includes swimming and golf.  

Heavy physical exercise and contact sports should be avoided for four weeks. Examples include rugby, football, squash, cycling, skiing and going to the gym.  

You can judge your recovery by how quickly your wound is healing and how fast any swelling or pain goes away. If you are in doubt, please call us for advice. 

You should not drink alcohol for 48 hours after your procedure. 

We recommend that you avoid:   
– Short haul flights (up to 3 hours) for 48 hours after your vasectomy 
– Long haul flights for at least a week after your vasectomy 

Bleeding and bruising after a vasectomy 

Everyone’s experience after a vasectomy is different. Read our advice below if you are experiencing bleeding, prolonged bruising, or if you feel a small lump. 

The wound may bleed, but you can stop the blood flow by pinching the skin around the wound firmly, with clean hands, for about five minutes. You may also find some blood in your semen after your first few ejaculations; this is not unusual and is just left over blood from the procedure. 

Bruising does not usually cause any further problems. Bruising will disappear over time. 

You may feel a small lump at the site of the procedure on one or both sides. This may be due to scarring of the tubes. Very rarely, sperm can leak from the sealed tubes (vas deferens) and form a small lump, known as a sperm granuloma, in the scrotum.  

These lumps are not usually painful and can often be treated with anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen. Some people should avoid using ibuprofen, and others should use it with caution. If you have any questions about using pain relief medication, please talk to one of our nurses at your appointment or by calling our aftercare line on 0345 122 1441. If the lumps become very large or if you feel concerned about any lumps, please call us. 

Understanding complications and risks after a vasectomy 

Most people have a smooth recovery after their vasectomy. However, it’s a good idea to be aware of the possible complications so that you can react quickly if you notice any symptoms.  

There is a possibility that the treatment will not be successful (less than 1 in 100 people). This will be picked up during the semen testing you have after your procedure. If this happens, a repeat procedure would be advised and we would arrange this for you free of charge. 

This is a possibility but happens to 1 in 2000 people. This means that the tubes (vas deferens) have re-joined over time. This can happen up to 10 years after a vasectomy. It is possible for this to happen, but it is very rare. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing that this is going to happen, and it would only be discovered by an unintended pregnancy. For extra peace of mind, we can provide semen testing at any point after your vasectomy, for £40.  

As with all surgical procedures, there is a risk of infection. The risk of infection can be minimised by making sure that hands are washed before and after touching the wound site, and that the area is kept clean and dry. 

Signs of infection:  
– The area becomes very painful, red, swollen, or tender 
– The wound has coloured discharge, which may or may not smell 
– You have a raised temperature 
– You feel generally unwell 

If you notice any of these symptoms you should contact your GP, and let us know. 

In some cases, a small blood vessel can bleed inside the scrotum and this forms a clot. These are usually small but sometimes can lead to severe swelling and discomfort. This can happen a few hours to several days after treatment and can be the result of too much strenuous activity and heavy lifting.  

We advise you not to do any heavy lifting or physical activity for at least two weeks after your treatment. 

A small number of men have been known to have long term or intermittent pain after a vasectomy. This has occurred in very few vasectomies performed at MSI UK. If you have any concerns please call our 24-hour advice line. 

Our aftercare line 

We are here to help if you have any questions about your recovery. We have a 24-hour dedicated aftercare line, where you can talk to one of our nurses about your aftercare and recovery on 0345 122 1441

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