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Your doctor may ask you to clean and shave your scrotum before your procedure.

Questions to ask your doctor

Preparing for any medical procedure can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with any questions and concerns before the procedure and between appointments. 

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointment. Common questions include:

  • Why do I need a vasectomy? Are there any other options for preventing pregnancy?
  • How long will the procedure take? When can I go home?
  • When and how will I know that the vasectomy has been successful? When will I be sterile?
  • What kind of restrictions will I have after the surgery? When can I return to work and other activities?
  • When can I return to sexual activity? 
  • What kind of assistance will I need at home?
  • What medications will I need before and after the surgery? 
  • How will you manage my pain?
  • When should follow up with you? 
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular office hours.

What can I expect after my vasectomy?

Knowing what to expect after a vasectomy can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

How will I feel after the vasectomy?

Your scrotum will probably feel sore and swollen for a few hours to a few days after a vasectomy. Wearing snug-fitting underwear, icing your scrotum, and taking mild pain medication will help. Your doctor will likely recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day. Men can generally return to non-strenuous work the next day and all their normal activities within a week. 

You may resume sexual activity about a week after a vasectomy, but you may still have sperm in your ejaculate for up to three months. It’s important to use another effective form of birth control during this time. 

Your doctor will ask you to provide a semen sample a few weeks to a few months after your vasectomy to test for the presence of sperm. Your vasectomy is considered successful and complete when your sample shows that no sperm are present.

When can I go home?

In most cases, you will go home immediately after the vasectomy is complete.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after a vasectomy. Call your doctor right away or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • A new lump near your testicles
  • Bleeding from your incision that will not stop
  • Rapidly enlarging scrotum
  • Significant discomfort in your scrotum
  • Swelling that keeps getting worse
  • Urination problems