After the Vasectomy Operation
In This Section
Immediately after the operation
You should arrange for another adult to accompany you home after the operation. You should not drive yourself home as your car insurance may be invalid on the day of the operation.
For the first hour or two after the operation you should not feel any discomfort because of the anaesthetic. Afterwards, you may need to take paracetamol or other painkillers for a couple of days.
The first few days after the operation
If possible, you are advised to arrange a minimum of 48 hours off work for recovery. It is really important to rest and support your scrotum well for at least 48 hours. A longer period of time may be recommended depending upon your occupation.
You can start having sex as soon as it feels comfortable to do so, but remember that you will need to use condoms or some other form of contraception until you have a negative sperm count (which can take up to 20 weeks to achieve).
Before the vasectomy operation is considered complete, you will need to provide (at least one) post-operation semen samples. The first of these is 14 weeks after the operation. If this is free of sperm you will be given the all-clear. If it is not free of sperm you will need to provide a further semen sample six weeks later.
Are There Any Risks?
Vasectomy has been available for many years. Research now shows that there are no serious long-term health risks associated with vasectomy. However, as with any operation there are some risks involved.
The most common problems immediately after vasectomy are pain, swelling and bruising. These will usually resolve in a few days although bruising may take up to two weeks after the operation to fade. Up to four per cent of men can get pain following a vasectomy operation. This is associated with inflammation of the testes and epididymis (tube connecting the testes to the vas deferens) and can last a variable amount of time. In most cases such pain can be controlled using over-the-counter painkillers.
A small percentage of men may get localised collections of blood called a haematoma. This will usually resolve gradually over 3-6 months, but you should call us to make an appointment to see one of our doctors if, after the operation, you think this has happened.
A change in circumstances can sometimes lead couples to change their mind about starting a family and you may be considering having your vasectomy reversed. Vasectomy reversals are not generally available free on the NHS but are classed as a private treatment, available from specialist surgeons that you would have to pay for.
Vasectomy reversal or vasovasostomy is a much more complex operation that performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 3 hours.
Success rates of vasectomy reversal do vary and the procedure is not always successful. You have a better chance if it is done soon after the vasectomy. If a reversal is carried out within 10 years of your vasectomy, the success rate is about 55%. This falls to 25% if your reversal is carried out more than 10 years after your vasectomy.