Congratulations! You just had a vasectomy, and you and your partner are looking forward to a future free of worries about mood-wrecking, less reliable forms of contraception. But for now, you are in pain, and your body needs time to rest and heal from the procedure. Here are a few tips to help you recover from your recent vasectomy during the hours after your procedure to the next couple of days:
Stay off your feet and avoid strenuous physical activity for at least a week. This means no running or working out and no heavy lifting. This is a great excuse to be a couch potato, so plan your vasectomy recovery time around the U.S. Open or the World Series and watch it all week. If you’re not a sports fan, then catch up on your Netflix binge watching. The yard work will have to wait!
Applying ice to the incision site can help to ease the pain. You may try a bag of frozen peas or other frozen vegetables instead of a solid icepack, as it will be more comfortable and easier to apply. Another icepack trick is to make your own flexible icepack in a plastic bag using one part rubbing alcohol and three parts water. The alcohol keeps the water from freezing completely, so you can mold this icepack to any hard-to-reach areas.
3. Over The Counter Pain Medications
Do NOT use aspirin-based OTC products to ease the pain after your vasectomy, as these types of pain medications can thin your blood and cause bleeding. Instead, choose a non-aspirin-based product, such as Tylenol. You may also opt to try an over the counter antibiotic ointment on the incision area if you’re experiencing side effects, but it is not required. If you have any questions about pain medications that you should use or avoid, ask your doctor first.
4. Avoid Soaking
You may be tempted to soak in a bathtub, Jacuzzi tub, lake or pool to help with pain relief. However, you should avoid soaking altogether, as this may cause infection to the vasectomy incision area and complicate your recovery. You can shower the day after your procedure, and you should also gently cleanse the area with soap and water on a regular basis to keep your incision area clean.
5. Avoid Sexual Activity
You will need to avoid sexual activity for about a week or two until the pain from your vasectomy resolves.
During a normal, healthy vasectomy recovery, you can expect to see some bruising and swelling. Often the skin becomes reddish in color at the incision area, and you may see a small amount of pus draining as the stitches dissolve. These symptoms are typical and temporary, and are nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if your entire scrotum becomes black and blue, if you feel like you have an excessive amount of redness, swelling, bruising, or drainage, or if you spike a fever of 101 degrees or more, then call your urologist. You may need a follow-up visit to make sure there is no infection or other issue complicating your recovery.
Of course, if you are wondering if any part of your vasectomy recovery is “normal” or a cause for concern, then do not hesitate to contact your urologist. You will rest and heal easier after you are reassured by an expert’s opinion.