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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A vasectomy is a procedure to make a man sterile (unable to get a woman pregnant). When sperm leaves your penis during sexual intercourse (sex), your partner may become pregnant. Sperm is made in your testes which are located inside your scrotum (sac of skin under the penis). When ejaculation occurs, sperm leaves the testes and is carried through the vas deferens (sperm tubes) to the penis. The sperm is then released from the body through your penis.
- During a vasectomy, both of your sperm tubes are cut so sperm cannot leave your body. Your caregiver will reach your sperm tubes through a small incision (cut), or a small hole in your scrotum. After your vasectomy, you will still have sperm inside the cut sperm tubes. You will need to have your ejaculate tested for sperm weeks after your procedure. During this time, you may still be able to get your partner pregnant. Once your caregiver sees there are no sperm left in your ejaculate, you will be sterile.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- A sample of your ejaculate will need to be tested about 12 weeks after your procedure. Ask your caregiver how many times you need to ejaculate before a sample should be tested. You may need to have your ejaculate tested 1 or 2 times to make sure there are no sperm. Ask your caregiver for more information about testing for sperm after your vasectomy. Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.
Your caregiver may tell you to rest for a few days after your procedure. You may need to avoid lifting heavy objects until your caregiver says it is okay. Ask your caregiver when it is okay to return to your normal activities such as work or school.
Decreasing pain and swelling:
- Lie on your back as much as possible for a few hours after your vasectomy. You may want to put a cushion under your scrotum such as a rolled up towel.
- Wear a jockstrap for as long as your caregiver tells you to. This may decrease your pain and protect your wounds.
- Putting ice on your scrotum may help decrease pain and swelling. Cover the ice pack with a towel and place on your scrotum for 15 to 20 minutes. Continue to use the ice for 1 to 2 days after your procedure. Do not sleep with the ice pack on as this may cause frostbite.
You may need to avoid having sex for about a week after your procedure. Ask your caregiver when it is okay to begin having sex again. Until you have been told you are clear of sperm, you can still get your partner pregnant. You will need to wear a condom when having sex to prevent pregnancy. Your partner can also use a form of birth control to prevent getting pregnant. Having a vasectomy does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
Ask your caregiver for instructions on how to care for your wound. Also ask you caregiver when you can get your wound area wet such as during a bath or shower.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
- You have worsening pain in your scrotum even after taking medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have bleeding from your wound that does not stop, or your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- You have drainage coming from your wound.
- You see blood in your urine or semen.
- Your scrotum is warm, red, or swollen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.