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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

A vasectomy is a procedure to make you sterile. It is a permanent form of birth control. The vas deferens (sperm tubes) are cut so that the semen does not contain sperm.

Male Reproductive System


Seek care immediately if:

  • Your incision wound comes apart.
  • You see blood in your urine or semen.

Contact your healthcare provider or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
  • You have worsening pain in your scrotum, even after you take medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider 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.


  • Care for your wound as directed. Do not shower for 24 hours. When you do shower, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Pat the area dry gently. Do not swim or take a bath for at least 1 week.
  • Limit activity for at least 2 days. Do not play sports, do yard work, or lift anything heavy for at least 2 weeks. Talk to your healthcare provider about when you can return to work.
  • Apply ice on your scrotum for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 2 days. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Wear an athletic supporter for at least 2 days. This will decrease pain and swelling, and protect your wound. Place a cushion such as a washcloth or small towel under your scrotum to elevate it.
  • Do not have sex for at least 1 week. You will not be sterile right away after a vasectomy. It will take time for all the sperm to be cleared from your body. You may need to ejaculate about 20 times or wait up to 3 months for the sperm to clear. Use another form of birth control during this time.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Ask when to return to have your semen checked for sperm. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

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