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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:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come 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.


Your provider will talk to you about when to start any medicines you stopped taking before surgery. You may not be able to take aspirin for a week after surgery. You may need any of the following:

  • 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 him or her 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.

Decrease pain and swelling:

Any bruises you have should go away within about 2 weeks of surgery. The following can help reduce pain and swelling:

  • Lie on your back as much as possible the day of your procedure. Place a cushion such as a washcloth or small towel under your scrotum to elevate it.
  • 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.

Do not have unprotected sex until directed:

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. Keep using another form of birth control during this time. You will need to bring in samples of ejaculations for about 2 to 3 months after your vasectomy. Your healthcare provider will check the samples for sperm. When the samples do not contain sperm, you will be able to start having sex again. No sperm in your ejaculation samples means you will not be able to get a woman pregnant.

Wound care:

Care for your wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.


You may walk and drive normally the day after your procedure. Do not play sports, do yard work, or lift anything heavy until your healthcare provider says it is okay.


You may be able to go back to work in a few days. This depends on the kind of work you do. If you have to do a lot of physical activity or you drive for work, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can tell you when it safe for you to return to work.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.