A vasectomy is a short procedure that usually takes a few days to recover from, but there are ways to make the recovery period as pleasant as possible. Resting during recovery is one of the most important factors in a successful vasectomy, which means that heavy lifting, intercourse, and exercise are not recommended during this time. Keeping the dressings clean and wearing supportive garments can also be helpful in vasectomy recovery. Pain can usually be managed with acetaminophen and cold compresses that are applied to the scrotum throughout the day.
One of the easiest vasectomy recovery rules to follow is getting plenty of rest for at least the first day after the procedure. Most patients choose to lie down the majority of the day, getting up only to use the bathroom or eat. Of course, heavy lifting and exercising are also to be avoided, with most doctors recommending that patients wait about three weeks until performing such activities. Sexual intercourse should be avoided for about one week, though patients are encouraged to check with their doctor to be sure the area has healed before having any sexual contact. It should be noted that patients usually need to use birth control for the first couple of months after the procedure, as most men are not completely sterile until then.
Most patients are given a support garment that they are expected to wear home from the procedure, and they are advised to wear it for about a week. It should be worn anytime the patient is standing up, as the support can reduce discomfort and swelling during vasectomy recovery. Of course, the affected area will also be wrapped in gauze dressings, which patients need to change daily in most cases, adding antibiotic ointment everyday to keep infections at bay. The dressings should be checked a couple times per day to ensure that there is no excessive bleeding.
Another major part of the recovery is swelling, which is usually accompanied by pain, though there are ways to prevent both. An ice pack is typically a necessity after a vasectomy, as it should be placed on the affected area for much of the first few days of recovery. It should be applied to the scrotum frequently for about 20 minutes at a time, with the most comfortable option typically being to place it over the support garment so that it is not too cold on the skin. Additionally, patients who experience discomfort during vasectomy recovery should consider taking acetaminophen as needed, as this medicine can relieve pain without causing excessive bleeding like aspirin can.