A vasectomy is a method of permanent sterilization. The doctor will cut the sperm ducts and remove a piece of each duct. After a vasectomy, you will still make sperm, but they cannot swim beyond the blockage. Your body absorbs them. There is no change in your sexual function. Erections, ejaculations, and hormone levels stay the same. A vasectomy does not protect you from sexually transmitted infection (STI).

There are no known long-term side effects after a vasectomy. About 60-70% of men develop antisperm antibodies in their blood. This is a harmless allergy to their own sperm. There is no data that confirms these antibodies have a major effect on other organ systems.

Before Surgery

  • Stop taking blood thinning medicines at least one week before surgery. Examples of these medicines include, but are not limited to aspirin and ibuprofen, Vitamin E and Coumadin.

  • Do not shave your scrotum or penile area. This may increase your risk of an infection.

  • You will need to have someone drive you home.

After Surgery

  • You may have pain around the testicles. Heat, a scrotal support, and medicine may help.

  • Stitches (if used) will dissolve in about 1-2 weeks. Keep incisions dry for 24 hours.

  • Always wear the scrotal support for the first week and then as needed. This will help with swelling.

  • Bruising of the scrotum and penis may occur.

Pain Control

  • Use ice packs or a frozen bag of corn or peas on the area for the first 48 hours. Wrap the cold pack in a towel. Use for 20 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Do not leave it on longer than 20 minutes as it can harm tender tissues.

  • Take acetaminophen 2 tablets every 4 hours as needed for pain. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.


  • You may shower 24 hours after surgery. Gently wash the area with a mild soap and water and pat dry. No bathtub, hot tub, or swimming pool for at least 7 days or until healed.

  • No heavy exercise for at least 7 days. This includes sports, aerobics, running, jogging, or jumping over objects.

  • No intercourse for at least 3 days.

  • Use birth control until your doctor says there is no sperm in your semen.

Resume taking your routine medicines, except for blood thinners, unless your primary doctor tells you to. Please check with your primary doctor when you can resume Coumadin®, Plavix® or aspirin.

Follow up Visit

  • You will need to have a semen sample checked at least once or twice after surgery. Bring the first sample in 2-3 months after surgery.

  • Collect the sample at home. See HFFY#8095- Semen Sample Collection After Vasectomy for instructions and drop off sites.

When to Call

  • Excess bleeding (bleeding that soaks a gauze in an hour).

  • Swelling of the scrotum.

  • Temperature (taken by mouth) greater than 100 F.

  • Skin around the incision is red and hot to the touch.

  • Pus-like drainage from the incision.

  • Pain that is not controlled with acetaminophen.

Who to Call

Urology Clinic: (608) 263-4757.

UW Health East Madison Hospital: (608) 440-6464.

1 S. Park St: (608) 287-2900.

These are 24-hour phone numbers. After hours, weekends or holidays this connects to the message center. Ask for the urology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

Toll-free: 1-800-323-8942.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.