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. Rarely, a man may have pain around the testicles after the vasectomy. Heat, scrotal supporter, and medicine may help.

Before Surgery 

  • You will need to stop taking blood thinning medicines at least one week before your vasectomy. 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. 

Home Care after Surgery

  1. Wear the scrotal support at all times for the first week and then as needed. This will help prevent swelling. You may want to wear the support for up to a week for comfort. Bruising of the scrotum and penis may occur.

  2. 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 it for 20 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Do not leave it on longer than 20 minutes as it can harm tender tissues. You may also use Tylenol® for pain control.  

  3. Stitches (if used) will dissolve in about 1-2 weeks. Keep incisions dry for 24 hours. Then, you may shower. You may 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. 

  4. Nothing strenuous for at least 7 days. This includes sports, aerobics, running, jogging, or jumping over objects.

  5. No intercourse for at least 3 days.

  6. Use birth control until your doctor confirms there is no sperm in your semen.

  7. You will need to have a semen sample checked at least once or twice after your vasectomy. The first sample should be brought in 2-3 months after your vasectomy. 

  8. You will collect your specimen at home. See Semen Sample Collection-Post Vasectomy HFFY#4786 for instructions and drop off sites.

  9. You can resume taking your routine medicines, except for blood thinners, unless your primary doctor instructs you differently. Please check with your primary doctor when to see when you can resume Coumadin®, Plavix® or aspirin. 

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

When to Call Your Doctor

  • Excess bleeding (bleeding that soaks a gauze in an hour) or swelling of the scrotum.

  • Temperature greater than 100°F by mouth.

  • Skin around the incision is red and hot.

  • Pus-like drainage from the incision.

  • Pain that is not controlled with acetaminophen. 

Phone Number

Urology Clinic: (608) 263-4757. This is a 24 hour number.

After hours, weekends or holidays this connects you to the message center. Ask for the urology doctor on call. Give your name, area code, and phone number. The doctor will call you back.

If you live out of the area, please call 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.