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Docteur Jean-Philippe Bercier BSc, MD, CCFP

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Introduction

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Preparing

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Operation

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Recovery

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4 – Recovery

The recovery period for vasectomies is short. Things progressively get back to normal in less than 7 days. The procedure has no effect on sex drive, orgasms, erections, testicles and the scrotum.

We ask patients to keep activities to a minimum over the first 48 hours. Patients can go back to work (if they have a sedentary job) and resume sexual activity two (2) days after the procedure.

A vasectomy will not affect a man’s virility, since it has nothing to do with the male hormones produced by the testicles.

Sexual desire, the ability to achieve and maintain an erection and the feeling of orgasm are not changed by a vasectomy.

Since spermatozoa are but 2 to 5% of the volume of semen, most men will notice no difference in the male reproductive fluids.

Post-vasectomy Instructions

  • After the procedure, spend a quiet evening at home. Lie down on the bed or sofa. Keep your activities to a minimum.
  • Do not take aspirin for two (2) days following the vasectomy. If you take aspirin on a regular basis, please let us know. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol or generic) if you feel uncomfortable. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin, Advil or generic) and naproxen (Aleve or generic) are both painkillers and anti-inflammatories. During the first few days after the procedure, it is normal to have some inflammation. It is a normal part of the healing process. Rather than trying to bring down the swelling, it is preferable to take Tylenol. After three (3) days of pain with inflammation, it is better to use ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • No need to ice the affected area.
  • You can remove your athletic support and take a shower each day, starting the day following the procedure. Then, between days 3 and 7, if you do physical labour, if you stand for long periods or if you do sports, you can put the athletic support back on for the next two (2) days.
  • The day following the procedure, you can walk and drive your vehicle at your leisure. However, do not do sports or yard work, swim, or lift heavy loads. You can go back to the office if your work is sedentary (office work or supervision).
  • Two (2) days after the procedure, you can undertake more vigorous work and your usual activities if you wear your athletic support. Once the pain is gone and sensitivity is down to a minimum, you can return to the gym or go running or biking. However, when you first get back to those activities, only go half-strength: half the weight; half the reps; half the speed; half the distance; etc. If no pain returns, you can get back to your usual routine the next day.
  • If there is no pain or sensitivity, you can ejaculate. We recommend you wait at least two (2) days, although the American Urological Association recommends one (1) week. Patient surveys indicate no benefit to waiting more than two days after the vasectomy if the pain is completely gone. Blood in the semen for the first few ejaculations, or even one (1) month after the procedure, is uncommon, but not worrisome. Use other means of contraception until we confirm that your sperm contains no live spermatozoa.
  • Since no suture is used to close up the small opening in the skin, no follow-up visit is required. However, if you feel very uncomfortable or if you have any worries, please call me. About 10% of men will feel some discomfort up to one (1) week after the procedure and 3% up to one (1) month following the vasectomy.
  • It is normal to see some discolouration in the skin at the injection site. Some men will see considerable discolouration in their scrotum about four (4) days after the procedure. Blood from the vasectomy site will rise to the surface as a purplish blue bruise that will darken and spread before disappearing with time.
  • Some men (about 1 in 20) experience swelling and discomfort on one or both sides starting three (3) days after the vasectomy, up to three (3) months following the procedure. This is usually an extreme inflammatory reaction that is nonetheless necessary for the reabsorption of spermatozoa and a return to a normal cycle. This situation is best managed with 400 to 600 mg of ibuprofen 2 to 4 times a day, taken with food, for 7 to 14 days.
  • At least 12 weeks and 20 ejaculations after your vasectomy, bring a sample of sperm to the lab. It is strongly recommended to use another method of contraception until Dr. Bercier lets you know the results of the analysis. If no spermatozoa are still present, an alternative means of contraception will no longer be necessary. However, in about 5% of cases, the analysis will not be conclusive. If that is the case, Dr. Bercier will ask for another sample 4 to 6 weeks after the first one. This sample will need to be analysed within two hours, and will have to be produced at the lab itself.