What do I do after the vasectomy?

In about one hour the effect of the local anaesthetic will wear off and some discomfort may be felt at the site of the cut in the scrotum. Some paracetamol or other simple pain relieving tablet may then be taken at the recommended dose (preferably not aspirin). If skin stitches are inserted, they will dissolve and do not need to be removed.

On return home, you should rest lying down for 24 hours, and spend the following 24 hours resting at home. After that, most men are able to resume work unless it is physically strenuous. Some bruising of the skin around the site of the cut is not unusual. There may also be some slight swelling, but this will soon disappear.  Some men may experience pain in the scrotum or groin which may persist, and very rarely, can be severe.

Complications are rare, but as with any surgical procedure, bleeding, swelling, or infection is possible and may require medical attention. Complete recovery would still be expected, although it might then take several weeks or longer. The operation does not immediately make you sterile since there are many sperm in the storage space between the cut tube and the end of the penis, and time must be allowed for these to be flushed out at each ejaculation.

The effect of the operation is to prevent sperm passing from the testicle to the outside. On reaching the sealed end of the tube the sperm quickly die and are dealt with by the natural processes of the body, as are dead cells elsewhere.
The sperm themselves are only a very small fraction of the seminal fluid so that its quantity and appearance are unchanged after the operation.

Sperm Tests

Your sterilisation is not confirmed until you are cleared by the clinic.


16 weeks (4 months) after the operation the clinic requires a specimen of semen for sperm testing.

In general the greater the number of ejaculations in the weeks following the operation, the shorter the time taken to clear the storage system. Even so, the time taken to get rid of the sperm varies considerably and it is not unusual for the clinic to request further specimens.

Most men clear the sperm from their semen within four months of vasectomy. In some cases, however, further tests may be requested and exceptionally a second operation may become necessary. The overwhelming majority of men remain sterile after the absence of sperm has been confirmed, although the reappearance of sperm in the semen has been reported in some very rare cases, even after some years.  Full instructions about the procedure for your semen test will be given at the time of the operation.

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