A vasectomy is a form of birth control, and a relatively minor outpatient procedure. It’s usually done under local anesthesia, and has a short healing time.

The penis and genital area may feel a little sore and swollen in the days following your vasectomy. You may need to rest and wait a week or more after the procedure before being able to comfortably masturbate again. Some people may need to wait longer than a week before masturbating or having sex.

Until swelling and discomfort start to go away, masturbation (whether you ejaculate or not) can be uncomfortable and even painful or risky until your incisions are fully healed. Consider waiting until you no longer feel pain or discomfort, or talk with a medical professional if you’re not sure if it’s safe to masturbate again after a vasectomy.

There’s no exact deadline for when you’re able to masturbate after a vasectomy. Some people may be able to masturbate again comfortably within a few days. Others may need to wait longer than a week while they fully recover.

Try to pay close attention to your body. Masturbation could put pressure on or damage sensitive tissues that may not yet be fully healed. Even if pain is mild, you may be unknowingly damaging skin around the surgical site.

If you masturbate in the immediate days following your vasectomy, it’s a good idea to ask yourself:

  • Do you feel any pain or discomfort? Is it minor or sharp and severe?
  • Do some masturbation techniques cause more pain or discomfort than others?
  • Do certain parts of your penis or scrotum area feel more sensitive or tender than others?
  • Do some body positions (like lying down, sitting up, on your side) feel more comfortable or put less pressure on the area where the surgery was done?

A 2019 case report showed that a sperm granuloma is one possible side effect of ejaculating too soon. This happens when a lump of sperm forms cysts or bumps in the area. It’s not a serious condition, but it can cause pain and may need to be surgically removed.

Other possible side effects of masturbating too soon after a vasectomy include:

Are there any side effects of masturbation?

There are currently no known long-term complications from masturbation, whether after a vasectomy or otherwise.

Masturbation also currently has no documented side effects or health risks. It could be a completely safe activity with its health benefits, including:

  • relieving stress
  • lowering blood pressure
  • reducing muscle cramps
  • increasing awareness of personal sexual preferences
Was this helpful?

Yes, typically, you will still ejaculate after a vasectomy.

Having a vasectomy prevents sperm produced by the testicles from entering seminal fluid released from the penis during ejaculation. This means your ejaculate will not include sperm, and won’t be able to cause pregnancy.

No other sexual functions should be affected during a vasectomy. Your hormones, muscles, and nerves involved in sexual desire, functioning, and ability to get an erection should not be impacted by this procedure.

Research has also confirmed that sexual performance and satisfaction are typically no different before and after a vasectomy. A 2017 study with 294 couples found that a vasectomy had no impact on their sex lives.

Men in this study who had a vasectomy reported more satisfaction with erections and after sex compared to men in the study who didn’t. Women in the study whose partners had vasectomies reported no differences in sexual satisfaction compared to women whose partners didn’t have the procedure.

You still need to ejaculate after a vasectomy

Right now, a vasectomy doesn’t work instantly.

According to the University of Virginia School of Medicine, a doctor will likely advise you to ejaculate at least 20 times or wait about 12 weeks after a vasectomy before having sex (oral, anal, penile vaginal) without a condom or other barrier method. This ensures that any sperm remaining in your vas deferens or urethra are cleared out, eliminating the possibility of pregnancy.

You can do this either by having sex, masturbating until you ejaculate, or a combination of the two.

Was this helpful?

Vasectomies are considered a highly effective form of birth control, with an average long-term success rate of more than 99 percent. This surgery is usually performed by a urologist.

A vasectomy is a quick procedure that takes about 30 to 60 minutes, involving local anesthesia that numbs the area around the scrotum during the operation. You can usually go home the same day as the procedure and don’t need to take much time out of daily activities, such as driving, working at a desk, or doing light exercise.

To perform a vasectomy, a surgeon will:

  1. Make two incisions or a small hole on the surface of the scrotum to get to the vas deferens tubes.
  2. Cut each vas deferens tube so that the tubes can no longer carry sperm from the testes to the urethra (meaning semen cannot be made).
  3. Use stitches to seal the incisions, or place sterile gauze over the hole until it heals (sometimes cauterization is used instead).

Your recovery time can depend on which kind of vasectomy you had. There’s the conventional two-incision vasectomy, and the popular no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV). While they each access the vas deferens tubes differently, the procedure of cutting the sealing the tubes is the same for both.

Per a 2020 research review, NSV is associated with a shorter surgery length, fewer complications, and a faster healing time and return to sexual activity.

Vasectomies are usually, though not always, reversible. A vasectomy reversal is only sought by a small percentage of patients. It’s a more challenging procedure for surgeons and often not covered by insurance.

Types of birth control

Was this helpful?

Complications resulting from a vasectomy are rare, but they can occur. If you are experiencing pain or difficulty during partnered or solo sex following your recovery, consider reaching out to your doctor right away.

Try to contact a medical professional if you notice any of the following symptoms after a vasectomy:

A vasectomy is a safe, common procedure which usually has minimal healing time.

You can typically return to all your usual activities around a week into recovery, including masturbation. Some people return to their normal routines within days. The amount of time until full healing depends on which type of procedure you had (two-incision or no-scalpel method), and your overall health.

It’s important to pay close attention to how your body is feeling as you return to masturbation and other forms of sexual activity after a vasectomy. Try to follow your surgeon’s care instructions, and give yourself time to heal.

Consider reaching out to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain or other complications, or if you’re unsure whether it’s OK to begin masturbating again.