A vasectomy is a procedure performed on the vas deferens, the tubes that put sperm into your semen when you ejaculate.
Getting a vasectomy means that you’ll no longer be able to get your partner pregnant. With an almost 100 percent success rate, it’s considered one of the most effective birth control methods available.
You may need to abstain from sexual activity for a short time after the procedure, but there usually aren’t any long-term effects on sexual function. Keep reading for more on what to expect from sex after your vasectomy.
After your vasectomy, you’ll have two incisions that need to heal. In some cases, you’ll have stitches in your scrotum.
In general, you should wait until you don’t feel any pain or swelling around the surgery site before having sex. This may mean waiting a week or more after your procedure.
Having sex immediately after the surgery could reopen the incisions and allow bacteria to enter the wound. This could potentially lead to infection.
Condoms generally aren’t an effective means of protecting the incisions. The surgery site is typically too far above the condom opening to receive any coverage.
After the procedure, you may experience:
- mild pain
- soreness and bruising around your scrotum
- blood in your semen
- swelling in your scrotum and genital area
- blood clots in your scrotum
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Having sex involves a lot of movement and impact. If you’re experiencing any pain, soreness, or swelling, sexual activity may increase and even prolong your discomfort.
Once your symptoms subside and the incisions heal, you should be able to engage in sexual activity without irritating the surgery site.
You won’t be sterile immediately. For many men, sperm is still present for a few months afterward. You’ll need to ejaculate 20 times or more before your semen is free of sperm.
Your doctor will analyze your semen six to twelve weeks after your vasectomy. This exam measures the amount of sperm left in your semen. If your semen is already free of sperm, your doctor will let you know.
You or your partner will need to use birth control until your doctor confirms that your semen doesn’t contain sperm. Condoms, female birth control pills, or medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) shots can all help you avoid pregnancy until the effects of the vasectomy are permanent.
The amount of sperm in your semen doesn’t have any known connection to your sex drive.
But worrying about having a baby, taking on more responsibility due to an unintended pregnancy, or spending money on birth control can all have an impact on your mental health. After a vasectomy, you may find that your confidence to engage in sexual activity increases without these concerns on your mind.
Because of this, it may come as no surprise to hear that some research suggests that your sex drive can improve after getting a vasectomy.
A vasectomy has no effect on the hormones, bodily processes, or penile structures that affect your ability to get an erection. If you didn’t have any trouble getting an erection before your vasectomy, you shouldn’t have any issues afterward.
See your doctor if you notice any changes in your erections after a vasectomy. Another underlying condition or complication of the surgery might be the cause.
Your semen quality, amount, and texture won’t change noticeably after a vasectomy. The sensation of ejaculation during an orgasm shouldn’t feel any different at all.
You may find that your first few ejaculations after the procedure are uncomfortable. This discomfort will diminish over time. But if the feeling persists after a month or so, see your doctor.
Though uncommon, post-vasectomy pain syndrome may result from nerve damage or sperm building up in the vas deferens. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.
A vasectomy shouldn’t have any impact on your sexual performance, sex drive, ejaculation, or erectile function.
You’ll be able to have protected sex after the surgical site heals. This typically takes one or two weeks after the procedure.
You’ll be able to have unprotected sex after a semen analysis shows that there isn’t any sperm left in your semen. This is usually around 3 months after the procedure.
However, getting a vasectomy won’t reduce your risk of getting or spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The only way to protect you and your partner from STIs is to wear a condom.
As with any surgery, vasectomy carries risk of complications. You should see your doctor if you experience pain, swelling, or other discomfort two weeks after your procedure.