Sex after vasectomy: How long should you wait?

One of the most common questions men have before (and after) their vasectomy is “When can I start having sex again?”

You’re going to see a lot of answers to this questions floating around the Internet, and they can vary greatly. Some doctors recommend a week, some two weeks, and some just a couple days.

All this conflicting advice can be confusing and lead to a lot of unnecessary worry. While there isn’t a definitive answer, the general consensus seems to be this:

Most doctors recommend waiting a week before having sex. Others say you can start having sex as soon as you feel up to it, which will usually be a few days.

This is admittedly a very broad answer and won’t apply to every situation. Always listen to your doctor and use common sense before resuming intercourse after a vasectomy.

Why do you have to wait?

One reason doctors give their patients a waiting period is to ensure the incision has time to heal properly. Since the testicles are prone to move around a lot during sex, there’s a risk that the wound could reopen if it’s not fully healed. Vasectomy incisions are relatively small and heal quickly, but doctors generally like to err on the side of caution when discussing aftercare with patients.

Another reason you need to wait is that an ejaculation involves a number of intense muscle contractions in the genital area, which means having an orgasm could be uncomfortable if the patient is still experiencing swelling, bruising, or tenderness.

Post-vasectomy discomfort during an orgasm doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong–it just means you’re still sore. Waiting a week or more gives the testicular region time heal.

You probably won’t be in the mood (at first)

Any guy who’s had a vasectomy will tell you that you’re probably not going to feel like having sex for the first couple days after your operation. Between the soreness and the painkiller-induced haze, sex isn’t usually at the top of the list. Some doctors instruct their patients to wait a certain amount of time before bathing, so you may feel gross in addition to being swollen and groggy.

Are you getting a vasectomy?
Plan ahead and get some cold packs on Amazon and a 3 pack of jock straps for a comfortable post-surgery recovery!

By day three and four many men will be feeling pretty good and may want to resume normal sexual activity. If everything feels all right (and your doctor says it’s OK) then it’s probably safe to go for it, but use caution. Some doctors who allow intercourse after a few days recommend “gentle” sexual activity, so don’t get too crazy.

Above all, use common sense. If you’re still tender, not feeling right, or have any reservations about jumping back into the sack, it’s best to play it safe and wait a little longer.

Remember: You won’t be sterile right away

Something very important to remember is that you won’t be sterile right away, so even when you’re ready to start having sex again you need to keep using contraception until you have confirmed you are 100% sterile. The only way to be sure of this is by having a semen analysis.

This point cannot be overstated: keep using birth control immediately after your operation. You don’t have to search far to find horror stories of couples who became pregnant shortly after a vasectomy operation (although these couple usually call these pregnancies “miracles” instead of “horror stories”).

Further Reading

The question of when to resume sex after a vasectomy is most pressing issues on a man’s mind after his procedure. We’ve compiled this list of links to websites of various medical websites organized by recommended wait times.

These links should only be used for guidelines. Your unique situation will vary so always follow your doctor’s advice.

As soon as comfortable

A few days

One week

Two to three weeks