Pain after a vasectomy: What’s normal?

The goal of this article is to briefly discuss what sort of pain you can expect immediately following a normal, complication-free vasectomy. If you’re trying to find information on post vasectomy pain syndrome, see our article on PVPS.

What kind of pain is normal after a vasectomy?

Immediately following your procedure, you may feel a dull ache and mild pain in your scrotum and groin as the anesthesia wears off.

Most men experience swelling and minor pain at the site of the operation for two to three days after the procedure, although the exact length of time will vary from person to person. This pain is often described as an ache or feeling of tenderness. Many men report resuming light activity within a day or so, while others need to wait a little longer.

There’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence from men stating they still felt a certain degree of achiness or discomfort for a few weeks after the procedure, but if you’re still sore or tender after more than a couple weeks you may want to give your physician a call.

Doctors who perform no-scalpel vasectomies often claim lower levels of pain due to reduced trauma to the scrotum.

Managing pain after a vasectomy

Compared to many surgeries, a vasectomy is relatively minor and produces limited pain.

Your doctor will most likely prescribe a strong painkiller like Percocet to help you manage pain over the next few days, followed by an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen.

Icing the procedure site regularly for a day or so after the operation will help reduce pain and swelling. Your best bet is to purchase at least two good quality cold packs (such as this model sold on Amazon). You’ll want at least two so you can have one pack in the freezer and one on the surgery site at all times.

A bag of frozen peas will also work, although they’re a bit more prone to leaking so you may need to keep them in a zip lock bag. Just make sure you wrap the bag in a towel or cloth so it doesn’t directly contact the skin.

Wearing tight fitting underwear or a jock strap will also help alleviate discomfort.

Avoid all physical activity for a couple days, and wait two to three weeks to resume vigorous activity like exercise or heavy lifting.

What kind of pain isn’t normal?

Severe pain or pain that persists longer than a week after surgery may indicate some sort of complication.

If you have any concerns about your pain level, don’t hesitate to call your doctor right away. There’s absolutely no reason to try to “tough it out,” especially when the future of your genitals may be on the line.


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