Bleeding after a vasectomy: What’s normal?

Normal | Excessive | Vasectomy technique | Wound healing | Summary

As with any surgery, a certain amount of bleeding after a vasectomy is perfectly normal. The exact level of bleeding will vary depending on the man, but rest assured that bleeding is a typical part of the recovery process.

Sometimes men experiencing post-vasectomy problems attempt to “tough it out” and hope things will get better on their own. This is not a good idea. Men recovering from vasectomy must be vigilant about potential issues. We’ll discuss what you can expect below, but the most important thing to remember is this: If you are experiencing a level of bleeding that concerns you, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Normal bleeding after vasectomy

In general, men will experience a small amount of bleeding that should stop within two to three days of the vasectomy operation. In some cases, bleeding will be minimal and will cease sooner.

During your period of post-vasectomy bleeding, a protective garment such as a towel or pad can be used temporarily to prevent stained clothing. Excessive or persistent bleeding may be indications of a complication.

Excessive bleeding after vasectomy

There’s no universal measure for what qualifies as “excessive bleeding” after your procedure. Some spotting or seeping is to be expected for a short period of time after the operation, but it should mostly go away with 72 hours.

Some sources suggest that if you have bleeding that doesn’t stop after compressing the site between two gauze pads for 10 minutes you should contact your doctor. However, we feel it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact your doctor if you are even slightly worried that your wound is bleeding too much.

Other signs of a complication

Bleeding that persists after more than a few days or any sort of discharge could be signs of an infection, hematoma, or other complication. If you experience any of these issues at any point after your vasectomy consult your doctor immediately.

Vasectomy technique and bleeding

The method of a vasectomy can influence the amount of post-op bleeding. Traditional vasectomy techniques that use a scalpel will usually result in more bleeding since there’s a higher chance of cutting blood vessels in the scrotum. The no-scalpel technique involves using a sharp forceps to puncture, rather than slice, the skin, which means that blood vessels are spread apart rather than cut open. It’s been reported there’s almost five times fewer infections, hematomas, and other complications with the no-scalpel method.1Cook L, Pun A, Gallo M, Lopez L, Van V. Scalpel versus no-scalpel incision for vasectomy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(3):CD004112. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004112.pub4

Reduced level of bleeding is one of the reasons more, and more men are opting for a no-scalpel vasectomy, but it’s important to stress that the traditional method is perfectly safe and is still used by doctors around the world.

Men who are prone to poor wound healing

Men with diabetes, cancer, immunosuppression, exposure to radiation, obesity or taking chronic steroids are predisposed to poor wound healing and wound infections. Any vasectomy incision site with persistent weeping or spotting several weeks after the procedure should be evaluated by a physician.

Summary

Most men do feel back to normal after a few days after their vasectomy. However, in certain situations, the healing process can take a little longer. If a man has had previous surgery related to his testicles (i.e. hydrocelectomy, spermatocelectomy, varicocelectomy, etc.) then some additional time might be necessary before getting “back to normal”.

Some men with previous scrotal surgery might have increased sensitivity or awareness of the area and any additional procedures in the region can be perceived as more painful than expected.

References and further reading Vasectomy-Information.com has a strict sourcing policy. We rely on evidence-based medicine, peer-reviewed studies, reputable clinical journals, and medical associations. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Cook L, Pun A, Gallo M, Lopez L, Van V. Scalpel versus no-scalpel incision for vasectomy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(3):CD004112. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004112.pub4
  2. Pre & Post Vasectomy Instructions. Department of Urology, University of Virginia School of Medicine. https://med.virginia.edu/urology/for-patients-and-visitors/mens-health/vasectomy-how-it-works/pre-post-vasectomy-instructions/
  3. Risk of Bleeding After Vasectomy. A Personal Choice. https://www.bestvasectomy.com/risk-of-bleeding-after-vasectomy/

Last updated

July 7, 2020

Authored by

Vasectomy-Information.com editorial team

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  1. I had a urologist appointment before I had a physical exam. My doctor said he does them. He said he instructed students. So I canceled my appointment with the urologist. We trusted my doctor to do the vasectomy. What a nightmare!

    He started on my left testicle. I didn’t feel much. On the right side, it was painful. There was no problem on the right side. On the left side, he nipped a vessel slightly. It didn’t bleed right away, though. He put the tubes back in and had me lay there for a little while. I got dressed, and my wife drove me home. We got about two miles from the office I started bleeding out. I went into shock. My wife turned the car around and went back to the office. I didn’t know where I was. He had to squeeze my left testicle to get the blood out. I had to pinch the blood off my self for about twenty minutes. What should have been a four-day recovery turned out to be two weeks and two days of missed work? I had to stay in bed with ice for one and a half weeks. I then switched to moist heat.

    I am writing to inform everyone that it is NOT A SIMPLE PROCEDURE! I am still having issues with bleeding and swelling. I don’t have a bleeding disorder either. I was tested. I hope my life gets back to normal soon. If you have a vasectomy, please make sure you have a professional urologist who does the surgery.

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  2. Same incision size. Larger hole bled out a good cup of blood, bright red for at least an hour. I soaked a pair of underwear, gauze pads, a pair of shorts and pajama pants, and onto the leather car seats. It has since stopped, with minor spotting.

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