As with any surgery, a certain amount of bleeding after is perfectly normal, and this is no different for a vasectomy. The exact level of bleeding will vary depending on the person, but rest assured that a small amount of bleeding can be 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 may experience a small amount of bleeding that should stop within two to three days of the vasectomy operation. In most cases, bleeding will be minimal and will cease sooner.
While experiencing 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 and should be monitored very closely.
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 within 72 hours. If you need to change the gauze pads more than two or three times a day, you should contact your doctor.1Pre & 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/
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-operative bleeding. Traditional vasectomy techniques that use a scalpel result in more clinically significant bleeding since there’s a higher chance of cutting blood vessels in the scrotum. The no-scalpel technique involves using sharp forceps to puncture, rather than cut, the skin, which means that blood vessels are spread apart rather than cut open. It’s been reported there are almost five times fewer infections, hematomas, and other complications with the no-scalpel method.2Cook 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.
Most men 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.
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- 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/
- 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
- Risk of Bleeding After Vasectomy. A Personal Choice. https://www.bestvasectomy.com/risk-of-bleeding-after-vasectomy/