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 these 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 worries. While there isn’t a definitive answer, the 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.
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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 recover 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 to 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.
By day three and four, many men will be feeling pretty good and may want to resume regular 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 or by using an in-home kit if you’d rather stay in the privacy of your own home. There’s an excellent in-home test kit available by Spermcheck.
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 couples usually call these pregnancies “miracles” instead of “horror stories”).
The question of when to resume sex after a vasectomy is the most pressing issue 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 as guidelines. Your unique situation will vary, so always follow your doctor’s advice.
As soon as comfortable
A few days
- Lawrence Urology Clinic
- Atlantic Urology Associates
- University of Rochester
- Cornell Medical College Department of Urology
- Ohio State University Department of Urology