Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Birth Control Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Birth Control and Sterilization

What Happens After the Vasectomy?

After a vasectomy, you will probably feel sore for a few days. You should rest for at least one day. However, you can expect to recover completely in less than a week. Many men have the procedure on a Friday and return to work on Monday.

Are There Side Effects of a Vasectomy?

Although vasectomy complications such as swelling, bruising, inflammation, and infection may occur, they are relatively uncommon and almost never serious. Nevertheless, men who develop these symptoms at any time should inform their doctor.

When Can a Man Have Sex Again After a Vasectomy?

You can resume sexual activity within a few days after a vasectomy, but birth control should be used until a test shows that your semen is free of sperm. Generally, this test is performed after you have had 10-20 post-vasectomy ejaculations. If sperm are still present in the semen, you will be asked to return at a later date for a repeat test. Once sperm are absent from the ejaculate, other forms of contraception may be discontinued. The chance of pregnancy, however, is not zero. Due to a process known as spontaneous recanalization (tubes rejoining), pregnancies may occur after vasectomy, although this is very rare.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Vasectomy?

The chief disadvantage of a vasectomy is its permanence, although this is also considered the chief advantage. The procedure itself is simple, but reversing it is difficult, expensive, and can be unsuccessful. But, it is possible to store semen in a sperm bank to preserve the possibility of producing a pregnancy at some future date. However, doing this is costly, and the sperm in stored semen do not always remain viable (able to cause pregnancy).

For all of these reasons, doctors advise that a vasectomy be undertaken only by men who are prepared to accept the fact that they will no longer be able to father a child. The decision should be considered along with other contraceptive options and discussed with a professional counselor. Men who are married or in a serious relationship should also discuss the issue with their partners.

Although it is extremely effective for preventing pregnancy, a vasectomy does not offer protection against AIDS or other STDs. Consequently, it is important that vasectomized men continue to use condoms, preferably latex, which offer considerable protection against the spread of disease.

Another disadvantage is the immune reactions to sperm that some men develop after a vasectomy, although current evidence indicates that these reactions do not cause any harm.

Today on WebMD

IUD
Here's what to expect.
man opening condom wrapper
Do you know the right way to use them?
 
birth control pills
Here's what to do next.
doctor and patient
His and her options.
 
Concerned teenage girl
Slideshow
hospital gown
Quiz
 
Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
Article
pregnancy test and calendar
Article
 
contraceptive pills
Slideshow
Young couple looking at each other, serious
Article
 
woman reading pregnancy test result
Article
calendar
Article