Explaining Self-Care for Vasectomy

Before the procedure the man should
  • Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing to the health facility.
After the procedure the man should

Man with cold compress on scrotum
  • Rest for 2 days if possible.
  • If possible, put cold compresses on the scrotum for the first 4 hours, which may decrease pain and bleeding. He will have some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. These should go away within 2 to 3 days.
  • Wear snug underwear or pants for 2 to 3 days to help support the scrotum. This will lessen swelling, bleeding, and pain.
  • Keep the puncture/incision site clean and dry for 2 to 3 days. He can use a towel to wipe his body clean but should not soak in water.
  • Not have sex for at least 2 to 3 days.
  • Use condoms or another effective family planning method for 3 months after the procedure. (The previously recommended alternative, to wait for 20 ejaculations, has proved less reliable than waiting 3 months and is no longer recommended.)
What to do about the most common problems
  • Discomfort in the scrotum usually lasts 2 to 3 days. Suggest ibuprofen (200–400 mg), paracetamol (325–1,000 mg), or other pain reliever. He should not take aspirin, which slows blood clotting.
Plan the follow-up visit
  • Ask him to return in 3 months for semen analysis, if available (see Question 4).
  • No man should be denied a vasectomy, however, because follow-up would be difficult or not possible.


Use another effective family planning method for 3 months after the vasectomy procedure. 

How Can A Partner Help

The client’s partner is welcome to participate in counseling and learn about the method and what support she can give to her partner. A female partner can:

  • Understand that vasectomy is permanent
  • Discuss as a couple whether they will want more children
  • If they will not want more children, support his decision to end his fertility
  • Discuss the alternative of female sterilization
  • Discuss how they are going to prevent pregnancy during the first 3 months after the procedure, while waiting for vasectomy to become effective—either use condoms or another method during this time
  • Show understanding and support him through the procedure and recovery
  • Use female condoms consistently or encourage him to use male condoms consistently in addition to vasectomy if either partner has an STI/HIV or may be at risk of an STI/HIV