How Long Does It Take for a Vasectomy to Work?

How long does it take for a vasectomy to work? Dr. Harry Fisch, NY

A vasectomy is a permanent and effective surgical procedure. This is often the final step in taking charge of your fertility when you have decided your family is complete. And while the vasectomy itself is quick, it can take some time for it to be considered successful. Here’s what you need to know about your procedure.

The Process

A vasectomy is a minor surgery that can typically be carried out in your urologist’s medical practice. Preparation is minimal and vasectomy recovery is relatively quick and painless. The doctor will make a small incision in your scrotum and microsurgery techniques will cut the vas deferens – the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. . The ends are then sealed, disrupting the sperm’s path and effectively rendering you unable to conceive a child.

Your Recovery

Post-vasectomy, you’ll be able to go home almost right away; only a short post-op stay is needed until the sedation wears off. You may experience minor swelling and discomfort over the next few days but usually an over-the-counter pain reliever can manage any pain you may experience. In fact, the vast majority of men have little post-procedure pain.

Some men also experience slight bruising. These symptoms often go away within a week or two. You can have sex two days after your vasectomy, but you must continue to use contraception until a semen analysis test confirms the absence of sperm.  The first few times you ejaculate after your vasectomy, it may feel uncomfortable, but your sex drive and function will not be affected.

So, How Long Does it Take for a Vasectomy to Work?

It usually takes approximately 8-12 weeks and 15-20 ejaculations for a vasectomy to be considered a success. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit a few weeks after your surgery. In addition to seeing how you’re healing, the urologist will also ask you to provide a sperm sample. That sample will be tested to measure the presence of sperm. While the vas deferens has been cut to prevent newly created sperm from entering the seminal fluid, the vasectomy does not have any effect on the sperm that have already been created and already successfully traveled into and beyond the vas deferens.

It can take several ejaculations to eliminate all of the seminal fluid that contains sperm from your body after a vasectomy and for your sperm count to reach zero. That’s why several follow up urology appointments are usually needed after a vasectomy. Until your urologist confirms the success of your vasectomy, back-up birth control should be used. Again, you can expect to get the all-clear within 8-12 weeks post-vasectomy

While the ultimate result is to cut the supply of sperm to your semen, its effects are not immediate. That’s why it’s critical to understand how long it takes for a vasectomy to work and to follow your doctor’s post-vasectomy recovery care plans, including follow-up visits for semen testing.

If you want to find out more about vasectomies or other men’s health issues, contact Dr. Harry Fisch in New York to request a consultation.

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