How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?

How Do You Know If You're Ready for Sex?

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Vasectomy is a big step. For most men, its purpose is to avoid impregnating a sexual partner--so it makes sense to ask "how soon can I have sex" as soon as the procedure is complete.

Why Wait at All?

There are two reasons for waiting a little while after a vasectomy to have sex. The first is that, of course, you will have at least some pain following surgery, and it's a good idea to give yourself time to heal.

The second is that you will not be instantaneously sterile.

It is advisable to wait about a week after undergoing a vasectomy before you have sex. This not only gives your penis time to heal but also gives you time for swelling to diminish. Remember, too, that sex is vigorous exercise that engages all of your groin muscles. Before saying "yes," be sure you're not too sore!

If you're eager to have intercourse right away despite the risk of pregnancy, you should use an alternative means of contraception, such as condoms, at least until it has been confirmed that there are no more active sperm present in your seminal fluid. You can get such confirmation via a semen analysis.

What Is Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis?

After a vasectomy, your doctor will want to conduct at least one post-vasectomy semen analysis to determine whether or not your semen contains sperm.

How long must you wait after your vasectomy before it is likely that there is no longer active sperm in your ejaculate?

That length of time can vary, though it is generally recommended that you wait for eight to 16 weeks. It is recommended you wait this long because, for the first 15 to 20 ejaculations you have after this procedure, there will still be active sperm present in your system. Ask your surgeon when you should come back.

Doctors also often recommend that men take a sperm analysis once a month for three months to ensure that sperm are no longer present in their semen. 

As for the process of semen analysis, you will have to provide your doctor with a specimen of your semen by masturbating into a container provided at your doctor's office. You can masturbate into a cup at home, but your semen must be delivered to the testing facility within 30 to 60 minutes of leaving the body, and must be kept at body temperature. You should also avoid ejaculation for 24 to 72 hours before this test. 

This fluid will then be examined under a microscope to see if there are any active sperm. The doctor will be looking at several factors as he examines your sperm, but the most important factor is sperm motility. What this refers to is the movement of the sperm. This piece of the puzzle is the most important since sperm must be able to travel in order to fertilize an egg.

Are All Vasectomies Successful for Birth Control?

The majority of vasectomies are successful after the very first operation. Have patience, though. Whether you just went through the procedure, or whether your first semen analysis still shows active sperm, you do have other options in the meantime.