How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?

Confirming That Your Procedure Was Successful

Mature Adult Consultation with Doctor. Credit: BSIP / Contributor

Question: How soon can I have sex after a vasectomy operation?

Answer:

It is advisable to wait about a week after undergoing a vasectomy before you have sex. This wait has nothing to do with your ability to function during intimacy. Rather, 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.

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.

How and when is the post-vasectomy semen analysis done?

How long must you wait after your vasectomy before it is likely that there are no longer active sperm in your ejaculate?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

For more information about vasectomies, you can read:

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.

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