If you are considering having a vasectomy it is likely that you want to enjoy sex without the worries and risks of pregnancy that come along with it. A major part of the concerns surrounding the vasectomy recovery period are focused around sex and when you can begin to enjoy sex again.
A vasectomy is over 99% effective and does not affect your ability to have sex as the procedure does not cause any hormonal changes in the body. After the procedure, you will likely need to wait for a few days before you begin to have sex again. On average most patients begin to have sex 7-10 days after the procedure.
It is important to remember that you will still have live sperm in your semen tubes which will be flushed out of the system during your ejaculations following the vasectomy procedure. You should aim to have 20-30 ejaculations until we arrange a postal semen analysis around 16 weeks after the procedure. You will need to use additional contraception to avoid pregnancy until your clinician tells you that your tubes are free from live sperm.
A vasectomy should be considered to be a permanent form of contraception. Even though a reversal procedure is possible if circumstances change, please note that a successful reversal can not be guaranteed. A reversal is not covered by the NHS and the success rate depends on the time interval between the vasectomy procedure and the reversal procedure.
Why do I have to wait before I have sex after a vasectomy?
Most patients will wait until 7- 10 days have passed to have sex again to allow for enough time for the wounds to begin to heal.
Will having sex after a vasectomy hurt?
It is usual to experience a few side effects after your vasectomy such as swelling and discomfort, soreness, and bruising in the scrotal area. You may also ejaculate blood-stained semen during the first few ejaculations after the vasectomy procedure. These side effects can last for a few days or a few weeks.
If you are experiencing these side effects, it is likely that having sex may cause discomfort until your side effects begin to subside.
Why do I still need to use contraception after a vasectomy?
You will need to use additional contraception until you have provided a semen sample, typically around week 16 post procedure. You will still have live sperm in your semen tubes which will be flushed out of the system during your ejaculations following the vasectomy procedure. You should aim for 20-30 ejaculations before the semen analysis. Once you have provided a semen sample and your clinician has informed you that you no longer have live sperm present in your semen, you may stop using additional contraception.
Will I be able to get an erection after a vasectomy?
You will still be able to get an erection after you have had a vasectomy as the procedure does not affect the hormones in your body. Issues with erection are not linked with the vasectomy procedure. The vasectomy procedure will neither make it harder to get an erection or provide any improvements in having an erection.
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Page reviewed by Dr Praveen Jayadeva
Page written by Shannon Abraham
Last reviewed date: 29 March 2023
Next review due: 29 March 2026
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- Healthline: Sex After Vasectomy: Timeline, Effects on Erection and Ejaculate
- NHS: Vasectomy (male sterilisation)
- Patient: Having sex after a vasectomy
- Very well health: How Soon Can I Have Sex After a Vasectomy?
- NHS: Important information about your Vasectomy Operation
- MSI: 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Having a Vasectomy
- Medical news: Sex after vasectomy: Effects and how long to wait