How Long After Vasectomy Are You Sterile (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 Months

Vasectomy is a process through which the supply of sperm into your semen is stopped. Thus, it helps in avoiding unwanted pregnancy. But vasectomy is an operation that provides permanent sterilization, which means you won’t have the chance to father a child in the future. Hence, you need to be sure before having this surgery. As hardly any complications occur in this surgery, this surgery is done in an outpatient setting and the person is not hospitalized. After you have recovered from the surgery, you may feel uncomfortable at first few times while having sex, but you’ll be okay with time. Although this is a form of permanent sterilization, vasectomy reversals are possible but they are highly expensive.

How Long After Vasectomy Are You Sterile?

Wound to heal2 weeks
Doctor check-up6-12 weeks after surgery
Complete sterilization3 months

After the vasectomy operation, a person will need 3 months before he can become completely sterile. Being sterile is a state where that person’s sperm count becomes zero. These operations are highly effective to avoid unwanted pregnancy. And it had been observed that most of the vasectomy cases have been successful with not many complications. Once the operation is done and your wound has healed, you will observe that your ejaculation is just like before. But you need not worry, as your semen will now no longer contain sperm in it, this you’ll not cause pregnancy.

During these 3 months, your doctor will call you for an appointment 6-12 weeks after your vasectomy. In this appointment, your doctor will make sure if your wound has healed. He will also test your semen to see if the sperm is still present or not. This is because, after the operation, your sperm will not disappear right away and may still be present. If you perform sex right after your wound heals, then there is a possibility where your sperm will still be there in semen, which will lead to unwanted pregnancy. Thus, it is suggested to use protection, or just wait until the doctor confirms that you are completely sterile.

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In these three months, if you experience you experience any side effects, then you should consult your doctor right away. These side effects include a fever of more than 100° F, bleeding from the cut made in your scrotum, or severe pain and swelling around your testicle area. You experience such side effects if you’re having an infection and need antibiotics.

Why does it Take That Long After Vasectomy to be Sterile?

The vasectomy operation can be done in two different procedures. In the first procedure, two cuts are made by the doctor in the scrotum with the help of a scalpel. And these cuts are later sealed up by putting stitches in the area. In this procedure, the first step the patients need to take after the surgery is to make sure the surgical site heals properly. In the second procedure, vasectomies are done without a scalpel. Here, the operation is done through the small hole in the scrotum. If this procedure is used, then the time needed for recovery is relatively less and there’s a low risk of complications as well.

But irrespective of the procedure used, the person needs to take care of himself and give time to the wound to recover. The wound normally takes almost 2 weeks to heal itself, but sometimes it may take more time as well. The person is not supposed to have sex before the wound heals completely. This is because, due to sex, your body may undergo some injuries which will further delay the recovery process.

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Even when the wound heals itself, you may experience some pain or swelling around the area because of having sex. Thus, the doctors would suggest avoiding having sex during these three months. Although you can masturbate as long as you don’t put pressure on the wound, you may still experience pain. This is because while ejaculating, the muscles contract in the area, which can also lead to swelling.


Thus, after vasectomy, it takes 3 months for a person to become completely sterile. During these three months, it is not suggested to have sex without contraception as it may lead to unwanted pregnancy. And you are not supposed to exhaust yourself in any way before the healing process ends. To make your wound heal properly, you must take good rest, wear comfortable clothes, maintain hygiene, and avoid doing heavy work. Once you are fully recovered from the operation, you will no longer face any pain or other complications while having sex. This operation will not affect your sexual organ. But keep in mind that this process will not prevent you from getting any sexually transmitted infections. Thus it’s important to use contraception even after getting a vasectomy.