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Pain after a vasectomy: What’s normal?

The goal of this article is to briefly discuss what sort of pain you can expect immediately following a normal, complication-free vasectomy. If you’re trying to find information on post vasectomy pain syndrome, see our article on PVPS.

What kind of pain is normal after a vasectomy?

Immediately following your procedure, you may feel a dull ache and mild pain in your scrotum and groin as the anesthesia wears off.

Most men experience swelling and minor pain at the site of the operation for two to three days after the procedure, although the exact length of time will vary from person to person. This pain is often described as an ache or feeling of tenderness. Many men report resuming light activity within a day or so, while others need to wait a little longer.

There’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence from men stating they still felt a certain degree of achiness or discomfort for a few weeks after the procedure, but if you’re still sore or tender after more than a couple weeks you may want to give your physician a call.

Doctors who perform no-scalpel vasectomies often claim lower levels of pain due to reduced trauma to the scrotum.

Managing pain after a vasectomy

Are you getting a vasectomy?
Plan ahead and get some cold packs and a 3 pack of jock straps for a comfortable post-surgery recovery!

Compared to many surgeries, a vasectomy is relatively minor and produces limited pain.

Your doctor will most likely prescribe a strong painkiller like Percocet to help you manage pain over the next few days, followed by an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen.

Icing the procedure site regularly for a day or so after the operation will help reduce pain and swelling. Your best bet is to purchase at least two good quality cold packs (such as this model sold on Amazon). You’ll want at least two so you can have one pack in the freezer and one on the surgery site at all times.

A bag of frozen peas will also work, although they’re a bit more prone to leaking so you may need to keep them in a zip lock bag. Just make sure you wrap the bag in a towel or cloth so it doesn’t directly contact the skin.

Wearing tight fitting underwear or a jock strap will also help alleviate discomfort.

Avoid all physical activity for a couple days, and wait two to three weeks to resume vigorous activity like exercise or heavy lifting.

What kind of pain isn’t normal?

Severe pain or pain that persists longer than a week after surgery may indicate some sort of complication.

If you have any concerns about your pain level, don’t hesitate to call your doctor right away. There’s absolutely no reason to try to “tough it out,” especially when the future of your genitals may be on the line.


  1. David

    I’ve exchanged emails with a couple of guys who said that the dull ache in the scrotum lasted for several weeks for each of them, but that it eventually went away. But your reply to my email has me really worried. I’m seeing my urologist tomorrow. At the very least I imagine I’ll have to curtail any strenuous exercise for at least several more weeks. I mentioned to my urologist during the procedure that I was planning on backpacking in the Sierras in June, and he didn’t mention anything about potential groin pain. I sure wish I had read more about this procedure prior to undergoing it. Now I’m really starting to get scared.

  2. Jamie

    For the last month or so i have been feeling this pain in my testicles and my pelvis bone, it always comes after ive just been out with my girlfriend. It happens about an hour after playing around with her (if you know what i mean). It goes after a while though but its very unconfortable.

    Is this anything serious or does it take its time and goes away permanently.

    Please reply, this is becoming a worrying issue.

  3. John

    I have been experiencing this pain for over 8 years. I have been back to my doctor many times, have been to a urologist, etc and basically blown off. I have gotten no answers and been given no treatment options. What can I do?

  4. Aldo

    had vasectomy done 3-06-09 in phx, az, the procedure went great, really! no swelling, bruising, stiches or anything else. excellent surgeon. However, on day 7th after the surgery i had sex with wife just to make sure everything worked as before, and it did execpt for a wear feeling as if it was not complete. On the day after the sex, i started having pain on the top portion of my left ball, man it hurts still. it is now been a few days and went to see the surgeon today 3-16-09. Dr examined everything and said it was fine expect for some tenderness on the left ball as i described where the vas was cut. Dr put me to rest again for 3 days with ice. Dr said he could not explained the pain…how can he not explained the pain??

  5. Aldo-2

    To Aldo 1 (and others)

    There is no doubt in my mind now that the rate of post-vas complications are far greater than advertized by the medical establishment. I think the 1-in-3 rate that many doctor’s scoff at is probably reality.

    I had mine done nearly a year ago. Took the anti-biotics and it seemed ok. Treated the wound as directed. Was told to come back in two weeks if the stitches hadn’t disolved.

    When having the Op I told the doctor that despite the local freezing, it really hurt when he squeezed the left ball to pull the Vas tube to the incision site (he cut on right side – not in the middle – so the left one had to come further out to get snipped). He told me that was normal – so I bit my lip thinking maybe I was just being a whimp.

    But about ten days after the Op, I had a real pain in my left ball – could barely walk.

    This Urology surgeon said it ‘must be an infection’ and gave me seven or ten days (can’t remember now) of another anti-biotic and the pain only went away on the very last day of taking the drugs.

    For months afterwards though, I had an aching groin while getting an erection, during sex and sometimes afterward. A sort of dull and uncomfortable feeling..

    Eventually that went away after around nine months.

    But wait – there’s still more. Going back to the stitches that (didn’t) disolve…

    I went back after two or three weeks – now the so-called ‘infection had cleared – but the stitches were still there. So the doctor removed the stitches or so “he” thought. Around 4 months later, I noticed a little black thing sticking out of my right sack (just below the base of the penis). I went back to the Dr and he said “oh it’s a stitch – must have missed that” so he managed to remove that too, but I still have a feeling (eg. can feel with my finger) like something is still in there under the skin – and sometimes with an erection can feel it sort of ‘pull’. But will I go back and se THAT guy again? Think I’ll just wait and’s not a major discomfort now..

    In summary – if you’re just getting the snip cause you don;t want to wear condoms anymore to avoid more kids (that was my case), you may want to reconsider..I would have stuck with the condoms had I known what I was in for.

  6. Preston

    I had my Vasectomy about 4 yrs ago and on my right sack top started to ache then just hurt like hell where you cant touch saw my dr and he says that need to have more sex to release the spurm. That was 3 yrs ago and i still have pain on top of my right sack and its like a rock hard ball that gets bigger when inflammed. I have been thinking of going back to the dr to see what he can do does anybody have any suggestions?

  7. Tom

    Hi – had vasectomy about 18 months ago – everything went well. Didn’t go bk for my test, just waited time he told me to before having sex. 18 months on wife not pregnant so must be working, however just recently right ball been tender and hurts to touch. Does anyone know if it could be a sign of things knitting back together??

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