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Swimming After Vasectomy

By Jackie Carmichael

Having a vasectomy is a life-changing decision for a man. Although you can have the procedure reversed, it's tricky to do so, making a vasectomy a nearly permanent type of birth control. After the surgery, you'll go through a period of soreness and recovery, but you can resume all activities, including swimming, after a short length of time.

Before Surgery

Prior to your vasectomy there is no need to adjust your level of activity. Preparation for surgery usually involves shaving the area around the penis and the scrotum, refraining from using anti-inflammatory medications for at least two days before the procedure, not drinking alcohol one or two days before the procedure.

Vasectomy Procedure

Surgery takes about 30 minutes and is an outpatient procedure. After cleaning and sterilizing the area, your doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the scrotum. A small incision or small puncture is made instead of an incision if the no scalpel method is used. The doctor will then pull the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm, through the incision or puncture and cut it. The vas deferens is then sealed using various methods and returned to the scrotum. Your practitioner will use stitches as needed to close the incision.

Post-Procedure and Recovery

After surgery you will likely have some bruising, swelling and pain. You will need to rest for several days after surgery and support your scrotum with a jock strap or athletic supporter. You can use an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to help with pain and swelling. Keep the bandage or covering dry for 24 hours after surgery for proper wound care; this, of course, eliminates the possibility of swimming. Keep in mind that your vasectomy is not considered successful until after the post-operative visit during which you are tested for sterility.

Activity Level and Swimming

After a vasectomy, you need to rest for 24 hours. You may be able to resume light activities after about four days but refrain from sports or heavy lifting for about a week. It is okay to remove your bandage and take a shower after 24 hours but do not swim or bathe for at least seven days after surgery, advises VasectomyDoctor.com. Follow your doctor's specific instructions regarding when to resume swimming after a vasectomy.

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