So, you’ve just had a vasectomy – good for you! However, your doctor has told you to take a period of rest after the procedure. For many men that exercise on a regular basis waiting to get back to the track or the gym can be the worst part of the procedure.
It’s always best to listen to your surgeon and take their advice about recovery seriously. Although complications are rare with vasectomies, especially no-scalpel procedures (less than 1%), they do happen and can be particularly, well, unpleasant!
How long should I wait before running?
Again, you really should listen to your surgeon, but we typically tell our patients to give it a good seven days as a minimum before they return to any vigorous physical activity. This reduces the chance of irritating the scrotum and aggravating any swelling down there.
What type of underwear/boxers should I wear once I return to exercise?
Once you return to activity we recommend wearing a pair of breathable, snug (not tight) fitting boxer shorts. Bamboo boxers that are designed to not ride up are a good option – they’re breathable and reduce the amount of movement down there.
Conduct a Google search for ‘no ride up bamboo boxers’ and I’m sure you’ll find something that’s a good fit.
Many men like to wear running shorts without boxers – we recommend against this, as it allows your testicles too much freedom to move and this can aggravate swelling.
What sort of distance can I run?
That will depend on your own level of physical fitness and whether you are experiencing any pain. We recommend that you start at 25 to 50% of your usual activity level.
If you run 10km, then try a 2.5km run. If that feels fine and you experience no pain you can progress to 5km and so on.
What if running is painful?
If you start to experience pain while running then we advise you to stop immediately. As mentioned above, complications with no-scalpel vasectomies are rare, but they do happen.
If you continue to experience pain for an extended time after your procedure consult a medical professional immediately.
This article was reviewed by Satish Singh
Dr Singh is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He graduated from Ranchi University in 1990 and then completed his Masters in General surgery from Patna University, India. In 1996 he moved to England and worked in several fields, such as emergency medicine, orthopaedics, surgery and urology before he became Fellow of Royal college of physicians and surgeons, Glasgow, Scotland. He has special interests in surgical procedures, vasectomies, skin checks and aesthetic procedures.