How To Sleep After a Vasectomy

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How To Sleep After a Vasectomy
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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It’s common after a vasectomy to struggle to sleep, so how do you improve it? 

Recovery time can be up to 2 weeks if there are no complications. The first couple of days can be tender due to the location of the incision.

To improve sleep after a vasectomy, try sleeping on your back. Side sleepers should use a pillow between their legs for relief. If you usually sleep naked, wear underwear for support. Take prescribed painkillers, and you can use an ice pack to reduce inflammation.

Sleeping After a Vasectomy

Pain levels vary dramatically among guys who have just had a vasectomy, and the key to a quick recovery is to rest.

The vasectomy is described as feeling like a kick in the nuts from a camel. This is mainly due to the tugging and pulling of the Vas Deferens, the thick tubular structure you can feel through your scrotum.

The pain comes from the swelling of the scrotum, which transfers to the testicles, a painful experience if you have ever had a swift kick in the gonads. 

Undoubtedly, this will be painful, and you have been prescribed meds to help with the pain.

When it comes to sleeping, the trick is to keep the pressure off the testicles and scrotum. Wearing tight briefs will help nicely to keep everything in place through the night.

Ice Packs

Ice packs at regular intervals will provide cooling to the inflamed area and hopefully reduce the swelling around the testicles.

It's essential to use your ice pack over your underwear as we don’t want to inflict ice burns around the incision area.

It's also more comfortable to apply the ice pack over underwear. As a rule of thumb, 20 minutes is the recommended time to be effective without causing any further damage to this sensitive area.


You are not going to be thrilled at the thought of going to bed with swollen testicles. Finding a good position to relieve the pressure can be difficult but not impossible.

On Your Back

If you are a back sleeper, then with luck, you are finding the proper support from your underwear. If you are wearing loose boxers, you may feel a pulling sensation from the surgery site. Change into Y fronts or tighter briefs to keep everything bunched together.

The support will help with the pain and reduction of swelling.

On Your Side

Again support to the testicles will help, and your tighter briefs will help. Sleeping on your side will be ok in the central part. It will be advisable to put a pillow between your legs. Maybe as high as your thighs to get the best relief.

The pillow prevents any crushing of the surgical site from preventing pain. In addition, the pillows between your legs will open your pelvis and align your spine. It’s a comfortable position regardless of the surgery.

With the blood supply for your testicles coming from your kidneys, this position will help and may increase the fluid drainage from the scrotum. 

On Your Stomach

If you think you can do it, go ahead and try. Sleeping on your stomach will cause you pain, don't try.

You are trying to prevent any aggravation to the surgical area so, if this is your preferred method of sleeping, skip it for a week and see how you feel then.

Sleep Downstairs

It may seem strange, but climbing a staircase will put a strain on your testicles and scrotum. You may find this pain not worth the effort and decide to sleep downstairs.

In most cases, this should only be for a few nights as the swelling and pain start to dissipate.

After Surgery

Keep taking the medication as prescribed and bathing the area as instructed. It's essential to keep the surgical site as clean as possible, which should be easy to do.

After cleaning the area, continue to wear tight briefs for support. Not so tight that it's causing pain. You need support.

Continue with the ice packs. They are a valuable tool in reducing swelling.

As much as you feel you are indispensable, stay off work until the pain has gone and the swelling has reduced. Heroics after a vasectomy is strongly discouraged.


Directly after surgery, rest, lay down for 24 hours if possible, watch a movie but keeping static will help with the healing process and reduce any pain.

After any surgery, rest is the best thing you can do.

Prescribed Medication

Take the medication as prescribed, and don't think you can swill the pills down with a beer or two. At best, it will render the painkillers ineffective, and at worst, it could see you back in the hospital.

You may have a combination of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Take the course of meds as prescribed.

Strenuous Activities

Reduce gym time and cut out running while in the recovery process. Any additional exercise could lead to poor sleep when it comes to nighttime. This also means you should cut out gardening and decorating, for a week or two.

If your wife decides to check if surgery has worked, refrain from sex until you are fully recovered.

You can generally resume sexual activities after a week but wear a condom until you have had the final tests.

If You Have Serious Pain After a Week

Head back to see your doctor. You may have an infection that requires antibiotics to clear. You will know after a few days if you have anything abnormal going on, so head back to the doctor.

Summing Up

Yes, you can expect some painful swelling after your vasectomy. However, you can get a good night's sleep if you follow some common-sense rules and rest.

Painkillers, anti-inflammatories, ice packs, and rest are the keys to fast recovery. If you can do what's asked and rest, then you will be back on your feet in no time.