How Long After a Vasectomy Before You Can Start Running Again?

The short answer is 10 days. The more detailed answer comes in the form of a story…

I went into this very unprepared. I’d chatted with one of my buddies — on a run, of course — about his vasectomy and recovery, and he told me that, “It’s no big deal, as long as you’re not a hero about it.” I should have asked a follow up question or two, or done some internet research. Instead, I went into my doctor’s office expecting a ten-minute procedure and to be running again the next day.

First off, the procedure isn’t ten minutes. Mine took a little over an hour. And, it’s not pleasant. To say that there is some discomfort would be an understatement. But the real fun doesn’t start until you get home and the local anesthesia starts to wear off.

I scheduled mine for the Friday after the Marine Corps Marathon. The doctor remembered that and asked me how the marathon went. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot… How long of a break do I need to take from running?” He thought about it a second, then said, “10 days, but make sure that you run with a jock strap when you come back.”

That morning, before the vasectomy, I only ran four-and-a-half miles, thinking that I’d be back for another easy four or five the next day, then a long run on Sunday. Nope!

Ten days off seemed excessive, but I figured I’d give it a shot. A little post-marathon break might be nice.

It wasn’t excessive. The first two days were complete hell. In addition to my whole balls region being ridiculously sore, the pain killer I was on — and the lack of running — got me super constipated. After downing an entire bottle of prune juice, some psyllium husk, and a couple of stool softeners, I finally pooped on Monday morning. (I’m including this fun fact in the hopes that you’ll eat an appropriately high-fiber diet leading up to this, a crucial step that I missed.) There was no way that I could run. I could barely walk.

Things started getting better after that third day, but I was still really sore. Running wasn’t an option. I moved as little as possible, and kept ice packs going whenever I could.

By the end of the week, I was going crazy from not running, but still didn’t feel up to it.

Finally, ten days rolled around. I put on my jock strap — which, by the way, was new territory for me; I’d never worn one before the vasectomy — and went down to my basement treadmill to run a couple miles. I figured the treadmill was good because, if anything went wrong, I could stop and not have to worry about getting home. The first quarter-mile was a little uncomfortable, but after that it was pretty okay. Still, I only ran two miles, just to be safe.

The next few runs, I kept things pretty easy. But by about two weeks after the vasectomy, I was back to normal. I kept wearing the jock strap for a couple more weeks just to be extra safe, but probably didn’t even need to do that.

This post was published on November 30th, 2017 by Robert James Reese.