Eric’s experience: My vasectomy story

In 2003, I saw my regular physician for something, I can’t remember. During the visit, I asked him about referring me to a vasectomy. He told me that I should think it over with my wife, and consider it absolutely permanent. I believe it was great advice. So, we did consider it for quite some time. two and a half years! After that time, we considered that we have a boy and a girl aged 7 and 11, and we’re sure that we didn’t really want any more children.

In 2005, I saw the urologist who was to perform the vasectomy. He told me that he had done about 1,000 vasectomies in his career, and the end result would be that everything would “look and feel” the same, I would just be sterile. He made no mention of Post Vasectomy Pain (PVP). He also said the procedure could be done with a local anesthetic in their surgical room, or if I preferred in the hospital under general anesthesia. I opted for the simple local procedure, as the other would have cost a few hundred dollars out of my pocket. I am pretty cheap by nature, so I was willing to decline being put under to save a few hundred bucks.

Over the next few months, I talked to a few friends and co-workers who had the procedure done. They laughed about resting on the couch with frozen peas in their laps, but neither indicated that it was really that big of a deal.

The vasectomy

In January 2006, I went to the vasectomy procedure as scheduled. The urologist started by injecting the right testicle with the local. It felt like a little pinch, but I figured that would be the worst of it. I was wrong. The incision was painless, but when he pulled out the vas tube, it was the worst pain I ever felt in my life. He injected more anesthetic, but it really didn’t help. The cutting and cauterizing didn’t hurt as it was numb, but the pulling on the tube felt like I was being torn apart. The pain wasn’t in the testicle area where he was working, but much higher up in the abdomen. I was amazed that it hurt so much. Unfortunately, the left side hurt even worse. The only good thing was that the procedure was mercifully short, about 20-30 minutes.

I know most men who have had a vasectomy with a local anesthetic are reading this thinking “This guy is full of it.” I don’t exactly know why my procedure hurt so much. The urologist claims to have decades of experience, so I would assume he performed it correctly. Perhaps that is just the way I was built. I should have just spent the few hundred bucks to get knocked out.

Anyway, I figured the worst was over. My wife picked me up and drove me home. I think I felt every damn bump on the way home. Of course, I spent the next few days just watching bowl games with a bag of ice on my nuts. I was actually in quite a bit of pain for the first few weeks. The swelling and discoloration went away after a few days but I was still plenty sore.

After the operation

I wore the jock for a few weeks, and it definitely helped give support. It was uncomfortable but worth it. However, I was still sore for quite some time. After a few weeks, I started feeling good enough to start exercising again. I was taking yoga classes when I noticed that some stretches really made my groin area hurt. The pain was pretty bad and seemed to get a bit worse.

I saw the urologist at about 4 months post-vasectomy. During the visit he felt my right epididymis, it was inflamed and he said it should go away with anti-inflammatories. He further said that exercises such as yoga and swimming wouldn’t hurt it. He also told me that about 1 in 50 vasectomy patients had some post-vasectomy pain. I don’t know why he didn’t tell me that during the consultation!

I continued exercising, but it just seemed to get worse. I was in pretty significant pain, so I just quit these exercises altogether. I saw the doctor again after about six months time. I told the nurse I was really in pain, and he saw me that day.

During the visit, he gave me a nerve block. He injected me with a steroid and some Novocain. That shot hurt like hell. It was right on a nerve (I guess that is the point) and felt like an electric shock in that area. I was really depressed and scared immediately after that visit.

I saw the urologist again three weeks after the second visit. He basically said it would go away with time. I do have to admit that I feel better since that injection, but the “healing” process is going very slowly.

At this time, I think that my problems are just due to slow healing from the procedure itself, as I have never really been pain-free since the vasectomy. I don’t think that my problems are due to congestion, it is really hard to tell for sure. I usually feel ok when I am standing, but sitting in a position where pressure is put on the epididymis is still painful. I decided to see another urologist, and have an appointment scheduled next month. I am still trying to remain hopeful.

Overall, of course, I do have regrets about getting the procedure. I am sure all men with some post-vasectomy pain have regrets. However, I absolutely do not regret the fact that I am now sterile. I think it is a very practical way to administer permanent birth control, and it does seem that a very large percentage of men have no problems at all. The problem is that some men do have lingering pain, and most people don’t know that (I certainly didn’t).
It isn’t my intention to scare anyone out of getting a vasectomy. Chances are everything will be OK. My advice would be to consider it a permanent sterilization procedure and be sure that this is what you want to do. Next, I would ask the urologist about PVP and what he would do to treat it before getting a vasectomy. If he tells you “Oh that is extremely rare, don’t worry about it”, see another urologist!

Submitted by Eric

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