Paul’s experience: Vasectomy with swollen testicle afterward

I’m guessing you’re either thinking of having a vasectomy, in which case you’re looking at these stories at the right time, or like me, after it’s already gone completely wrong, and you’re wondering how much worse it’s going to get or how long it’s going to last. Well done to the first category, but I never was the type to read the manual before turning it on…


I’m 39, and my wife is also 39. We have two of the finest looking healthiest children in Christendom, we love them dearly, and they drive us mad. We didn’t want to risk a third, as I prefer man-marking rather than area defense. Also, we thought we’d be pushing our luck at our age. The razor wire around the marital bed was also not missed. I booked the procedure through my local GP, the appointment came through, and they were going so fast they called me in two hours early – which was kind of nice as I just wanted it done by then.

The initial consult (Not with the doctor) was fairly informative I thought, main thing I took away was that the procedure can be privately reversed, and the success rate is increasing. Nothing specific was mentioned about hematomas, infections, pain, varicocele, loss of orgasm sensation, or more importantly daytime television schedules. I signed disclaimers, thinking I’d obviously be one of the quoted “99% success rate”, and breezed into the theatre type room 10 minutes later. Another short consult with the actual doctor. His glasses were very thick, right on the end of his nose. Quite a nicely spoken chap, who explained he’d done 2500 of these operations, no bothers. Onwards I thought, signed yet more disclaimers.

The vasectomy

Trousers and carefully selected pants-with-no-holes taken down to knees, hop on the bed and lie back. The first thing I noticed was that the pillow was thin, so you couldn’t really see what was going on easily, and the bed was set so you were in a bit ‘head-back’ type position. There was a female nurse in the room who looked bored witless. They put sheets over and he put a load of alcohol gel all between legs and scrotum, then taped my penis against the bottom of my belly. I must have looked quite a site at this stage. I felt like an extra in an adult movie. Ahem, that my mate told me about.

He got a shiny device and said I would feel a jabbing sensation. It felt like being jabbed by about three of those diabetes blood sugar testers at the same time. (I had a go-to see how much of a fuss my wife was making whilst she was gestational diabetic) This was all fairly easy-going. He then starts in, and as I wasn’t looking, I’m not sure what happened much apart from a slightly uncomfortable tugging sensation as he presumably exposes the tubes. The next thing was the sizzle of the cauterizing, with the aroma of burning on the first tube. No pain though. The second cauterizing stung, I felt pain and flinched a little – I told him I’d felt it – at which point he explained that he must have caught the margin of the anesthetized area, he apologized, and progressed slowly which reduced the pain somewhat – he made the next cut in several short type cuts rather than one big one like the first. I don’t know if it was heating, or a laser type device that was doing the cutting, but it made a high-pitched sound when he was activating it. He shook all the bits back in, carefully arranged my nuts as if he was doing a flower-arrangement, and sat me up like he was proud of the neatness of his job. He stayed with me whilst he helped me put my posh-pants back on. There was almost no blood at all. I filled in the survey, and departed, drove back home, and was absolutely fine. I thought.

That was Thursday at 15:30. I went for a congratulatory pint (two) at my local and had a Thai curry that night. I’d booked the Friday off, and did bits and bobs, popped to the shops, but mostly relaxed and watched TV. The most strenuous thing I did was lift my 4-month-old daughter in her car seat into the car, that’s it.

After the procedure

Here we go… Friday 18:00, my right testicle was starting to hurt. I don’t normally do painkillers, but by 19:00 I’d done two Nurofen and it was getting worse. By 21:00 I’d done two more. In serious pain at this point. I couldn’t really walk without being in 8/10 pain. Even sitting still was painful. Hobbled to bed, but didn’t sleep – a bad night of pain, the bed was wet-though with sweat.

Woke up on Saturday morning with my right testicle the size of my fist (I have big broad hands). Bizarrely, the left one was totally fine. The whole area was hot, and my foreskin was red, hot, and weirdly swollen up like a latex glove filled with jam. I rang the consultant at 07:00, and left a message, he called back shortly after. I explained the situation, and he said to go see the GP. I rang the out-of-hours service and got the first appointment at 10:00 that Saturday morning. The first thing the doctor said to me was what on earth is a specialist doing referring this to a generalist? Anyway, he put me on 4*500mg Flucloxacillin a day (Penicillin based antibiotics), and said come back if it gets worse. While I was there, I said how often does this happens? And am I really the unlucky 1%? He said he’s seen loads of post-op problems, and 1% was massively optimistic. Off I hobbled.

Saturday night no sleep and painful. I started taking my temperature as I was aching and felt hot/cold. It was between 38 – 38.6c. Also started researching and hence commenced using ice-packs. On Saturday I worked out that if I held my pants up dead tight whilst moving around, it hurt a bit less. So everywhere I now go, I look like some kind of bullock-juggling primate off for some girlie action. I’m also starting to resemble Gollum, unshaven, blood-shot eyes, mumbling about my precious balls, and plotting revenge on anybody who even mentions “virtually risk-free”.

On Sunday night the person with who I’d left a message at the out-of-hours number called me back to ask what was going on. I told her the story, to which she said they don’t get that very often. She suggested that I might have had a problem before the procedure, I saw red, cut her off, and explained there was absolutely nothing wrong with me when I went into the room, I don’t ever normally get ill. For some reason that really pissed me off, like she was already blaming somebody else? Sheesh.

Anyway, It’s now Tuesday afternoon, and my testicle is shrinking slightly, still painful though. The main ‘hanging ball’ part has gone softer, whilst the area at the back nearer the top has now gone solid and still hurts as I’m writing this. The doctor who did the job called back Monday morning, and said it should be ok in a few days – it isn’t, but it’s getting slightly better. He offered to come and see me at my house tomorrow (Wednesday), which I’ll take him upon. I’ve cleared an area in the cellar and just finished the sound-proofing off for my own risk-free procedure with his testicles. (Joking).

I haven’t ‘tested’ anything since the operation and some of the stories here make my blood run cold – no idea when this will resolve, but I pray I’ll be ok long-term. I’m thinking a minimum of two weeks off work, then there will still be residual issues. The thought of anything more serious happening as a result of the trauma is a nightmare. They don’t tell you the whole story, because it would put you off. I’m sure most people are fine, but treat their figures as not fully followed up – my questionnaire was taken directly after the operation when everything looked rosy. This obviously wasn’t a good idea for me. It’s now hit home that however safe they make it sound, the impact could be massive on your life – it could completely change the whole of your sex life negatively and permanently. This is surgery on something that isn’t malfunctioning, this is cutting the chords permanently, and sealing the ends up so stuff can’t ever get out without a much bigger op. Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’ve taken the op, and now know some of the unlucky stories. Best of luck – you’ll probably be fine.

Before you do though, there is some rather important advice I need to pass on to anybody thinking of doing this:

  1. Don’t do anything strenuous for 3 days minimum. This is really important! I think I must have somehow torn it somehow to start a bleed? Not sure – and neither is the doctor.
  2. Consider the male pill. I can’t help thinking the problems are more widespread than is being statistically reported. Everybody I’ve spoken to suddenly knows somebody who’s had serious problems – but they don’t say a thing as they don’t want to put you off.
  3. Go buy a supportive underwear/garment for your nut-sack before the op, it’ll be the best insurance policy you’ll ever buy. Wear it for at least a week immediately after the op – don’t rely on snug pants! If I’d have known how painful this was going to be, I’d have tottered around in a dress and high heels for a month to avoid this pain!
  4. Don’t drink a single drop of alcohol – I wonder if 1 pint of beer was enough to tip the balance? (It thins the blood)
  5. Buy some ice packs if you don’t have them – put them in the freezer ready.
  6. Buy Ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug ready.
  7. Get Sky TV installed if you don’t have it, or buy some films, console games, or books!
  8. Sex is off-limits for maybe 3-4 weeks, maybe more, so make sure you’re totally ‘dry’, then knock one more for luck before doing this – stop when you can’t raise your arms.

I’ll try to post an update – If I don’t, it’s because it’s (Please Lord!) gone away and I can’t be arsed. Best of luck to the guys with problems.

Submitted by Paul

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