Randall’s experience: Childfree Marie Stopes vasectomy

Later this year me and my fiancée are getting married and the subject of children has come up several times while we’ve been together. She never wanted to have kids and I was never particularly keen on the idea so after many conversations, we decided that neither of us wanted kids so we needed to find a way to make sure we never had an accidental pregnancy. I am quite a paranoid fella so I figured condoms would not be a sensible idea for the long term because of their 97% success rate. Don’t get me wrong that’s a good success rate just not good enough for me. So we got to thinking. We looked all over the web looking for ideas and came up with implants, IUDs, the pill but unfortunately for various reasons these methods were not suitable.

That was when the idea of a vasectomy came up. I was interested in pursuing the idea but before I would go through something like this I would want to do my homework. So I looked all over the web to find that some people suffered pain, whereas others recommended it for different reasons. I went to my doctor who said the NHS probably would not fund it but put me in touch with another doctor anyway for which I had to take an afternoon off work and who confirmed what my GP said in the first place that the NHS would not fund it. Back to square one.

The second doctor told us the cost of having it done privately would be in the region of £1000 so understandably we were quite upset. A day or two passed when my fiancée had a brain wave. A company I had never heard of before called Marie Stopes. We looked up online how much the procedure would cost and were happy to find it was about £400. We phoned them up to make an appointment figuring they would at least ask some questions and try and talk me out of it but nope, just asked for the deposit and gave me a date. They also said they would call for a consultation a few days before the op.

So all booked and on our way. Further discussion with my fiancée to make absolutely positive it was going to be a good idea, as after further study online about vasectomies many stories were not good and spoke of pain and discomfort but in the end, all stories were mixed between good and bad and we just figured it was luck to see who got good, and who got pain. So I came to the conclusion that the idea of no kids and a relatively stress-free life would be worth the risk (ok only about 2- 5% of people report any trouble but you know a risk is a risk). So I gave the green light.

Consultation day

Got a phone call from Marie Stopes on the date and time I requested. Very punctual. The phone call lasted about 15 minutes and in that time the nurse who I must say was very polite and informative told me about the procedure, the risks, the price, and made absolutely sure it was what I wanted which as earlier stated it was. This was 1 week to go before the op so we still had time to think and cancel (I believe I had up to 24 hours before the op to cancel but not 100% on that) and as with any life-altering decision, I of course went through my mind again making sure. The day before the operation arrived and I was still happy and confident and not in the least bit nervous.

Operation day

I woke up went downstairs to have a shower and though they told me probably would not need to shave the scrotum I did so anyway. I heard some stories about a straight razor coming out if it did need shaving at the clinic and I don’t like straight razors at the barbers let alone going into that sensitive a place so I thought I would play it safe. Took a taxi to the clinic as it was about 10 miles away from where I live and I was told not to drive afterward (my fiancée does not have her license). I went in and sat in the reception area for a sum total of 3 seconds before they called me into the office to finish the paperwork and payment details.

In there they were extremely friendly and polite. After all, was done they said if I wait in the reception again they will call me into the surgery room to begin the procedure. Once again waited no longer than 2 minutes then I was called in. At this point, my nerves did leap up a little but I was made to feel comfortable and I knew they were trained professionals doing the procedure so didn’t find myself with anything to worry about. The doctor turned around shook my hand asked me one last time if I was certain (I was) and told me to sign the paperwork. At this point, the nurse told me to go into another room and take off my shoes and trousers and come back in when I was ready. I did as asked and came back in and was asked to lower my underwear. At this point, I laid my head back and focused on the ceiling and on just talking as much as possible to keep my mind off (at this point my nerves were spiking) the nurse said I was going to feel a small scratch and the syringe went in and well I won’t lie. It hurt. I gripped tight to the bed and talked talked talked just any gibberish my mind could come up with including I remember the word “phla” repeated a few times (when I say gibberish you better believe I mean gibberish) at this point the nurse asked if I could feel anything. I said I could, so the doctor put in more sedative numbing the area. I spoke to the nurse about this and that and I heard a machine begin buzzing and whirring as I knew the tubes were being cauterized I felt nothing so I was cool with it so I just kept on speaking without end. The surgery felt at the longest 15 minutes but when I came out my fiancée informed me I was in there for about half an hour. Time flies when you’re having fun right? Other pains during the op itself, a bit of pain on my left side when they did the left tube but otherwise it was a breeze.

When I came out I was numb and shaking like a leaf though not because of the surgery in itself but my nerves got the best of me and made me very jittery. A nurse came out and offered me a cup of tea or coffee (tea) and biscuits I sat for about half an hour talking about this and that (again) with the nurse and my fiancée. When I had strength back I was told to go and check the gauze and make sure there was no severe bleeding I went and checked there was nothing too bad just a very faint very small patch of blood on the gauze but otherwise fine. I came out shook hands and gave thanks to everyone there and left the center.

My experience at the center from the moment I entered to the moment I left was so easy. Everyone was polite everyone was friendly and most importantly everyone was professional.

On the way home I and my fiancée stopped to pick up some food as I would not be going anywhere for the rest of the day and have a drink at a pub in the town while waiting for the taxi to come (mine was j20 no alcohol after op for a few days). Went home and relaxed. Kept taking Ibuprofen to help any swelling (no external but I didn’t know what was going on inside so best to be safe). I did sometimes get a sharp pain in the left testicle. when this happened I would get a pack of ice and place it against the scrotum which helped immensely. For anyone thinking of going through with the procedure, I would highly recommend looking all over the web and finding whatever information possible on pains and risks.

So there’s the story. That was about a week and a half ago and for now, I am feeling fine (touch wood) a little bit of pain now and then but nothing major. Now just waiting a couple of months for testing to make sure of the all-clear (they make you take 2 before you can consider the op successful). Will report back over time to let you know about testing and any future pain. For now, thank you for reading.

Submitted by Randall

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