A friend asked me about my vasectomy the other day. I remember typing the whole story in some vasectomy support blog at the time — but I couldn’t find it until today. I figured why not dust it off and share?
Disclaimer: This was about 10 years ago and things like this change with time and technology. Your mileage may vary.
After a ton of research online, I finally had enough information to make the plunge into getting myself ‘altered’. My wife and I have had our last child, and she was sick and tired of the hormones (and even more tired of condoms … heh). I’m 37, she’s 34. We were ready to become “permanently fixed”. I’ve never been personally against a vasectomy, but like most men, I’ve always been scared shitless about anything sharp or pointed going anywhere near the jewels.
Once the decision was made, I called my health care provider and got an appointment for a consultation (I’m on Cigna’s HMO — be afraid). After reading all the stories , I expected a big long consultation with lots of questions and answers, attempts to talk me out of it, signed permission slips from my wife, etc. The ENTIRE consultation was about 5 minutes. The doctor came in, almost threw two or three pamphlets and “surgery preparation” sheets, asked if I had any questions — then walked me out.
I was concerned that the doctor didn’t really have any knowledge of “alternative” vasectomies, like the no scalpel method, etc. I went to the window to make an appointment and asked the receptionist some questions about the doctor, his history, etc. asked for the names of other doctors that did the surgeries in our local network. There were only like 3 others in the Phoenix Valley that did it — and I got all their numbers. I called each one, asked if any of them did no scalpel, etc. Turns out — none of them did. So I went with this guy.
I was set for January 26th — about 5 weeks away. Damn, why couldn’t I get it done sooner???
Strangely enough, I was pretty calm about it. Most people torture themselves for weeks before, I kinda forgot about it — going so far as accidently plan a luncheon with a coworker on the day of my surgery!
A few days before, I called and asked for a Valium script — I knew I’d need it. The nurse called it in to my local pharmacy; 10MG to be taken 1 hour prior.
I figured the night before I would be seriously nervous — scared — whatever. My wife even asked if I wanted one of HER prescription valium. But I just didn’t need it. Slept like a log.
Around 11am, I took a shower, cleaned the taint et al — and got ready to shave. I was instructed to shave the WHOLE scrotum. I thought I got it all (it was a LOT easier than I thought it would be — I was really more nervous about this than the surgery!
My surgery was at 1pm so we took off at 11:45 (we’re not close) … got there WAY too early (traffic was good) … and let the waiting begin! We both brought our Nintendo game systems with us to pass the time. Strangely enough, it was almost immediate that I was called back.
Now I was getting a little nervous, but … I was ok still. The Valium must’ve been working.
I was ushered into a procedure room where I was given a consent form to sign (my wife wasn’t allowed in) and the nurse told me to strip from the waist down, hop on the table, cover with a towel and that she’d be right back.
Reality was starting to set in. Anxiety was coming …
She returns and “checks the shave job” on the scrotum. It was pretty much completely inadequete and she ‘finished me up’. A couple of unpleasant strokes on this, but I held my cool. A little nervous, but still holding it together. She probably shouldn’t have said “This will be my first time shaving a man” …
After the shave job, they laid down all the towels, leaving only the frank and the beans exposed. Again, she assured me she’d be right back.
A couple minutes later, the doc showed up. Older guy, maybe Indian or middle eastern. His bedside manner was curt, straight up — no humor or anything. We got right to it.
He informed me, we’ll do the right side first, then the left. He told me that I’d feel him touching and pushing around — I assumed to find the vas and get them into position. I expected this to be considerably uncomfortable based on what I’ve read. But, I must have easy to find and manipulate vas — this was painless and not even all that uncomfortable.
What I did NOT know is that he was ALSO about to apply the numbing medication when doing this. From what I read, the needle was just a couple of sharp pricks, and it was over.
I’m here to tell you — this wasn’t the case with me. The needle was like a knife being stuck in my nuts! Not once, not twice, but several times. Worse yet, it was like the dentist where they put it in, then MOVE IT AROUND, squirt a little more, etc. At this point, my sense of relaxation and zen was GONE. I was now officially a bit freaked out. I got tense. My legs started moving everytime he touched anything. He kept telling me to relax … that he was using my leg to steady his hand, and we didn’t want any “oopses”. Great.
He goes to work … a few minutes later, I started feeling great discomfort, thrashing around a little bit and being the wussy I am, I told him that it hurt. He broke out the needle again, and I got to endure another series of sticks in the groin. Once this took effect, he finished up the right side — and while it went painlessly — I was scared at this point, especially knowing full well, I had another side to go through.
I didn’t watch the procedure. The only thing I saw was the rising smoke of the cauterization coming from my groin area.
After what seemed like an eternity, he said he was done. On to the left. The needle pricks were, again, quite painful, but he knew to give me lots of numbing agent this time. The left side went without a hitch — but I kept waiting for pain. Fortunately, there was none. The rest of the operation was painless.
It was over. I’d survived. The doctor disappeared almost like he flipped through a trap door, leaving the nurse to instruct me to get dressed and ready for the post op … and she’d bring my wife in. I started to get up gingerly, but she said the numbing agent was in full effect — I’d feel nothing (and she was right). I was still groggy from the Valium, but got dressed without incident.
I found a magazine and awaited my wife to come in, which she did about 5 minutes later. She came in, expecting to see me laying on the floor or something. I was just sitting there. :) It’s always fun to throw the wife off from time to time.
I was informed to say down for 48 hours — bag of frozen peas on the scrote 20 minutes every hour — Extra Strength Tylenol every four hours (take two!) and don’t forget to do it every four! Keep the peas on a few hours that night, repeat a few times the next day as needed. I got two sample bottles — after 12–15 ejaculations in about 6 weeks I was to provide a sample to check for potency. I could resume protected sex in a week. Then the bombshell — light duty for FOUR WEEKS. That means NO physical activity (I’m a martial artist — four weeks is like an eternity) and no lifting over 10 pounds (with a new infant in the house — great!).
I was informed there could be some bruising, weeping, etc. — all the stuff we’ve all been told about post vasectomy ops. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I failed to abide by the rules, I’d be back soon with grapefruit sized nuts and I would be on 6 weeks of bed-rest … SO … abide I shall.
It was a good four weeks before I felt any semblance of normalcy in that region. On a good note, the method did the job. I’ve not had follow up issues in 10 years, no accidental reversals and no unexpected bundles of joy.
Others I’ve told the story to — whom have received no scalpel methods report 3 to 4 days down time with considerably less subsequent discomfort. If your proposed doctor can’t do it and you can’t find someone on your insurance plan that will do these blade-less methods? Consider paying out of pocket and going to someone who will.