Several years ago, my wife gave up her fourteen years of having an Intra Uterine Device. Her experience hadn’t been perfect and any reinsertion had some risk involved. It was love/hate for me since it DID prevent pregnancy, but it had those damned nylon threads that hung out of her uterus, which I could feel. The best course of action turned out to be for me to get sterilized. Yes, that means a vasectomy! We were in perfect agreement that it was “my” turn. She was more psychologically impacted with the thought of me getting clipped, than I was. On a private, personal note, several years before I had one scare of pregnancy with one of my girl friends, so I was now also eager to become “harmless” to the outside world. The choice of a vasectomy seemed to be the obvious one. It was MY turn to provide the birth control. My wife had taken care of it for years. I decided the “becoming harmless” aspect was a very important to me because it minimized worry about my continual numerous outside relationships. (Don’t be judgemental; this is a case history.)
Trying to be thoughtful and analytic, I got several recommendations and eventually surveyed three doctors for the solution. Surprisingly, the first two of them alerted me to the fact that I had rather large testicles (about 2 1/2 inches long and 1 3/4 inches wide, each about 5% less than the size of a large egg) and a rather small tight scrotum, (who knew?) and recommended full hospitalization for the vasectomy. (Imagine holding two large eggs in your hand, ladies, that’s what I have to carry around between my legs every day. No wonder guys sit with their legs spread apart and girls don’t.) Anyway, the doctors recommended a GENERAL anesthetic, two full one inch incisions, one on each side of my scrotum and extraction of each testicle to have access to the tubes that get cut. With your testicles laying on the table, pulled out of your scrotum, the doctor would clip out sections of the vas, the tube delivering the actual sperm. Of course the testicles would then be reinserted and the scrotum sewn up on both sides with dozens of micro-stitches binding the two 1 inch incisions.
My wife attended all the interviews and cringed each time the doctor had me lie on the table nude from the waist down so he could draw a proposed a cut line with his pen on both sides of my scrotum. To me it tickled, to her the process sounded barbaric, invasive and emasculating. Recovery time was to be on the order of a month and they recommended wearing a special athletic supporter and having no sex for several months. No intercourse, no hand jobs, no blow jobs, no masturbation, no penetrations, no ORGASMS whatsoever. Actually, the order was for NO ejaculations! For HOW long? The risks? Walking would be difficult for a few days and the swelling may have to be controlled with hypodermic needle shots into the scrotum….my balls might swell up to lemon size or larger!, maybe even as large as a baseball! Needle drainage might be necessary right into the balls themselves to relieve pressure! The stitches might even come open as the balls swelled up! And my balls would fall out??? No, remember the supporter. And what if I cheated and squeezed in a little ejaculation on occasion? He explained that since your testicles would be retracted or clinched upwards into your body, ejaculations that occurred too soon afterwards would be so sharply painful that, during an orgasm, and the accompanying sharp pains in them, I would be oh so willing to avoid ANY ejaculations in the future! But I WOULD be sterile afterward. Yes, I would be sterile because he was going to make me avoid sex like the plague! The worst mental concept was that of thinking of him squeezing my balls out of a one inch hole in their sack and having them lying out there on the table waiting to be cut on. A very disturbing mental picture. Besides, who can squeeze a 1 3/4 inch diameter testicle through a one inch hole. He’s gonna need a bigger cut!
The third and remaining doctor offered a different solution. He had learned a vasectomy technique in China where they do them by the millions! In particular, he offered outpatient surgery, no hospital, no anesthetic, no testicle extraction, no bed time recovering, little pain, usually no swelling, no stitches, quicker recovery. He used a “puncture” not an “incision.” And, get this, no limits on ejaculations! I can have sex anytime I am comfortable doing it. In fact, the only way they know you are sterile is by way of ejaculations. My wife felt better about my coming surgery, at least a little. I thought this plan is WAY ahead of whatever came in second. Though he usually gave Valium prior to the surgery, if you want to drive home afterwards, he would skip that step. Hooray, I had found the doctor to cut on my testicles! He agreed with the other two, but didn’t care about the large testicles or the small scrotum. He said it didn’t matter how big or small, they didn’t have to come out! I liked him already. I’ll describe the process I went through; not all went as planned, though.
On surgery day, the process all started in the morning at home: Shower and shave (the groin), wear 1) non-constricting underwear and 2) a shirt that buttons all the way down in the front. Those were the only pre-op orders. Shaving was a little tricky, but I have learned to love it, still do it. Picked out some button up the front boxer type underwear. I went alone and I arrived as instructed, removed my lower garments so as to be naked from the waist down, kept on only my “button all the way down” shirt, filled out some paper work, walked around the operating suite with my privates hanging out until I got up on the table. The nurse re-shaved me (dry, ouch, pain level 1) and disinfected the area with something with alcohol in it…a little cold and burning on the newly (and now overly) shaved area (pain level 1.) The nurse was cool, she had obviously handled a thousand penises and two thousand balls; she knew every penis joke in the book and had handled (pun intended) all the male patients for this urologist. I am not shy or easily embarrassed. She tried to keep a straight face while she was rearranging my privates, but she understood the awkwardness of my position and kept it light and amusing. A big grin was right behind that stoic medical staff objectivity face. She looked about 30 years old and was attractive. No, I didn’t notice how large her breasts were! She was tender, gentle, wore gloves and was not at all sexual. I really wanted to ask her about all those other penises she had handled, but this was really the wrong venue for that. When she has your balls in one hand and your penis in the other, there aren’t a lot of break-the-ice lines that come to mind. I noticed the ceiling had some minor cracks in it.
Now that my skin was sterile, my legs spread apart, and privates hanging out, the doctor came in and got between my legs with his tool kit, a small metal tray with three or four stainless steel things on it. His nurse took a rubber band (yes, an ordinary Office Depot quarter inch wide rubber band) from the tray wrapped it twice around and just behind the head of my (circumcised) penis, and stretched the band up to my chest and hooked the stretched out rubber band (with my penis attached on the other end) around one of the buttons near chest level on my shirt! That’s right, the front-button shirt was a surgical tool to stretch my penis out of the way during the operation! HA! I almost laughed, and I could see the nurse understood the humor. Where’s my camera, what a sight, half naked, shaved for the first time, shirt pulled up, legs spread wide, and my penis stretched out to its limit by a rubber band and tethered on my fourth shirt button! Then came a little more swabbing with disinfectant. Small ouch, again (pain level 1.) The operation uses a “puncture” rather than an incision to avoid stitches. It’s a matter of semantics. A puncture makes a hole like a nail in a tire, an incision makes a hole like slicing bread.
He used a local anesthetic injected with a thin needle right where he was going to “puncture” me. The chemical from the shot burned inside my scrotum skin (pain level 3) until the area became numb. I had decided not to use any Valium because I was going to drive home. I think the shot also loosened up the skin to make the operation easier because my scrotum had pulled in and shrunken up from being in the cool air conditioned office uncovered but it relaxed, got less rigid and my balls hung much lower. Nothing seems as fearsome as a doctor approaching your balls with a two inch needle with the intent to stick it into your scrotum! After the brief pause for the anesthetic to work and the skin to relax, with a little pushing force, he used his hand to encircle my balls and stretched out the scrotum skin and punctured the right side of my scrotum in the center right up front in the thinnest part of the skin. If I had been standing with my testicles hanging down, the hole he made would be in the very front surface of the scrotum, just behind where my penis would hang.
If you have ever sewn up a Thanksgiving Day turkey, the effort to punch through my scrotum was similar to pushing the needle/string through the turkey skin to sew it up, not easily done. The punch tool was hollow, not unlike the hollowness of an injection needle, but about one quarter of an inch in diameter with a glistening surgically sharp pointed end, and it stayed in the hole in my scrotum during the whole operation apparently to keep it open. Big ouch (brief burning sensation, pain level 5.) It allowed him to slide another tool (spiral shaped, not unlike a spiral wine cork remover) down within it about two inches inside to the bottom of my scrotum and fish-out the tube to be severed and tied off. Remember there are at least four tubes going to and from each testicle (blood in, blood out, nerves, and the vas, where the sperm leaves the testicle.) He needed to know the right one. He used a spiral rotating twisting motion with the spiral wine cork remover tool to grab the tubes, entangle them in the spiral, and pull and stretch them up through the hollow tube, a really weird feeling like someone grabbing your balls, pulling them down, and out and away from your body. It was very uncomfortable, the most unusual feeling my balls have ever had, but not painful (pain level 1.) I can’t liken it to any other feeling in my life. I could feel it all the way to the top of my head. He is just pulling pieces of your inside body outside your body through a quarter inch stainless tube. And I’m watching him do it!
You know those testicle connected tubes are only so long and he is stretching them far beyond their intended length. I could feel the tension all the way back to my anus and all the way up to my navel. In my heads-up position I could see everything and he pointed out the difference in these four little tubes. Because of their different uses, they looked almost color coded. The cluster of four were separated from each other gently with a little pointed tool that looked like a knitting needle. The blood-in and blood-out looked like they had blood in them. Wouldn’t you know the only two that were confusing were the bundle of nerves and the vas. He tweezed and tugged a little on one of the tubes, I felt the sharpest, most penetrating pain in my life and it shot right to the top of my head and I flinched (very brief pain level 8), realizing, of course, that flinching was NOT the best thing to do here. He said great, that’s the nerve bundle, and we won’t cut that one. Whew, that was the most pain of the whole operation. I think I remember that direct aggravation of the testicle nerves giving me an instant hard on, but I wasn’t watching my rubber-banded penis at the time. It might not have been instant and it faded away quickly. I think the pain was like being kicked in the balls, but not persistent. There were then EIGHT tubes coming up through that hollow instrument, four different tubes going out and the same four going back in. Having selected the right one and…snip, snip, squeeze, squeeze, he cut the right vas and mashed little stainless single sided “staples” on the folded over open ends for backup. I could feel the cut, again a weird feeling, but not pain (only a pain level of 1), as he cut the vas in two, and then cut it again so as to recover about a half of an inch of it. I flinched again. You felt the cut all the way up our spine up to the back of your neck, but it really didn’t hurt. It was more an electrical shock than a pain. He used hemostats to hold the ends of the vas so they wouldn’t get drawn back in while he folded them over. That stretched them from their source even more. Then he unscrewed the corkscrew tool allowing all of the looped tubes to snap back inside. Wow, what a feeling that snap back was! My body flinched again from the shock of the tubes snapping back in place (very brief pain level 8.) Whew, I am breathing easier.
As he must have done thousands of times before, he lays that half inch of the vas tube on the tray to “prove” he did his work. I am told that this section of vas will be entered into my “files” to prove the operation took place. I didn’t ask if he used electronic medical records files. It was pink and about three millimeters in diameter, no blood at all. Those staples sealing the ends of the tubes that snapped back in were just tiny pieces of stainless steel wire bent in a “V” which he pinched together with a tool to form a tight “U” mechanically closing off the two severed, but open, and now folded over, ends of the vas. The folded end was just like the way you shut off a garden hose with no nozzle on it. You just fold the hose onto itself and the water quits flowing. The “V” staples held the fold over in place and closed off the ends. So far so good, I thought, only the left side to go. The pain was minimal and kind of a burning sensation. The “punch” felt like a burning or stinging for about 20 seconds, the digging in my scrotum for the appropriate tube was disconcerting because he had to grab and hold the nerves going to the testicle and that nerve is VERY sensitive. All the pain you can feel in your testicles travels through those nerves and my brain was screaming to be very gentle. Cutting the vas was almost painless, more mentally traumatic. Had the nerve been cut, I guess the pain would have killed me as my big head would have popped off. All this time, my penis is still straining at the rubber band, trying to pull it off the shirt button. After that assortment of tubes coming up through his hollow tool was allowed to slide back into the right side of the scrotum, I relaxed a little. Again, a very funny feeling.
He takes out the corkscrew, but he doesn’t remove the hollow tool that punched the hole. To get to the left side of my scrotum he “punches” the same tool from the right side hole in the scrotum into the left side of the scrotum through the internal membrane down the middle that separates the scrotum into two chambers, one per testicle, left and right. That way there was only one outside puncture to heal. Good plan. I don’t think that I ever knew there was a central membrane separating my right testicle from my left testicle. Makes sense though, they never cross over inside there. The cross-over puncture from right side to left side went smoothly, again he had to push hard to cut through, and the fresh cut, er puncture, burned like he had melted his way through with a torch (brief pain level 5.) So again he uses the spiral wine cork tool going in through the hollow tool, now going into the left scrotum, to dig about two or three inches deep into the bottom of the scrotum’s left side looking for the other tube to cut. This feels really weird and it puts me on edge waiting for something to grab or pinch and an excruciating pain to shoot up my spine. I grip the handles on the table tightly. Since you’ve experienced the right one, you can anticipate what’s coming. He roots around inside my scrotum for about a minute! No luck, his grab of the tubes lets go and everything snaps back inside, Ouch (sharp brief pain level 8,) he tries again, it snaps back, Ouch! Again! (pain level 8). He can’t get it, the tubes are too short, or are naturally twisted around the other tubes. As he twists the corkscrew round and round, they keep snapping back off the spiral tool and won’t pull out through the hollow tube (pain level 8 to 9 each time.). He keeps pushing the 1/4 inch tube and the corkscrew deeper and deeper into my left scrotum. I can feel the tool probing and digging way down in the back of the scrotum almost down to my knee! His motions are forced and strained while he digs there. Every time he grabs the bundle of tubes and it snaps back, my body twitches and the, almost electrical, shock runs up my spine to the back of my neck. The snap back is like plucking the string on a guitar. It felt like he put about ten inches of that tool down into my scrotum, but I know it was less. He relents with the probing and declares it won’t work. That produces some relief from the probing around in my scrotum. I think it is related to the “large testicles, small scrotum” problem. The short scrotum also means short tubes. And short tubes won’t pull out through the hollow tube. So now what, go to the hospital?? He announces we will go to plan B. Plan B?…we haven’t talked about Plan B! What is Plan B?!
Plan B is to abandon the right side (first) hole and puncture ANOTHER hole on the lower left outside of the scrotum over close to my leg and get closer to where the tubes enter the scrotum from the body. When I see where the hole is going in, I notice that it is WAY back behind my left testicle, back where he had been digging around before. I can’t even see where it is going to be, just way back there past the wrinkled skin of the scrotum and into the smooth skin beyond. Here he comes with another two inch needle anesthetic injection, waits a minute for the numbness to set in, then he pushes the hollow tool in again, ouch, another puncture! This one must be like getting your ears pierced, no, maybe getting your nipples pierced. Except that the lower side of my scrotum, closer to my body, is a lot thicker than the thin skin of the scrotum front. A lot thicker than turkey skin. Just compare the thickness of your scrotum to the thickness of the skin behind the scrotum…about 4 times as thick. He has to press really hard to get through. He really leans on it this time. I feel lots of pressure back there, hold tight to the table, and then, slice, it goes in. I hope he didn’t slip and cut something else. I am way too far down this road to call a halt. Whatever happens will happen. I am entirely in his hands. You just gotta have faith. I can’t see what’s going on for this puncture because he is working way at the back of my scrotum. I didn’t know my scrotum went that far back. All I have to compare to is the face of the nurse. I’m looking for any grimace, glancing away eyes, any flinch. Nothing, she’s cool. And it works, he’s inside, probing, grabbing, twisting, and withdrawing, just like the other side. OK, bypass the blood vessels, pull hard on what looks like the nerve, plucking this new guitar string, see my pain reaction and…snip, snip, squeeze, squeeze the other remaining tube! He lets the tubes snap back into their original location. (very brief pain level 8.) Another half inch of vas tube is lying on the tray.
The punctures close up tight when he removes the hollow tool. Might have just been one puncture if all had gone as planned. Very little blood. The nurse takes over and is diligent in catching any blood dripping from my scrotum so it doesn’t soil the linens. No stitches are necessary, two band-aids, that’s it. It’s all done. And I will be sterile! I will be harmless and not have to worry about getting anyone pregnant. Other than sitting there spread-eagled with my balls hanging out and my penis pulled up with a rubber band, I am ready to drive home and have celebratory sex…just to prove I can.
Not so fast. This story isn’t over yet. While gently undoing my rubber banded penis and getting me out of my position, Miss Nurse says we still must now begin to purge all those live sperms that have already left the testicles and gone into their holding pattern awaiting my next regular ejaculation. She shows me some small bottles and describes the process for confirming sterility. Handing me my underwear, the loose boxer kind I had worn in, she asks if I have any religious objections to masturbating. I laugh out loud explosively and ask if I need to do it right here, right now? Trying to keep a straight clinical face she says she doesn’t need a demonstration, that I might be a little too sore to do it right now anyway, and that I should wait until I get home. Doctor’s orders are to masturbate or have regular sex as often as possible in the next two weeks, ejaculate into the bottle one morning, and immediately bring in the sample for microscopic analysis. She has that knowing glimmer in her eyes tacitly acknowledging that guys enjoy jerking off and like to do it often. She affirms that two person sex is okay too, it’s the purging we are going for. Seems she might know that collecting semen during two person sex all the while using condoms might be a challenge. Imagine, two doctors say “no sex for months,” now, with doctors orders, I am to ejaculate as much as possible! Great choice of doctors! I followed her instructions eagerly. Imagine, doctors orders, “ejaculate regularly and often….” What a deal!
Two weeks later, 14 orgasms later, having dutifully done it every day, I hurry into the front office and with an obvious flushed face, hand Miss Nurse my still-warm bottle of freshly spewed white cum. It’s a little disconcerting to hand over your ejaculate like it was a urine sample, knowing that you just had an orgasm to give it to her, and think about her pouring it out to examine it. She must handle a lot of little bottles of warm cum in her business. She retreats to the lab, but in only a couple of minutes, returns to say, I am not sterile yet. Too many live sperm. Here’s another bottle. Do it again. I did. Two weeks. At least 16 or 17 orgasms, trying to double up a few days. More warm fresh cum is delivered. No dice, still sees my sperm. Do it again. Two weeks. I am getting my wife to help by holding the little bottle at the crucial moment. When appropriate, as when I am going for for more than one ejaculation a day, I try to masturbate in private, almost as if ashamed. I deliver another sample. No dice. Do it again. On the third visit (six weeks), she asks firmly if I am regularly ejaculating to flush out my tubes. In the busy office I quietly whisper and admit that I am ONLY ejaculating about once a day, with a couple of days going for twice a day, but I can push for more if I need to. She has just the slightest smile starting (I finally got her to crack a smile,) and says that one ejaculation a day should be fine. Her voice is much louder than mine and has unintentionally alerted the whole waiting room now that I am not jerking off enough and need to step it up. Three mothers with teenage boys look in my direction, gawking, astonished. She also comments that sometimes as many as fifty or more ejaculations are required to flush out the last of the now dead sperm. The whole conversation now seems to have been triple X rated. Let’s see, I am at about 50 to 60 purges, but I start the purging program anew. My wife now watches as she and I are now completely casual and open about my daily masturbation task…Doctors orders! And she never was into once-a-day sex anyway. Weeks go by! Ejaculations by the dozen. Seven samples later, fourteen weeks of masturbation (and regular sex, using condoms) and well over a HUNDRED total ejaculations, (never ever HAD to masturbate this many times,) seven little bottles of warm semen recovered in the early morning every two weeks and WHEW! She declares that I am finally sterile. All the sperm, alive and dead, are gone. I will have to give just one more sample in two weeks for confirmation, but the sperm are gone. This was work! My wife is totally bored with using condoms, bored helping with the semen collection, and bored watching me masturbate! I am exhausted! Finally over!
The little bottles for semen samples remind me of a test tube, but with a flat bottom, so they will stand on their own. So, to be of assistance to future patients, I advised that she needed bottles with bigger openings on top because several times, in an energetic orgasm, I couldn’t adequately aim my squirting accurately enough and I would over shoot the sample bottle and have to wait until another day and another better aimed shot to be tested. It’s really hard to jerk yourself off with one hand, get to your orgasm, and focus your attention on the bottle in the other hand, on the opening of your penis lining up with the opening of that little narrow bottle opening when you are having a good orgasm. It was like jumping rope while you tried to piss into a coke bottle. Two person sex wasn’t any neater. You had to get close to your orgasm, pull out, shed the condom, reach for the bottle, keep stroking yourself, holding back a moment, line up the bottle and the penis, and let it fly, all on queue. Definitely took the edge off a perfectly good ejaculation. I don’t think my small-opening-bottle complaint evoked any sympathy with the nurse. She seemed to adopt that stern, quiet, perturbed facial expression saying “suck it up fella, do what you’re told.” However, finally, I can quit using those damned condoms at home. I can back off on all those obligatory ejaculations. I swore I’d take a whole week off from sex. Can’t remember if I really did. Probably not.
Post Script to the vasectomy, it’s still not over yet: There was no swelling, no pain, no stitches, no hospital stay, only had to change the band-aids once, and the bottom line was that my insurance policy paid for my out-patient surgery 100%. Ha! With the requirement to HAVE ejaculations, I assumed there weren’t any other restrictions on my activities. It certainly was not painful to have ejaculations. Side story: The morning after the surgery was the United Way’s Corporate Cup Run, a 5K event that I ran in. No problems, 5K in 26 minutes, not fast, not slow. True story: After the run, inside the assembly building, as we gathered for food and drink, I met a younger lady co-worker there, pushing her husband in a wheel chair. I learned later from her that he had a vasectomy the day before, the same day as me, and now had painful balls the size of oranges, had stitches that were stretched, oozing, and painful, wore cotton pads to catch the bleeding, was taking big time pain relievers and couldn’t walk. She complained she had to help him walk and pee, change the bandages on his scrotum and push his wheel chair. I said, “I bet I know who his doctor is.” True story. I am running 5K’s and he is in a wheel chair the day after our vasectomies. End of story. Almost….
One last other point: During my research into my vasectomy, several articles reported that sex drive and sexual frequency increases after the operation, not the opposite. The theory is twofold: Firstly, without the threat of pregnancy, you are free to have intercourse more often without risk and just for fun, a relaxation of the fear of pregnancy. I can see that the fear of pregnancy would decrease for my partner even more than it would for me! No fear of pregnancy implies more opportunities to be playful and casual with sex! Noticeable was the fact that semen was no longer her enemy because it had been neutralized. And secondly, that my sex drive increased because the normal hormones produced by the testicles which get expelled with each ejaculation, now must be reabsorbed into the body just like the produced, but not expelled, sperm are. Retaining more of the testicle hormones boosts the sex drive. My experience is that they are absolutely right. The more the drive, the more need for increased frequency. With a fear of pregnancy there had always been a noticeable push back from sex. Not an avoidance, but a resistance to be overcome. I would push, she would push back. Following my vasectomy all this reversed. My push was welcomed with her “pull.” The actual frequency still depends on a willing partner (or available time for masturbation.) I think both reasons worked for me. My sex drive increased afterwards and eager sex became more often. More sex is still better.
After my vasectomy, everyone I tell asks the same question. Can you tell the difference in the amount of ejaculate after the vasectomy? I cum a lot and have never been able to see, feel, or measure the difference. My ejaculations are still as explosive, sustained and enjoyable. Sex is constantly more fun and without the slightest worry about pregnancy. I think this is the best thing I have ever done to increase my sex life and, as a side issue, it prevents pregnancy!