John’s Vasectomy Story (With Two and Five-Year Updates)

Are you getting a vasectomy?
Plan ahead and get some cold packs on Amazon and a 3 pack of jock straps for a comfortable post-surgery recovery!

I am 56, my wife is 40. I have one daughter from my 1st marriage who is 28, and 2 children with my wife, ages 10 and 6. Neither one of us wants anymore children. My wife has been on the pill since age 16. Her mother died of breast cancer when she was 8.

About 4 years ago my wife switched to a new ob/gyn who started putting pressure on her to get off the pill. While she did not particularly care for this doctor, the idea of getting off the pill really appealed to her. I tried to point out that getting off the pill may not be a good idea. Also I tried to point out that many women take the pill to smooth out their cycles, hormones, etc.

My wife’s father had had a vasectomy so she thought that I should. Her doctor told her that with a vasectomy they check the sperm, but with a tubal ligation there is no safe way to prevent babies because there is no way to check and see if the tubes have regrown. (I would never ask my wife to have her tubes tied — look at www.tubal.org to see what a disaster that is).

I dragged my heels on getting a vasectomy. Finally my wife told me she had talked to her ob/gyn and he was telling her that if she didn’t want any more children and I didn’t want a vasectomy that she should have a hysterectomy. Once my wife told me that, I got scared and scheduled an appointment for a vasectomy consultation. I also got my wife to agree to getting a new ob/gyn.

BACKGROUND ON THE PROCEDURE SELECTED

I did a ton on research on vasectomies (including your web site) and came to the conclusion that I’d like the open-ended procedure. I also consulted with urologists and looked at many web sites and concluded that the vast majority of urologist close both ends, claim that the procedure is simple and low risk, and then when problems develop deny that the patient has any problems at all — it must be in the patient’s mind! I also checked with Planned Parenthood and got the same response — both ends closed is a no risk procedure.

After doing a lot of research I decided that the only way I would have a vasectomy is to have an open ended procedure. There is a excellent article linked on your web site that explains why a person should have only an open ended vasectomy — from this article I got the name of a doctor in Houston willing to do an open ended procedure. He is not a urologist, but a certified Family Practitioner. I also called a number of urologists offices, and their staff all informed me that the doctor closed both ends — several had never heard of the open ended procedure.

THE CONSULTATION

I made appointment to have a consultation, and immediately liked him. He gave me a very detailed explanation and assessment of the risk. When I raised the issue of urologists still doing closed end procedures, he pointed out that a lot of older surgeons just don’t want to change. He explained that at one time he had worked at Baylor College of Medicine clinic that did a lot of vasectomies and he had probably done between 300 and 400 open ended procedures. I went ahead and scheduled the appointment to have it done.

THE VASECTOMY

I arrived for my appointment and 1:00 p.m. and the nurse immediately ushered me into a procedure room. After getting undressed she came in an gave me a shot — I asked her what was it for — she said it was for pain and nausea. I inquired about why was I being given something for nausea — she said that a vasectomy was just like getting kicked in the balls — it made sense to me. After about 20 minutes I could really feel the medicine kick in. The doctor came in and again went over the details of the procedure.

I had shaved myself the night before, so he did not have to do that. He taped my penis up to stomach to keep it out of the way. He then warned me that he was going to inject pain killer in the spermaticord — I did not feel a thing. Then he told me he was going to make an entry. I did not feel thing. He did the right one first and then the left one. I assumed that he made a second opening on the left side since he switched sides of the table — when I got home I discovered that there was only one opening, on the right side.

It probably took about 45 minutes — part of it was they had trouble getting the cauterization machine to work properly — the other part is that this doctor takes whatever time is necessary and does not seem to be in a hurry. He talked to me throughout the entire procedure. As he finished he showed me the sections of the vas that he had removed– about 1/2″, tan in color and about 1/32″ in diameter.

Afterwards he gave me a prescription for pain pills and a set of written instructions. The one thing he emphasized to me was the importance of staying off my feet for 2 days — try to lay down as much as possible, and when I was up, sit in a chair or sofa, but do not stand. I got up, got dressed, a nurse helped me to the waiting room, I called a cab, went to the drug store, and headed home.

AT HOME FIRST DAY FRIDAY

Once I got home I went right to bed and slept until about 8:00 p.m. I got up and got a snack and went back to bed. The pain was a lot less that I expected — I watched TV until about 10:30, then put an ice pack on my testicles, took a pain pill and went to sleep. About 3:00 a.m. I woke up, put another ice pack on for 15 minutes, took another pill, and went back to sleep.

AT HOME SECOND DAY SATURDAY

I woke up about 8:00 a.m. The pain was still a lot less than I expected. I examined myself for the first time. I was surprised to find only one point of entry — to the right of center — a open wound about the size of a dime. The entire right side of my testicle sack was black and blue. The right side of my penis was black and blue. Not too much swelling, but some, particularly on the right side. I spent most of the day in bed, putting ice packs on about every two hours. I did not need a pain pill but decided to take Ibuprofen since it is a good anti inflammatory.

About 5:00 p.m. I went to a movie — I did ok. The pain throughout the day was a dull ache, rather than a sharp pain — it was more pronounced on the right side. Finally about 10:00 p.m. I took a pain pill and went to bed about 10:00 p.m. I got up several times during the night and used an ice pack.

When I examined myself I was really surprised that you could feel the spermaticord just hanging off the end of the testicles. Also I could not feel it on the other side, I think it had recessed up into my groin area. Since the vas had pulled up in my groin area at times it felt like there was pressure on my bladder and other times like they were itching inside of my groin.

AT HOME THIRD DAY SUNDAY

I woke about 8:00 a.m. and went downstairs and fixed the kids breakfast. I spent most of the morning reading on the sofa. I did several ice packs. In the afternoon I took a nap for about 2 hours, fiddled around the house for several hours, went to watch my son’s baseball game and went to bed early. I continued to take Ibuprofen and use ice packs all day and night. Went to bed about 11:00 p.m. and took a pain pill. Used ice packs several times during the night. My groin is still sore, along with my testicles.

FOURTH DAY AT WORK

I went to work today and did fine. Still a dull pain, particularly on the right side. Groin area tender. I continued to take Ibuprofen round the clock. When I got home I used the ice pack once in the evening.

FIFTH DAY

I worked all day and did ok. My wife came back from a business trip in the evening and I suggested that we make love. I had no problems getting a erection or screwing, but when I came it just felt like something dripped out of my penis. No force to the ejaculation or feeling of release of pressure in the testicle, groin, or prostate area.

SIXTH DAY

I have pretty well returned to normal. Masturbated.

AFTER TWO WEEKS

Thing have pretty well returned to normal. Minimal pain, just every now and then a awareness. Sex has pretty well returned to normal, except cumming is a little different. Prior to the vasectomy, if I didn’t come every other day I would feel a tremendous build up of pressure in my groin and testicles — then when I came I would feel a great release of pressure from my testicles– now I do not feel the pressure build up in my testicles or the release.

Update Two Years After Vasectomy

About 6 months after I had a vasectomy my wife changed doctors. The first doctor has been pushing her to get off birth control pills. The usual reason – you are 40, have been on them since you are 16, risk of breast cancer, etc. As soon as she switched doctors the new, and younger, better educated doctor advised her that the risk of birth control pills causing cancer was absolutely minimal, and that if she would convert to the new lower dose pills, it would cut her risk of ovarian cancer by 70% and that she strongly recommended that my wife take low dose birth control pills even if I had had a vasectomy. So I really had a vasectomy for no reason.

It has been two years now and I never have had any testicular pain. However, I have occasional ache on the left side of my bladder where the severed vas rest. It is not too bad and I can generally control it with mild pain medication.

Update Five Years After Vasectomy

It has been 5 years since my vasectomy. I am now 61 years old, with 3 children, 33, 14, and 11, so I really do not need any more children.

As I reported earlier my wife switched doctors after I had the vasectomy and the new doctor advised her that she should continue on birth control pills since it cuts the risk of ovarian cancer by 2/3rds. Over the last 5 year she has probably been on the pill about half of the time. I think knowing that I am sterile is of some relief to her. Since she is 45 she will be going through menopause in the near future.

Has the vasectomy improved our sex life? Definitely not. As a matter fact our sex has declined significantly – 100% because of my wife’s lack of desire. It is one of these things that everything is more important to her (like taking the garbage out) than our sex life.

Regardless of my problems with my wife, how has the vasectomy affected me sexually 5 years later?

  • I never have had any testicular pain or swelling.
  • When horny and after not masturbating for several days my testicles do not feel engorged as they used to. Of course, they really are no longer connected to my ejaculation system.
  • I still have pain sometimes over the left side of my bladder – it is very mild.
  • Sometimes after I ejaculate both the ends of my vas over the bladder are mildly sore.
  • If I ejaculate several times in a day the ends of my vas over the bladder become sore.
  • The volume of my semen has declined.
  • The color of my semen has gone from whitish to almost clear.
  • My sex drive has declined some, but that could be due to age.

Update January 2011

I am now 66 years of age. My wife is peri-menopausal and having somewhat of a hard time with it. Frequent night sweats and irregular periods. About 3 or 4 years ago I found that I was in a brain fog most of the time. I had my testosterone check and while it was in the normal range it was on the low side. I started using Androgel. Quite frankly Androgel did not seem to have any effect on my sex drive, but did clear up the mental fog. I would say that when I started taking Androgel I had an average or above average sex drive. Usually intercourse once a week (suffice it to say we have major marriage problems) and masturbation 3 to 5 times a week.

In October of 2007 I had a disk rupture and do significant spinal cord damage. My left shine is numb all of the time and my left leg has shrunk about ½ inch in diameter. At the time I did not notice any direct reduction in my sex drive, but over time I am sure the spinal cord damage has taken its toll.

I am still using the Androgel. Over the last year I have notice a big drop in my sex drive and performance. I still have intercourse about once a week, but now usually masturbate only 1 or 2 times a week. Frequently when having intercourse I have trouble climaxing; it simply takes longer; sometimes I finish by masturbating, and sometimes I simply give up. Once in a while I will lose an erection about 10 minutes into sex – this is a big change for me, since I have always been able to maintain an erection even after climaxing.

I went for a physical the other day and my doctor said that my testicles are shrinking. It seems that this is a common side effect of Androgel. It is hard to identify the reasons for my decreased sex drive and ability to climax. It could be age, marital problems, thyroid problems, testosterone problems, the vasectomy, and/or spinal cord problems. Since my wife is significantly younger than me, and full menopause has not hit her yet, I do like the fact that we can have sex without using condoms.

I cannot say that I am for or against vasectomies. I think that it is a decision that you need to weigh very carefully. I do think that if you are younger you need to realize that 5 and 10 years after the vasectomy your sex drive may decline more rapidly than it normally would decline. I think that you also need to realize that you may have significant problems after the vasectomy or none. It is also possible that you can have no problems after the vasectomy and then develop problems 5 or 10 years later. If you think it is going to improve a bad marriage you are probably wrong. If there are strong medical reasons for no more children, then it is the right decision. If you are at an age like me where I have 3 children and don’t need to be raising young ones it is probably the right decision.

Good luck,
John

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