Thoughts on my Vasectomy

So, probably not the best thing to write about.  But it was of some comfort to me to read things before I went in, so I’m going to try to summarize my experience in case someone out there can find it useful.

General comments/suggestions:

  • The most frustrating part of the whole experience for me is the conflicting information.  The pre-surgical consult said that I could plan on going back to work the next day.  I did, and this was fine, but everyone in post-op said that I should stay at home and laying on my back as much as possible for the next 2-3 days.  This was a little disconcerting.  I’ve heard that I should wait 5, 7 and 10 days before resuming sexual activities.  Which is it?  The paperwork they gave me instructs me to wait 3 months before doing a test sample, the lab paperwork is made out for 2 months.  When it’s all handled by the same group, I wish they’d have more consistency.
  • The office I went to only does these procedures on a Wednesday.  Much better if your doctor does it on Friday, then  you only have to take the one day off of work.
  • It was the most awkward/discomfort filled ten minutes of my life.  But it was over quickly.
  • They taped my penis to my belly to keep it out of the way.  Wasn’t painful or anything, but definitely added to the awkwardness of the moment.
  • I was back at work the next day.  Other than the Novocaine injected for a local, I took no pain-killers.  No Tylenol or Advil.  I spent the rest of that day on the couch/in bed, icing regularly.  Got dressed and went to Walgreens and to pick up the Boy from practice later.  Worked an almost full day the next day without any major incidents or pain.  There’s a big difference between pain and discomfort.  I’ve experienced discomfort in the last 5 days, but very little pain.
  • Kind of.  There was about 30 seconds of some extreme pain when he was injecting the Novocaine.  They take the needle and insert it under the skin.  That stung.  Then they hit the plunger and let a little out to numb the skin.  That stung/burned some more.  Then they push the needle in further, into the vans deferens.  That hurts like a mofo.  Seriously.  It hurt.  Bad.  Then they hit the plunger.  Then you know what real pain/burning is.  Oddly enough, one side hurt/burned way more than the other, but they both sucked hugely.  I was prepped for the pain the second time, but it was still pure pride and fear of someone accidentally slicing off my penis that kept me from jumping or screaming.
  • Having them rip the tape off my belly/penis was nothing compared to pain of the injection.
  • Painful as it was, I’ve already forgotten what it felt like.  I just remember that it hurt.  So in the end, it’s still worth it.  (I think.  I haven’t actually gotten to “the end” yet).
  • I was able to drive myself home without any issues.  They recommend you have someone else drive you, and I can understand why, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you.  Unless you don’t tolerate pain well and take some painkiller that makes you loopy, or Valium to calm nerves, you should be fine.
  • Oh.  Yeah.  I didn’t, but apparently if you’re sure you’re going to freak out, they’ll prescribe you Valium to take the day of.  Maybe.  You have to be able to sign your consent to the operation.  Some docs will let you sign the consent the day before, some will let you do it, then you pop your pill because it’ll be awhile before surgery.  So don’t let anxiety keep you from doing it if you think it’s the right decision.
  • You definitely need enough pairs of briefs/boxer briefs to last for a week+.  Or someone to do laundry if you’re not feeling up to it.  The support is a must for at least the first 4-5 days.
  • The ends of the stitches will stick out a little bit.  Those ends can/will snag on things.  You only have to pull your pants down once and have those get stuck on the inside of your underwear or athletic supporter once to learn never to do that again.  Learn from my pain.  Which leads into the next point:
  • Stock up on 4″ gauze.  You might be lucky, and they might send you home with clean gauze.  My doctor didn’t.  I was still bleeding a tiny, tiny little bit the 2nd day and the gauze was good for that.  But what the gauze was better for was to put over the stitches.  This kept them from getting caught on anything.  That area was more tender than usual from the bruising as well, so it was a nice cushion.
  • Oh yeah.  You will bruise btw.  And not pretty bruising.  No.  Like blackened bruising.  Where you’re wondering if they screwed up and killed tissue or something bruising.
  • Go out and buy some cheap ice-packs.  The thought of putting a back of peas on my junk, getting blood/sweat/whatever on the bag, then later eating the peas is kind of gross to me.  They’ll tell you to put the bag of peas/ice pack directly on the wound.  Don’t do this unless you’ve got the kind with a fabric-y outer shell.  If it’s a smooth plastic outer, when you put that directly on your skin there can be some condensation that will freeze/adhere/create suction between your skin and the ice-pack.  When you pull it away it can be a little uncomfortable.  If you are sticking with the peas/plastic ice pack, then pull the wadding out of your underwear and just keep the underwear between your skin and the ice-pack.
  • While you’re buying stuff, find out if they will provide you with a disposable/medical jock strap.  My doc did.  If they don’t, go buy one.  Even though they’ll tell you to wear briefs, the extra support is much, much appreciated the first day for the ride home.  Don’t buy anything fancy, there’s likely to be some blood on it at the end of the day.
  • If you have pets, pre-plan.  The last thing you want is a dog or cat jumping on your junk right after you get home.
  • Don’t shake-it after you pee.  Shaking jiggles the parts of you that just had a hole punched through them.  For the first day or two, just blot excess urine off with a wad of toilet paper and flush it.
  • Definitely take it easy/ice/inspect it the first day.  The fear is that you’ll bleed internally and that your sack will swell.  This can be way more uncomfortable than the rest of the procedure.  If you notice swelling, you can put pressure on the incisions until it stops.
  • Shaving.  Ugh.  I’m an old guy.  We didn’t do “manscaping”.  That was the worst part of the whole thing.  I was nervous about it.  I used trimmers to take it down a bit and ended up nicking myself.  Blood from down there doesn’t calm you down any.  Pain down there doesn’t calm you down any.  And this is BEFORE the operation.  But the actual shaving wasn’t bad.  Just stretch the skin out with one hand, and shave with the other.  You don’t need to be as precise as with your face.  Just do the bare minimum and get out unless you’ve decided you want to try something new.  But don’t over-think it, or read too much on it, or you’ll freak yourself out like I did.  Just get a pair of electric trimmers or scissors and trim the area down a bit to make it easier to shave.  If you’re using trimmers, don’t try and take it down to the skin or you’ll nick yourself.  Just trim it a little bit away, then get in with the razor.  Get some good shaving gel, spread the skin tight with your thumb and forefinger of one hand and then shave in short strokes with the other.  Too easy.  I promise.
  • You might want to ask your doctor how long you have to wait to masturbate.  They’ll tell you “sexual activities” but I don’t think they’re one and the same.  You might want to take things for a test ride before having sex again to make sure everything “works”.  And I think you can comfortably masturbate long before you can have sex because of the bruising, stitches, etc.

In conclusion, my penis is still intact and everything appears to be working properly.  I haven’t conducted the final tests yet, but I’m assuming all will be well.  Hope this helps!

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