I’m writing this 4 days after my vasectomy so the experience is certainly fresh in my mind, and the dull ache is certainly there in my pants!
1 Year before…
My vasectomy journey actually started in February 2018. That was when I told my Doctor I no longer wanted anymore children. The decision was a joint one between my wife & I. This was never going to be my decision and my decision alone. This affected my wife just as much as me so it was important that we were both on the same page.
Our family consists of three beautiful children aged 13, 9 & 18 months. We are both more than happy with three kids, actually it’s more accurate to say, we both knew we couldn’t handle four! We are both 40 this year as well and as much as we still feel youthful & energetic in our minds, our bad backs and tired eyes tell us that our bodies aren’t what they used to be. It was time for me to have the snip.
So after talking to my Doctor he referred me to the local NHS hospital where I was supposed to be added to their waiting list. It wasn’t until 7 months later, after not hearing anything, that I decided to get in touch and find out what was going on. Turns out that I’d been referred to the wrong clinic! So in September 18 I was finally added to the waiting list! So I had to wait a year, instead of the 5 months it should’ve taken. Not a great start.
2 Weeks before…
About 2 weeks before V-day I received a letter telling me about the procedure, what I needed to do before the day and post op self-care. The first thing I noticed was that it said I needed to shave! Now guys, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to shave your scrotum before, but let me tell you, it’s not easy! They are not flat or smooth and it’s a very sensitive area! A slip of the razor can be tear inducing (although I guess it was preparing me for what was to come).
So the day arrived. My appointment was at 9am so at least I didn’t have to spend half the day worrying about it. I was ready! My wife and I, and my now smooth ballbag, made our way to the clinic. The journey was only a short one but it felt like an eternity, it was probably the first time I started to feel really nervous about the procedure itself. Up until this point I’d been good at keeping it at the back of my mind, but pulling into the clinic car park made it all seem very real!
We were 20 minutes early, we brought a flask of coffee and had downloaded half the contents of Netflix, fully expecting a long wait. But I’d barely sipped my coffee and only got a few minutes into The Umbrella Project when my name was called. This was it, deep breath…I’m going in.
I was introduced to the nurse and the surgeon who would be carrying out the procedure. They were both extremely friendly and welcoming (which instantly made me wonder, why are you being so nice? Is it going to be that bad?!) Before the procedure itself I had a quick consultation with the surgeon. He explained the procedure (which made me feel more nervous), the possible side effects (now even more nervous), and then went into great detail about the various, potential complications why the procedure may not work (now shitting my tight pants). I know the surgeons have to go through all this but by the end of it I was a nervous wreck! Anyway, I signed over the responsibility of my baby makers to the NHS and went to get undressed.
There was no gown for me to put on. I asked if there was a gown. They said ‘Oh no don’t worry, just come out as you are’. Now I know that the surgeon & nurse will be getting more intimate with my bits than my wife has but walking from the changing room to the table with my, now very shy & retreating, penis out made me feel a tad uncomfortable (honestly, I think the old chap knew what was coming and tried to hide as much as possible!). But in true British style, I sucked my stomach in, tugged a few times to try to get some blood circulating down there and walked proudly to the table.
I laid down, I could hear my heart pounding. This was it. Firstly, my penis was taped to my stomach which was certainly a new experience for me! Those worries of accidentally getting an erection during the procedure were completely wiped away by that one thing alone. The next few seconds was the worst part of the procedure, the injection of anaesthetic. They explained to me that the needle was half the size of a childs needle, the smallest needle you can get, I think that was to reassure me, it didn’t work. I was told that I would feel a sharp sting (they didn’t say small prick) as the anaesthetic made its way through the tubes but it wouldn’t last long. And that is exactly what I felt. I can only describe it as being stung by a bee on the bollocks, not that I’ve ever been stung by a bee on the bollocks but I can imagine this was similar! The nurse put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and told me that it’d be over soon and I was doing so well, again, the reassurance didn’t work. But then it was over, the pain dissipated and I’d made it through the worst bit.
Now I know I’m not exactly selling this am I? Any guys out there thinking of getting a vasectomy may be put off by what you’ve read so far, but bear with me, keep going to the end.
So the injection was done. My scrotum was completely numb. The rest of the procedure was strange but not painful at all. I say strange because, as the surgeon was pulling and burning, and generally manipulating my balls so he could do his thing, I was laying there having a good chat with the nurse. We were chatting about my daily commute to work by train, popular Netflix shows, we actually got into a debate on which was better, Netflix or Amazon Prime! The surgeon went with Netflix, and I agreed as he was the one with a knife at my bollocks. I’ve never had a more normal conversation in a most abnormal situation! And 15 minutes later it was done. No pain, no discomfort, finished.
I sat up and immediately saw the sheets covered in a brown liquid, I wondered if I’d been that numb down there I’d shit myself and didn’t realise! Then I remembered that it was the iodine used to disinfect the area, panic over! I carefully got myself dressed, thanked the nurse & surgeon (they were both amazing) and left. From the consultation to leaving took about 30 minutes. It was quick. My wife was waiting for me in the waiting room, her face had that kind of worried, expectant look about it, almost as if she was expecting me to have tears in my eyes and a walk like John Wayne. But there was none of that.
How do I feel now?
It’s been four days since the procedure and I can honestly say that I’ve felt no more than a dull ache, like I’ve been kicked in the balls, but only gently. I’ve rested as much as possible (not easy with a 18 month old by the way) and kept on top of the painkillers. Today I showered and removed the dressing for the first time. I feel good, I feel relieved it’s done but more than anything I realise looking back that, apart from the injection, it went a lot better than expected! I was worried about so many things but the reality of it was much less stressful than the idea of it!
And I guess that’s my message to any guys thinking of getting a vasectomy. It’s ok. It’s not that bad! The painful bit is over in no more than a few seconds then you can just lie back and have a good ol’ chat with the nurse!