At the time of writing this article I have approximately 2 days and 2 hours before I’m scheduled to undergo a vasectomy.
Not like I’m counting or anything!
By the time you read this, the procedure will have already taken place (touch wood, it all went well!)
I thought it might be useful to others to share my story.
From first deciding to have the operation/surgery, (and why) to what happens days, weeks and months afterwards, I share with you in this article.
What Is A Vasectomy?
For those new to this game, a male vasectomy or ‘the snip’ is a simple and small operation to cut and tie (or seal) the tubes (known as the ‘vas deferens’) to stop sperm mixing with your seamen during ejaculation.
The procedure is otherwise known as male sterilization.
Why Choose a Vasectomy?
Choosing to get the snip is potentially a life-changing decision.
It’s usually taken between a couple once they’ve decided they no longer want any more children.
The benefits are obvious – it is a permanent form of male contraception.
In my case, neither myself or my wife have children, and we don’t want any in the future. We are both in our 40’s and have been together for 4 and a half years.
We’ve had a couple of near misses recently and having chatted about our options, decided a vasectomy was the best course.
It’s much easier to do and more effective than female sterilization.
I’m certainly not looking forward to the operation, but it should make life a lot more simple once it’s done.
How Effective / Reliable Is A Vasectomy?
The success rate of a vasectomy is very high.
Not quite 100%, as approx 1 in 2000 men will become fertile again at some point in the future.
This happens when the 2 cut ends of the vas deferens managed to connect again.
Occasionally the operation is not successful and sperm still shows up in the seamen afterwards. Again this is rare and happens in less than 1 in 100 operations.
There are two types of procedures – conventional and no-scalpel vasectomy.
Both are usually done under a local anaesthetic.
Basically this means you will be awake during the operation but shouldn’t feel any pain. (I fekin hope not!)
Occasionally the procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic, but this is not the norm.
You’ll have a small local anaesthetic injected into the skin either side of the scrotum, above the testicles.
The doctor / surgeon makes two small cuts, about 1cm long, on each side of your scrotum.
The incisions allow your surgeon to access the tubes ‘vas deferens’ that carry sperm out of your testicles.
Each tube is cut and a small section removed.
The ends of the tubes are then closed, either by tying them or sealing them using diathermy (an instrument that heats to a very high temperature). It stops bleeding at the same time.
The incisions are stitched, usually using dis-solvable stitches, which will disappear naturally within about a week.
During a no-scalpel vasectomy, the doctor will feel the vas deferens underneath the skin of your scrotum and then hold them in place using a small clamp.
A special instrument is then used to make a tiny puncture hole in the skin of the scrotum.
A small pair of forceps is used to open up the hole, allowing the surgeon to access the vas deferens without needing to cut the skin with a scalpel.
The tubes are then closed in the same way as in a conventional vasectomy, either by being tied or sealed.
During a no-scalpel vasectomy, there will be little bleeding and no stitches.
The procedure is also thought to be less painful and less likely to cause complications than a conventional vasectomy.
I’ve no-idea what type of operation I’m getting on the day.
How Long Does A Vasectomy take?
The procedure only takes around 15 – 20 minutes. Which I’m pleased about!
What Are The Risks?
Like any medical procedure there will always be some risk involved, no matter how small.
Most men do not experience any problems after a vasectomy.
However, like me I’m sure you’ve read or heard the odd horror story from a guy who’s friend got it done and he was in agony afterwards!
Let’s put it into perspective, the chances of something going wrong are incredibly small, and even if they do, there’s every chance the problem can be successfully treated.
Vasectomy Problems / Complications – Here’s what could happen:
- Problems associated with a general anaesthetic (if you have one).
- The wound becomes infected.
- The bruising could be quite substantial. However, this will eventually go.
- Rarely, sperm may leak into the scrotum and form a swelling which may need treatment.
- A small number of men have a dull ache in the scrotum for a few weeks or months after the operation. This usually settles within 3 months.
- A small number of men develop pain which does not settle over time. This is known as post vasectomy pain syndrome.
- This pain can be mild or severe. It may be in the scrotum, the penis, the testicles or the lower tummy.
The last issue is my biggest concern. But again, statistically there’s very little chance of it happening, and I’m still going through with it!
Post Vasectomy – Recovery / Care
Rest is the order of the day.
The top part of the scrotum is usually mildly sore for a few days after the operation.
I’ve booked a week off work just in case!
How soon can I have sex after the vasectomy?
You can have sex as soon as it’s comfortable to do so.
You’ll need to use contraception for at least eight weeks after the operation, because sperm can remain in the tubes leading to the penis.
Will It Affect My Sex Life?
A vasectomy has no effect on sex drive or ability to enjoy sex. You will still have erections and ejaculate normally. The only difference is that your semen will not contain sperm. – phew!
How Much Does A Vasectomy Cost?
I live in the UK and so it’s free to get a vasectomy on the NHS.
If I went privately, it would set me back anywhere from £700 to £2000.
In the US the price ranges from around $1500 to $3500.
Can A Vasectomy Be Reversed?
Yes a vasectomy can be reversed, although it is a complicated and more expensive procedure which is not always successful.
Think long and hard before committing!
According to NHS UK “If a reversal is carried out within 10 years of your vasectomy, the success rate is about 55%. This falls to 25% if your reversal is carried out more than 10 years after your vasectomy.”
Even if a surgeon manages to join up the vas deferens tubes again, pregnancy may still not be possible. This is why you should be certain before going ahead with the vasectomy.
However there are plenty of stories and testimonials celebrating the success of vasectomy reversals: http://www.vasectomyreversal-clinic.co.uk/testimonials/
My Vasectomy Diary
2 Days Before The operation
I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking with it.
Happy to be getting it done.
I had to wait approx 2 months for the procedure.
I was sent some basic information on what to expect and what I need to do. All seems pretty straight forward.
Decided to document my experience.
1 Day Before The Operation
Along with the information I was sent regarding what to expect, times, dates etc. I also received information for shaving instructions!
You need to shave pretty much everything down there.
So this morning I spent a good 30 minutes in the shower with my Mach 3 razor ensuring everything was smooth and hair-free.
I normally keep my crown jewels nice and trim, so it wasn’t anything I don’t normally do..except maybe a little more attention to detail!