A vasectomy is a more or less permanent form of birth control for males.

It involves making a small incision in the ... ahem ... scrotum and cutting and tying the vas deferens so that sperm cannot pass through to the prostate gland - and therefore none go out the penis via the urethra during sexual intercourse.

Reversals of vasectomies have been done successfully, but the success rate of these reversal operations is miserable. If you are thinking of a vasectomy, expect it to be permanent.

The complication rate of this minor operation is very, very low in the hands of an experienced operator. It can be done under local anaesthetic.

It is possible for the vas deferens to spontaneously re-attach. This is recorded as happening only four times in the history of the operation, however, so the odds are against it.

It should be stressed that this is possible and for this reason most reputable clinics have a practise of asking the subject of the vasectomy back for a sperm count one year after the snip.

I had a vasectomy at the age of 32. Neither my partner nor I have the desire to breed and she wants to come off the pill soon so this is seen as a really sensible solution.
The vasectomy was done at a private clinic. When I got there a nurse asked me a few questions about myself to ascertain whether I was really serious about doing this, then i was sent downstairs to await the cut.

I felt strangely cold about the entire thing at this point, mainly because I guess I had made the decision to do this some time ago and partly because this is way I deal with stress. A short time later another nurse escorted me to a small anteroom between the theater and the waiting room where i removed my shoes and trousers and then entered the operating theater. The most disturbing thing about the place was the twee photos of pairs of round fruit with eyes and mouths on. The kiwifruit couple totally did my head in.
The nurse asked me to get up on the table and draw my underwear down around my knees which i did. The doctor asked me to grip my knees together, presumably to get a bit a push up action going then he massaged the scrotum trying to find the vas deferens. He then injected anesthetic which was supposed to be the most painful part of the process, this was a only a mild stinging sensation.
All this time I was staring at the ceiling panels, it would have been nice to have some visual stimulation up there, but the nurse seemed to be there to be a sort of head coach and engaged me in stuck lift grade conversation about holidays and other small talk. I was really grateful for this as the operation although not painful, was definitely uncomfortable and at one point the doctor had to stop to inject a little more local when the cauterising machine induced a yelp from me.
The process is little more than severing both vas and cauterising them but as the cut is offset and small, the act of working out which tube is which and getting them both out and severed is quite aggressive to the scrotum as I was to find out later.

The whole process took about 15 minutes (at a guess). Afterward i was taken back to the anteroom where I put my pants and shoes back on. I sat down in a waiting room and drank a mediocre cup of tea, ate some individually wrapped cookies, and listened to bad piped music which just seemed to accent the whole sterility of the situation.
I don't know what I was expecting, a certificate maybe?.

It didn't take long before I felt ready to leave so I settled the bill, hopped into a taxi and caught a train home where the trouble started.
I had to take a shit and was forced to dangle myself over the seat up bowl to avoid stressing the groin region during the act. I lay down to try and sleep it all away but my whole groin was throbbing and painful. My underwear which I was supposed to wear for the next two days continuously (which worried me as what would happen if I was in a accident) seemed overtight and a feeling of claustrophobia was enveloping me.
The next hour or two as the anesthetic wore off totally was about about the most painful experience of my life. The most accurate description I can provide is like the depths of flu fever (nausea, sweating, etc) combined with feeling that someone had put my balls in a vice.

Things got slowly better and by the end of afternoon my groin had settled down to a mild throbbing pain. The hole which isn't stitched collapsed to a circular wound about 3mm in diameter and only bled slightly over the next 24 hours. I was able to go to work the next day without any huge discomfort as I have a mainly desk job.
The amount of bruising and swelling amazed me, my left testicle swelled up to about the size of a pool ball and bruising spread around the entire scrotum and a little way up the shaft of my penis. It hurt to take a shit or pee for the next few days but that was about the extent of of the ongoing pain. I was able to wank the day after and sex was restricted to a position which didn't put pressure on the area. The bruising had completely gone in about 14 days and the hole healed shortly after

My 12 weekly sperm test is due in a couple of weeks and im hoping like hell that the process worked as the process was unpleasant enough that Im not sure I want do it again, but as the clinic has a good reputation im fairly sure that it wont be necessary.

For those of you who might someday desire a vasectomy, the above writeups describe said procedure quite accurately and lizard even shows the extent to what might go slightly awry, so that about covers the bases, right? ...

Wrong!...Never let a doctor do his first tug and cut on your balls! Never! Get up off the table, put your pants on and walk, no, run, out the door.


In 1970, give or take a ball, I mean a year, I had what was at that time a relatively new procedure done, a vasectomy. Having met the doctor in an initial consultation with me and my then wife, I felt relatively assured that he knew what he was doing and went ahead with the process. After the anesthetic was administered, the doctor introduced me to another doctor (nervously peering over his shoulder) and said he would be observing the procedure..yea..ok fine.

Next thing I feel is kind of a tugging on what feels like a vein or something. (Thanks to the above writeups, I'm assured it was the vas deferens which needed to be cut and tied, so to speak.) But what I felt was a mild discomforting sort of a pull, in my groin area. After a little "teaching" from my doctor to the "pupil", all was done. Well, that side was done. Now, Doc says,

"So John, if it's alright with you, I'm gonna let Doctor Newbie here do the other side."< br />
OK, well here, in retrospect is where you might question my sanity at the time (or now), for I said, obviously out of body and out of mind,

OKAY



Now Doctor Newbie steps in and you'll never guess what mild dysfunctional physical handicap Doc. Newbie had...His Hands were shaking!! That's right, I kid you not, his hands were shaking. He was in no condition to drive, much less to seek tubes in my scrotum with which to "snip and tie". But he did and when he finally had one in his grasp, I could have sworn he was now pulling on a vein that was attached to my neck! This yanking and pulling went on for quite some time until my doctor finally, got back in control and literally took the reins (my tubes, my veins) back in his own hands. Whew, Saved, or so I thought, but the damage had been done.

By the time my wife had driven me home the aneseptic had started to wear off, but new and stronger pain pills put me to sleep. And when I woke, well, it's been 30 plus years, and with a little effort, I can still feel the pain. When lizard said it felt like his balls were in a vice, well, that was close. The funny thing was (well, not too funny), the side of my scrotum, ie., the left ball, was just fine, no real excruciating pain, just normal discomfort. But the right nut, where old doctor Newbie had done his very first "snip and tie" at my expense, felt like, not only was it in a vice, but someone had tied a rope to the vice handle and thrown it over Niagara Falls in a barrel!

So there, now that I've calmed down, the good news was and is, the procedure worked: I've had a bit of unprotected sex since then and the old sperm count is still zilch. The bad new is, I still have nightmares about strangers with gloves on, up in my scrotum somewhere, just yanking and pulling, and yanking and pulling, and yanking and pulling, andyanking and pulling, and yanking and pulling>

I had a vasectomy today, and it was much less unpleasant than the horror stories above.

It started with disrobing to the waist. Not a lot of surprise there. Then I lay down on a reclining table a bit like a chaise lounge. After applying an iodine swab, the nurse brought a lamp over. This had three purposes: warming up the skin to prevent shrinkage, providing light for the doctor, and festive mood lighting. I barely felt the wire-thin needle that put anaesthetic in, and occasionally managed to notice more needles that covered more surface area. It's done with local anaesthesia because as a rule, general anaesthesia is more dangerous (losing consciousness is never good for your health) and used when necessary.

I didn't feel a whole lot, although I did occasionally feel exactly as if someone were gently tugging on the little stringy bits inside. Which he was, of course. No crochet hooks involved (all of the cutting and cautery is done on the outside) -- I'm not sure how exactly he got the vasa deferentia (Latin plurals help us play!) out one at a time, but he did.

On a few brief occasions, I felt some mild pain, as if someone had put a little too much pressure on a testicle. But the doctor was very solicitous and made sure the pain faded quickly before continuing his work. This happened maybe twice and lasted no more than 5-10 seconds each time, and was easy to deal with.

The urologist explained that the funny smell I would notice was me: he had already gotten one vas out and removed about an inch of it, and was cauterizing the ends (a sort of contraceptive aglet, I suppose). It smelled a little odd, but nothing one wouldn't smell in a carnivore's kitchen. It is burnt meat, after all.

After a while, I was done: I had a bit of antibiotic ointment on a gauze pad, which I held in place with the tight briefs I'd been advised to bring. I filled the prescription for Vicodin with tregoweth driving, and by the time I was done with that, I felt level-headed enough to drive home. And if I hadn't gone to see a movie that caused lots of belly laughs, I probably wouldn't have needed the one Vicodin that I've taken so far.

The rest of it is just basic wound care. No-scalpel vasectomy creates a much smaller hole (the doctor uses sharp snips to create a hole just a few millimeters across, instead of two long cuts that require stitches), so it should seal itself within 24 hours or so. I expect to feel minor discomfort for a few days, but generally I feel quite good for a guy who's recently had bits taken out of his scrotum.

Perhaps the best part: my health insurance covers this as part of ordinary medical care (preferring to cover one minor outpatient surgery rather than pregnancy care, I suppose), so all I paid was $50. That's a few months' worth of pills there, folks. The discomfort is quite tolerable, and for those of us with steady faithful partners, it's an easy tradeoff for not having to wear a condom ever again (once the sperm analysis comes back all-clear twice).

Here's a warning to all you young noders out there, especially young male noders. Beware of promises made for the future.

When it comes time to fulfill them -- and that time will come -- do not shirk it. Follow through with aplomb and nonchalance even if your duty causes you pain, discomfort and ridicule.

When Vix and I were young newlyweds planning our future, among the items discussed were children. We figured two -- one to replace each of us. Responsibility without being weenies.

"And once we're done," I said gallantly, "I'll get fixed."

Vix aimed her turret guns of skepticism straight at me. I shouldn't have expected any swooniness at my gesture. "Hell," she said. "It's the least you could do."

Years went by. Children were born. We had an ongoing debate about having a third until age squeezed it out of the picture. Plus, I reminded her, a deal's a deal.

Of course, this agreement did not preclude sex. That we like.

Then we had a reality check.

"I'm late," she said.

"How late?"

"Way late."

My higher logical self kicked in at this point. "You're forty. You can't be late. Besides, I set my watch by your periods and" -- pointing to my watch -- "I'm exactly on time!!"

"Don't be an ass," she said. "I'm late."

I felt like someone had hit me in the gut with a shovel.

"I'll see how it goes this week," she said.

See how it goes this week?!? What -- do you women have dials and meters you check in the middle of the night or something?

I slept lightly, if at all, for the next week. Nine days went by. Not a hint of a whisper of a visit from Auntie Flo.

The Sunday before my birthday she called me in to our bedroom, which usually is a bad sign if it's the middle of the afternoon and everyone is home.

"Look," she said.

She held out a completed pregnancy test. I looked at it with all the understanding I would give a Celtic rune.

"What's it say?" Full moon-meters-and-dials time again.

"Read it."

I blinked and looked again. The rune morphed in to a comprehensible shape. Not pregnant. That girl has a great poker face.

We hugged and kissed. Before we left the room she said, "You better get that operation. Remember? A deal's a deal."

Oh. Right. The next day, however, I was really happy to see tampon wrappers in the bathroom trash.

So a week later I was in the urologist's office, Vix snickering in a corner chair, as the good doctor felt around my balls. We signed the permission papers, made the appointment, and I was told where to shave. Yes -- the vasectomy was on the way.

Until about a week before the surgery I was in pretty good shape. Then, doctor's orders, I had to stop taking the anti-inflamatories I had been taking for my foot. Rusty screwdrivers of grouchiness limped alongside me.

Late Thursday night, I remembered I had to, ahem, uh... shave. Armed with a soothing gel shave creme, extremely forgiving yet precise scissors, quintuply-arrayed titanium razors secured in a Kevlar housing and avalyn's godsend writeup -- as well as encouraging messages from him (thanks heaps, dude) -- I stepped in to the shower.

Vix was in bed reading a book, and I chatted with her off and on from the echo chamber of the shower. She must have been engrossed in the book because after a long break in the conversation she asked, "Just what are you doing in there?"

"You know about tomorrow?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'm.... shaving."

"Eeeeewwwwwwww."

So much for that surprise clean and shiny look for our anniversary.

After admiring my handiwork and making sure I was thoroughly rinsed, I slid in to bed and snuggled up to my honey. "Keep Baldy away from me until he's shooting blanks." I rolled over and hummed Taps for my vas deferens.

The next morning I wasn't too nervous and went to work early. Hint: If you work a normal Monday-through-Friday job late Friday afternoons are the best time for a vasectomy. Trust me.

About lunchtime, however, the fact that someone would be punching holes in my nutsack began to make me a little lightheaded. Luckily, I brought a friend along -- the doc had given me a nice fat Valium to, in his words, "relieve any anxiety." About an hour before the visit, I popped that baby and left the office.

Maybe it was wishful thinking or the fact that I downed it on an empty stomach, but 20 minutes later I felt relaxed and giggly as I drove to my house to pick up Vix. Because it was her cherished day off, I think this struck her more of an imposition than anything. "Is there anything special you need to bring to this thing?" she said.

I wedged my fat ass in to a tight pair of jockeys, which I also found somewhat amusing. I snapped the elastic. "Nope. Got everything."

Vix was already in the passenger seat and fiddling with the radio when I left the house. I thought, She looks so comfortable and happy sitting there. I'll let her be. I'll drive. It'll be fun.

She chatted the whole way with me grinning and nodding and speaking when I had a clear shot. Otherwise, with just two blocks until the doctor's office, the drive was uneventful.

"Hey," she said. "Weren't you supposed to take that Valium?"

"I already took it."

"You WHAT?!"

"About, oh ... forty-five minutes ago."

"And you're DRIVING?! Pull over."

"We're almost there. I'm fine."

Unfortunately, I picked that moment to nearly T-bone a car as I made a nifty right turn in to what I thought was the surgery center parking lot. I would be lying if I said there wasn't any Screaming and Loud Swearing. Since I have had ample experience in both U- and three-point turns under many different scenarios, I nimbly recovered and we arrived unharmed at the patient drop-off.

"Get out," she said. "I'll park the car."

I signed in, and we waited briefly before they called me in. "Mr. Lovejoy?"

Here goes.

"I don't have to go back there with him, do I?" my sweetie-pie said with fume of disgust.

"Not if you don't want to," the nurse said.

"Thanks -- I'll just stay here."

Once in the surgical room, the nurse took my blood pressure. "How is it?" I asked.

"Hmm. A little high."

No shit.

The nurse had me remove strip from the waist down. More for comfort than for modesty, I kept my socks on. He asked me to sit on the table, but I balked when I saw this shiny slab of steel with wires leading from it on top of the crisp white paper. It looked like a cleaver.

"You gonna move that?"

"No, sir. You have to sit on it."

"Why?"

"It's for the cauterizing tool."

My brain did a gasping flop. "So my ass is the ground for the whole operation?"

"Uh, sorta ... yeah."

Man, was that thing cold.

I was prepped and covered with paper towels and a sheet, the equipment helplessly perched on top of it all like a bunch of grapes on a dry cheesecake. From the corner of my eye I saw him fill a syringe the size of a .12-gauge shotgun. He walked around to my right side. "This might hurt a bit," he said.

Yow! He got a prize for understatement of the year. The pain was like a searing icepick through the top of my head, and I'm talking about the one on my shoulders.

The doctor came in next, and after a few pleasantries, he went right to work. He let me know whenever anything was going to pinch or stick or burn. I only became really concerned when I heard the sharp sparking sound of welding. That, I learned with a breeze of relief, was the southbound lanes getting closed off for good.

Actually, whatever the nurse shot in to me did the trick. Aside from some tugging (which I tried not to think about) and a stick or two, I felt nothing.

"OK," he said. "All done."

That's it?

He and the nurse helped me sit up. I was a little woozy but put on my bottoms without any comedy. The doctor reiterated the post-op instructions I had already memorized:

  • Bed rest for at least 24 hours, if not the entire weekend.
  • Tylenol only for pain.
  • Ice packs for swelling, 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
  • Little or no activity for the next week, sexual or any other.

We shook hands, and he left. The nurse followed him and quickly returned with a bag of ice for the trip home. At that point I had no choice but to check the damage. It looked rather forlorn and bewildered, momentarily protected by pillows of gauze.

"Now remember," the nurse said, "You still have to use birth control, you won't be sterile for a while."

Right. If Vix was naked in the parking lot, slathered in olive oil and peaking on some primal rutting high, I don't think I could have cooked up any interest. Well, looked twice maybe and asked for a rain check, but nothing more. Honest.

As it was, I gingerly placed the ice pack on the poor guys, zipped up my jeans and headed groggily for the exit. On the way to the car, I lifted my shirt so Vix could see the bulge. "Pretty impressive, huh?"

She rolled her eyes. "Get in the car, you freak."

I spent the weekend in bed, time measured by Ice Pack On/Ice Pack Off and the allowable intervals for Tylenol. For the rest of Friday and all of Saturday, sleep came often and hard, and it stayed for a long time. Most of the reading I had stacked up was completed. Surrounded by books, magazines and notepads, pens and pencils (my kingdom for a laptop!!), I sketched out a web site. Sunday I finally got out of bed just to make sure my family remembered me.

Late Sunday I began to offend even myself so I took a shower. The phrase "Don't look down", I realized, can be used in situations other than ones dealing with heights. Oh, me. The bruising had set in with a vengence, and it looked like I was sporting a gourmet baby eggplant.

The following week I did nothing more strenuous than make a pot of coffee. I kept on the Tylenol and used ice until Wednesday. Friday I drove back to the doctor's office for my follow up appointment.

The doctor asked me how I felt and poked around Manland. He advised me to take it easy for another week, but otherwise I had a clean bill of health. If there were any questions or concerns, he said to feel free to give him a call, and I told him I would.

A different nurse then brought me two specimen jars in to which I had squirt semen. He had to stifle a girlish giggle each time he said any form of the word masturbate or ejaculate.

"Now the samples must be from masurbatory ejaculations," he said.

"No problem," I said. "I'll fill it to the brim."

"And we need two samples a month apart. If the last one is clear, you no longer need to use birth control."

"Clear as in no swimmers?"

"Yes. That should take about twenty ejaculations."

"No sweat." Hell, I knew that already. I only had 18 left.

"Well, how'd everything go?" Vix said when I called her later on from work.

"Pretty good," I said. "It's all cool." Aplomb. Nonchalance. "You'll never be late again."

Vas*ec"to*my (vas*ek"tO*m&ybreve;), n. [Vas + -ecmoty.] (Surg.)

Resection or excision of the vas deferens.

 

© Webster 1913

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