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Considering vasectomy


#1

Hey there!
We are considering vasectomy. I stumbled upon this post vasectomy pain syndrome, and got definitely taken aback… How often does this happen (what is the incidence)? Why is there such little talk about this? quick google search just talks about some minor side effects right after procedure (bleeding, bruising, infection, etc on website like WebMD).

I worry about the stats. From what I’ve found 4-18% men undergoing the procedure may have this. Can you guys give me a little more info on this?

Can you guys point me towards research papers?


#2

Why is there such little talk about this?

For various reasons, there are not that many situations where it makes sense to mention your chronic ball pain.


#3

sounds awful :frowning: when i reached out to my doctor, he just said “oh it’s a simple in-office procedure”. I specifically asked about SIDE EFFECTS. He just talked about the common bruising, infection, etc with NO mentioning of debilitating chronic pain.


#4

Throw away the default impression you’ve picked up from our culture and start with fresh eyes.

You’ve been told that your body will have no problem re-absorbing the sperm. Turns out, this is not entirely true. That little tiny bit of vas left over on the testicle side cannot absorb sperm fast enough, so things swell up. If you’ve ever had a hemorrhoid you know that swollen tubes don’t feel good. But this is worse, because as it turns out, your immune system thinks that the sperm leaking from your swollen pipes are germs. Now you’ve got warm, inflamed tissue and chronic pain.

In light of the above, it should be surprising that PVPS does not happen every time. Due to the magic of the body, however, it apparently only hits about one man in ten.

You can check out this recent thread for lots more relevant conversation:

http://www.postvasectomypain.org/t/what-is-the-cause-of-problems

#5

thank you Ethan! Looking forward to checking out that thread :slight_smile: I am glad I found this forum.


#6

Don’t do it @edavt04, use condom and live a happy life


#8

that’s what I am leaning towards… just using the condom… the risk seems to be too high, esp given the fact that we are not intimate very often (right now we have a 3.5 year old and a 1 year old to worry about).


#9

Just don’t do it, I wish I found this forum before making the biggest mistake of my life.


#10

1 in 10 chance of ruining all or part of you life is not worth the risk.


#11

its a tricky one. Having a child for me would in fact ruin an take every last bit of happyiness from me. living in pain would do the same thing


#12

Its strange how different people can be…my two little babys are the reason I keep going though this pain.


#13

Thanks for asking and for being open to the idea that vasectomy might not be the best idea for your husband.

There are many factors contributing to the lack of information. First, there are MANY doctors, mainly urologists, performing vasectomies but no centralized repository (aka “Big Data”) of results. One forum member found that the historically quoted 1-2% pain statistic is actually made up. Study 2 cited study 1, study 3 cited study 2, and study 1 cited study 3. Circular support for phony, ginned up numbers but, before you knew it, “fake news” in today’s vernacular became gospel.

Second, follow the money. The urologist who performed my reversal in 2006 at the Cleveland Clinic (#1 in urology in the US) became an outspoken opponent of vasectomy after being a US Navy surgeon and seeing the damage vasectomy did to many sailors. Think fighting men in pain. He told me directly that he was “treated like a skunk at a garden party” by other urologists and the AUA because he was speaking out against their profitable venture. Think about it, 5 vasectomies every Friday times $1,500 per, and that’s $7,500 in revenue for a single afternoon. Nice work if you can get it, and damn those who oppose it.

Third, you’ve got this feminist cultural moray that says women bear the children burden so men bear the sterilization burden. It’s so twisted. Women were created and built to bear children; it’s a natural part of womanhood. Men weren’t created or built to be sterilized. Quite the opposite. Our testicles produce sperm well into our 80s. Sterilized is an unnatural state.

Fourth, you’ve got the population control advocates, including the entire nation of China, espousing the benefits of vasectomy.

Add it all up, and you’ve got well-funded, powerful forces fighting, my guess, about 500,000 men with ball pain dispersed throughout the globe with no single voice and no actor to campaign against vasectomy (as, say, Mary Tyler Moore with diabetes or Michael J. Fox with Parkinson’s Disease). Kevin Hauber’s landmark book If It’s Not Broke Don’t Fix It should be required reading for every Urology student but my strong bet is that it’s decried as heresy. So should this book.

I developed my pain post-vas in 2005. This forum, let alone the Yahoo predecessor, didn’t exist. I found a couple guys with similar conditions on random websites and emailed each. There was virtually no one to commiserate with, and that’s only 13 years ago. The pro-vasectomy industry began in the 1970s so it had a head start.

So, believe it or not, this group is at the forefront of exposing vasectomy for what it is, a dangerous elective procedure that impacts X% of men. The bigger issue, whether 1% or 20%, is that the medical community in general and vasectomists in particular, have NO CLUE what to do when a vasectomy goes south.

Urologists who perform vasectomies that fail generally refuse to and can’t treat their own patients when PVPS develops. My own said “what do you want me to do, remove your testicles” and then asked me to leave and not return. Some guy he was.

That’s the despicable part of this. What other profession is allowed to shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, acceptable risks” and kick the victims to the curb. Imagine if 1-2% of airplanes crashed on landing…you can bet the airlines and airplane manufacturers would have to answer to someone.


#14

Perhaps irrationally, “devices” are held to a much higher quality standard than “procedures” are. A quick google search on the Essure birth control device that is being pulled from the U.S. market turns up a … surprise! … 5% chronic pelvic pain incidence, among various other long term problems.

http://birthcontrolproblems.com/long-term-side-effects-essure-procedure/

The idea that vasectomies would be banned in the U.S. due to the scientifically justifiable claim that it gives 5% of men chronic pain is unfortunately nowhere close to plausible for now. I have a sneaking suspicion that once a safe sterilization method becomes available for men, vasectomy will no longer be touted as a safe, simple procedure that can be done in 20 minutes. That’s another annoying bit of misdirection to something that is irrelevant. It doesn’t take 20 minutes (or even a doctor) to snap an elastrator band on your nuts – but I don’t see how that’s the relevant question to ask. If there were some other procedure that took 3 hours to perform, but didn’t give me chronic pain, I know what my choice would be.


#15

Thanks SO much for your reply. I talked to my husband and he said “F***” that. No f**ing vasectomy!".
If we were to change our minds, I’ll definitely read the book you recommended! Thanks SO much for your reply :slight_smile:


#16

My belief (shared by many in this group) is that ALL men undergo some changes post-vasectomy. Some dramatic including pain and other debilitating issues as a result of nerve damage. Most undergo unnoticeable changes in a race against the clock of life.

In the best case, you get a vasectomy at 40, the changes are small and unnoticeable, and you die at 85 or 90 of other natural causes. But, there WERE changes going on in your body such as compromised epididimides.

In other cases, even without pain, the changes never get related to the vasectomy that occurred, say, 20 years prior. For example, @Choohooo cited a case where sperm was found in a man’s carotid artery as a source of blockage. How the hell does that happen?

Kevin Hauber’s book cites many complications of vasectomy that, coincidentally, my father and father-in-law both had. My father had a vasectomy at 40-45 and went downhill healthwise starting around 55. He died at 75 after being basically immobile for his last 10 years. I cannot prove the vasectomy caused his ailments, but his mother lived 'ti 93 and his father 'til 85. Many of the complications my father had, such as abdominal aortic aneurysm, are cited as increased incidences in Kevin Hauber’s book.

After my vasectomy, in addition to pain onset 8 months post-vas in October 2005, my PSA shot up to 4.2 and my testosterone dropped to 285-325, equivalent to an 80 y/o man. I was 40. I had a reversal in June 2006. Today, at 53, my last 3 PSAs have been in the 0.2 - 0.7 normal range, and my Testosterone has steadily increased from 405 in 2008 to 654 in 2017 to 764 this year despite, now, being 53. My GP sees all the data, shakes his head, and mentions my case to any man who asks him about vasectomy. No, I’m not juicing, I’m RECOVERING from vasectomy still 13 years later.

About 27 months ago, I started this, my 3rd, bout of pain. SInce April 2016, I’ve had 2 spermatic cord blocks at the PUR Clinic in Orlando. I’ve also had a block of the ilioinguinal nerve, a block and pulsed RF of the genitofemoral nerve, and two blocks and one pulsed RF of the pudendal nerve at the Cleveland Clinic. Bet your and your husband have never even heard of those 3 nerves, but they all innervate the scrotum and can be damaged by vasectomy.

I’ve also spent over $3,000 on drugs my insurance won’t cover. None of this includes the cost of living in chronic pain for 2+ years. Thankfully, this last cord block with botox appears to be working a my pain is down 75-80% since late June. The last 2-3 weeks have been the best since this bout began, but the toll on me has been extraordinary.

Again, the probability of your husband or any single man suffering our consequences is small, but if you “draw that short straw”, you’re screwed. It’s not worth the risk.

BTW, we ended up with a post-reversal baby in 2007, the one we were trying to avoid, close to age 43. We cannot imagine our lives without her, our 4th daughter (hence my user name). I’ve learned not only that vasectomy isn’t worth the risk but it prevents joy a couple cannot conceptualize.


#17

I assumed that you were the one getting the vasectomy. Bravo for doing your homework even though you aren’t the one who would get the surgery.

Partners do suffer too if things go badly. You can check out users:

@hlfl12

and @Worriedwife1

To see how distressing it is when your partner gets chronic problems due to an elective surgery.

I’d also recommend my own breakdown of the marketing in an ordinary pamphlet like your urologist will give you where they attempt to delicately cover all of the risks without spooking the reader:

It’s frustrating that vasectomy, which seems in most other ways like the perfect option, carries this risk. Perhaps vasalgel will be a better option when it finally gets here. I’ve also heard of recent progress on a drug that makes the sperm unable to swim.

If I were you, I’d check out the copper IUD. Do your homework of course. It isn’t a totally risk free option either, but if you don’t like how it feels at least you aren’t stuck with it for the rest of your life.


#18

Hi. I know that this forum is mostly about pain. However look at the numbers. I’m in the uk so are system is different. I have noticed there is also lots of different techniques as well to consider. The person and the type of opp can make a huge difference. I had the type where they turn over the tube and tie. Then also Seal with heat. The doctor that did mine had over 20 years experience so was clear as to what to expect. I did get the normal post opp pain etc. I also got swollen vas and eppi but this has now settled down. It took around 4 months to feel normal. I’ve got many friends of mine that have had a vasectomy with few if indeed no problems. If you look at the benefits as well as the risks. Yes there are risks as indeed there are in all things. If you go ahead you need to find a dr with lots of years of experience. This will help reduce the risk. Also ask what method they us as the one that use a clip tend to have more problems than the tie method. Also expect a six month period before hubby feels back to himself.


#19

I was fine for over a year @Mr.ring, old, experienced doc performed my vas. No issues post vasectomy regarding recovery, no bruising, zero regrets to start with. Hell broke loose last year. You’re not out of the woods yet mate, it’s a ticking time bomb. Worst decision of my entire life, and I’ve done some dumb shit back in the day.

For what’s it worth, I’m going to have reversal this coming Monday, and I will be the happiest man alive when and if I’m fertile again.


#20

Ticking time bomb is spot on. Another guy just started a new thread about his proble.s starting 5 years post vas.


#21

Even if you don’t have pain, per se, you’ll probably notice that things don’t feel the same. You epididymides are normally organs of soft, squishy tissue behind each testicle containing around 20 feet of tubing and they will become firm bananas once they’re under pressure. They will be much more susceptible to damage this way so you may find yourself in the hospital next time you take a hit to the boys. As others have noted, urologists jealously guard their reputations and will tell you you’re crazy when you come back with problems. However, if you go to a pain specialist, they’ll tell you they see PVPS all the time. Someone is lying.

My pain has subsided a bit over the past year and a half since my vasectomy. Now I usually have more good days than bad ones, and of course I love being intimate with my wife without a 2nd thought, but not knowing if or when I’ll take a serious turn for the worse is enough to make me still want a reversal.