39 M in Denver here celebrating my 7 week anniversary of my vasectomy. I’m on this site because guess what? Tons of pain! Before surgery I was doing 3 to 5 rigorous plyometric and weight training workouts per week. Today, for my first workout in 7 weeks, I walked the track w/ the blue-hairs for 30 minutes and did some light stretching. I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom because I think in large part, thanks to this site and everyone posting, I’m feeling those very important micro-improvements every day. If it helps anyone, here’s my story so far:
For the first 6 weeks, Left testicle generally had (woo-hoo, had!) a constant burning pain that grew and got worse throughout the day. I told my wife it feels like a hot poker is stuck in my left testicle, as the day goes on, that burning will radiate to my entire groin area and under my bag. Second is the lightning-bolt pain in ol’ lefty, similar to getting kicked there. 1 lighting bolt in righty for ever 10 in lefty. That usually happens with light exertion like going up steps or looking over my shoulder.
Next is the abdominal pain. It’s just really uncomfortable. It’s like a deep dull ache, sometimes burning, sometimes deep cramping. It feels like over-tight hot ropes or cords from my groin up to just under my ribs (spermatic cord/cremaster muscle related I’m sure).
At 3 weeks I was in big-time pain still. Went to the urologist, they pushed around, said everything seemed fine, and I should call in a week if I still hurt. Week 4, like everyone else here, they put me on Cipro; even through I didn’t have any other symptoms, they said maybe it was a light infection or epididymitis. Completed that with zero change in symptoms.
Week 5, called back, I got an ultrasound of my scrotum and lower abdomen and urologist felt around again, said everything seemed 100% and perhaps a nerve got damaged during the procedure. Next step is (like everyone else) 500mg of naproxen (aka Aleve anti-inflammatory) 2x per day (I was on full over the counter Tylenol and Advil doses everyday to this point). If that doesn’t work then he said we’ll try nerve drugs (like others here) and if it’s still bad in 6 months, we can try a nerve block (also mentioned in this forum).
At week one of naproxen (5 weeks since the procedure and pain started) and it was really neither here nor there, of course I feel better when I’m hopped up on a double dose of pain killers, but each morning and evening when I was reaching the 12 hour mark, I could tell it was wearing off.
ALL THE STUFF I’M TRYING TO STOP THE PAIN - IN ORDER OF PERCEIVED EFFECTIVENESS:
At week 5, at the start of naproxen, I started everything else. My theory, stop the pain, then back things off one by one and figure things out. #1 goal, stop the pain.
Items 1 and 2 so far have made the most noticeable, positive reduction in pain for me:
#1, UFM underwear, just google it. I was wearing tight, supportive underwear with tons of pain. I found some relief if I wore a jock-strap with the cup! Balls felt better, but sitting in meetings all day had that cup pushing on my already uncomfortable abdomen. UFM has a drawstring pouch or pocket that lifts and supports your scrotum. I started these at 6 weeks, and three days in wearing them, it virtually eliminated the burning pain and greatly reduced the lightning-bolt zings. After 6 weeks of pain, I felt such a sense of relief, like there’s a chance to heal and at 7 weeks I’ve gone from 5 to 7 scrotum/testicle pain to 1-3. I don’t know anyone at UFM and am definitely not being compensated in any way, I just found them, and am thankful they exist.
#2, Zyrtec (or benadryl). In all these weeks of pain, there were a couple odd-ball better days, and I did later figure out I took Zyrtec on those days for seasonal allergies. Others here have posted about benadryl and increased histamine caused by your body attacking leaking sperm. Week 5 I started Zyrtec daily, and I’m feeling much better. I missed one day on accident, burning sensation returned, so Zyrtec is second on my list.
#3, 2 weeks of heavy anti-inflammatory drugs. I haven’t taken pain meds in 36 hours and I’m in the 1 to 3 pain range. Abdominal pain has been much better the last few days. Maybe this did what it was supposed to, maybe it helped with everything in combination. Minus items 1 & 2, Advil/aleve wasn’t doing doing much.
#4, ultrasound therapy. Oddly, my best 36 hours in the first 5 weeks was right after the ultrasound of my scrotum. There are interesting studies online about ultrasound therapy for regrowing damaged nerves in rats, and it’s used often for all sorts of ailments in physical therapy (with little provable research, but it’s popular). After 3 nights of microwaving my balls and cut vas with a $50 ultrasound kit from Amazon, I’m feeling the best I have.
#5, everything else. 1/2 teaspoon papaya seed 2x per day. 1600mg Omega-3s daily, 400mg magnesium, and I try for at least 7 hours per sleep per night.
Is it one thing or all things above that have made a huge difference in weeks 5 to 7? Got me, but I’m way better today than week 5. I’m still a long ways off from back to normal, even an over-confident fast walk down the hallway today will produce a ball-kick zing and deep abdominal cramp, but I think I’m moving in the right direction.
I hope this helps someone as all these posts have helped me. I’ll update in another week or two. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.