I figured I’d start out by sharing my story. I’m 47 years old and have been married for 9 years. My wife and I are both working professionals and never wanted children. For years, birth control was handled by my wife taking the pill, however health complications led to her wanting off. We had talked about a vasectomy several years back and I even booked with a urologist, but we both chickened out as it seemed really final. This time, I wanted to shoulder the responsibility of birth control and help my wife get on top of her health. The biggest risk that I was aware of was that the procedure might fail.
I went to a private practitioner who performed no-needle/ no scalpel vasectomies because that was who my GP referred me to. The doctor was very personable but thorough in describing the procedure and its related risks. From what I could tell from the literature provided, the biggest risks occurred soon after surgery - post vasectomy pain syndrome was given a 1 in 1000 chance - something that I now know to be very false.
The procedure was very relaxed and my wife accompanied me. As per the adds the procedure was relatively painless - which one exception. At one point, the doctor must have yanked a nerve, which I felt all the way up my center right into my gut. Aside from that, it was relatively easy.
I had complications right away. I could not handle the doses of anti-inflammatories that was required and had to go it with just hot baths and icing. Then, a week into recovery, my right outside thigh went numb. It then started cycling between numbness, a burning sensation, and iching. My GP figured that the jockstrap was too small and had pinched of a nerve at my hip (it’s a thing - it’s often called “Skinny Jean Syndrome”) so I had to get through without the support. By the way, the thigh problem has never gone away - it just settled down to numbness. I figured that nerves take a long time to heal and I’d have to be patient. In the meantime, my scrotum healed up without a hitch, but the “kicked in the balls” feeling remained…and remained - it just got a little less intense. I tried out the equipment a few weeks in and all seemed to be working…
I was still taking hot baths and icing to try to address the ache when the rash appeared. It appeared very much to be jock itch but scared the crap out of me because I never had something like this before and it seemed too coincidental with the surgery. This began 4 months of fungus treatments which steadily became less and less effective - throughout all of it my ache WAS getting duller, but it was now replaced by an unbearable rash that made it almost impossible to walk. It was eventually diagnosed as inverse psoriasis and I was sent to a skin specialist. In the meantime, I was unable to have sex because it seemed to aggravate the situation. I finally convinced my GP to get me a scrotal ultrasound and I made an appointment with my surgeon to discuss a reversal - everything seemed to have happened because of the procedure and I did not want to go on. It was during all this that I learned the reality of post vasectomy pain and how much more common it is than admitted to by doctors.
My wife accompanied me to the appointment and we intended to put the pressure on. However, I lost a little ammunition as my ultrasound showed nothing and an examination supported it. My surgeon would not admit that it was PVP BUT he did bring up the possibility of nerve damage ( I remembered the procedure at this time and the problem with my leg) and I accepted this possibility. He wanted me on Lyrica and referred me to a pain clinic. I agreed but wanted to get a second opinion from a urologist. He agreed to this. I started on Lyrica but started having side effects. That and the mixed reviews of Lyrica scared me off and I stopped. Throughout all of this I had resorted to treating my rash with Zincofax which allowed me to remain mobile.
And then good things suddenly happened. My pain stared dropping to a distant ache and the skin specialist was able to address the rash and it started to heal. After 6 months, I was in the clear! Or so I thought…