Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Is there a decrease in pain over time?

Hi Everyone,

Mostly for my own hope, I would like to graph out the average pain levels of all respondents to this post against the number of months since the initiation of their PVPS (whether that be at vasectomy or after).

For example, I am 16 months post vasectomy and I would describe my average pain as a 3.

What I hope to see is that those closer to their onset of pain tend to report higher scores, and those further from the onset report lower scores. It will be interesting to see if the decrease in pain is linear or not, and whether it approaches zero or levels off.

The more data on this topic the better the answer will be, so please all drop your months since onset of pain and current average pain out of ten. To keep things simple I will be disregarding all other factors (subsequent surgeries or interventions, medication etc.)


26 years sat on average 6 or 7 it had no problem dropping me to my knees I hope that’s helpful

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I measured my pain daily, average was a 4 like yourself, some days higher, some slightly lower, never less than a 2, some times eye watering 8/9, I found it so debilitating and life altering (mentalLY) that I found an amazing surgeon in the UK for a reversal. Incredibly glad I had the reversal, instant relief and now most days 0, with a few one or 2 days (all numbers are out of 10, with 10 being the worst) Best of luck on your journey.

Thanks Paul - I’m glad the reversal (mostly) sorted you out! How long did you go before getting the surgery?

For me, there has been a decrease in pain over time. I’m 26 months out. Often wake up at 0- and go up to a 3 by the afternoon. Topical lidocaine takes me to a 1-2.

At 12 months it was more like 3 in the AM and 7 in the PM. The surgical interventions (reversal, denervation) didn’t help and may have just reset the pain clock.

So, in hindsight, am recommending as much patience as can be tolerated during recovery. Another possibility is that my pain threshold has changed. I have since sustained injuries that I didn’t notice that would have got my attention before.

Hi Roy - thanks for that, it’s really encouraging. I worry that most people on this site are those who are early on in what is clearly a long journey and that they visit less over time as their situation improves.

I think I’ve gone from a 2 to 4 earlier on to a 1 to 3 now. I agree that the reversal probably didn’t help (worst of both, pain AND still fertile!) It seems like this might be something that is with us forever, but if most of my days are like my best days now it seems liveable.

I haven’t heard of anyone applying topical pain treatments, will have to look into that. Are you on any meds? If not, when did you wean off? I am on Lyrica and Duloxetine.

My pain was all over the board after my initial vasectomy on 1 November 2019, ranging from a 3 to a 10 for six to eight weeks. I was devastated by level 10 pain about ten to twelve times in the first two months that lasted an hour to an hour and a half per spasm of pain. To put things in perspective, level 10 pain to me means I am a 42 year old grown man not just crying, but wailing and balling uncontrollably as I call my wife as she does her shopping around town or call my grown mom 3,000 miles away in desperation, or as I desperately group text the maximum number of 20 people my iPhone will allow at one time to plead for prayers and fasting in my behalf as I am in utter crisis.

Level 2 or below is pain I can survive at mentally and physically for quite some time, perhaps even forever.

Mid-level pains of 3 to 5 with stabbing pains of 6 to 7 are tolerable for a day here or there, but wear me down mentally after about five days and result in a mental and emotional breakdown similar to that brought on by instantaneous level 8 to 10 pain.

Two variables appeared to drop my pain experience to a 1 or below up to a 5, maybe a 7 at the most: Gabapentin and abstinence from sex. I was riveted by pain while engaging in sexual relations with my spouse 20 times in six weeks prior to producing a clean sample and deeming the vasectomy a “success.” Not until my 14 January 2020 appointment with the urology specialist who specializes in reversals do I learn that the prime candidate for a reversal is he who experiences pain in connection with sexual activity. I abstain from sex for 10 days to test a new theory and experience level .25 pain for just as many days. I experiment with my wife three times; 48 hours later I am brought into prolonged 4 to 6 pain that broke me after five days. I almost abstain again until my reversal on 27 February 2020 and pain levels drop once again to .25 or .5 consistently.

Doubling Gabapentin to 1200 milligrams thee times daily after a 5 February 2020 visit to the pain clinic brought on level .25 or .5 pain, even with one or two instances of sexual intercourse that were spontaneous and unplanned, if not even against all plans, and that I was willing to stupidly sacrifice would bring on pain, but shockingly didn’t. However, the Gabapentin spiked many unwanted mental side effects that were as intolerable mentally as the pain was physically and I am now tapering off that as we speak, taking only 300 milligrams three times a day and hope to be off by 20 March 2020.

As mentioned previously, I went through with the reversal surgery on 27 February 2020, 119 days after my original vasectomy. I am on day 16 of my reversal recovery having mixed results. Pain is below a one if I lay low, up to a 4 if I work full days sitting and standing and walking some with fractional seconds of pinching, stabbing, piercing pain like I am being stabbed with needles beneath the scrotum or the vas deferens feel like they might still be tied up in knot.

You asked for it. There you have it.

P.S. This forum is perhaps one of the few safe havens on planet earth where I can talk about such things and not be deemed a basket case.


Hi Chuvak - thanks for your detailed response, I feel terrible for the agonies you are going through, you seem to be unfortunate in having one of the worst cases that I have heard on this forum, which is as you say a godsend for us sufferers!

My pain appears to be unrelated to sexual activity, remaining pretty constant whether I do or don’t have sex, although I do experience some pain on orgasm, although I think that is mainly due to testicular tightening / spasm.

I haven’t heard of anyone taking such high Gabapentin doses, I am currently on 150mg twice daily, along with 60mg Duloxetine once daily. Have you tried Duloxetine? It has helped me a lot, taking about 2 to 3 off my pain.

Give yourself a lot of time after the reversal surgery - the incisions are so much bigger than the initial vasectomy, and mine took a good month and more to heal up completely, some of the pain you experience will doubtless be post surgery pain.

Hope you improve - all the best!

I have not tried Duloxetine. I am interested in an alternative to Gabapentin as I can no longer afford the severe side effects. I’ll talk to my doctor about it.

This trial has tested me physically and mentally, to put it very, very mildly. I’m not sure whether to take solace in you saying mine is one of the worst cases on this forum or if I should lose my mind even further in light of that new knowledge! Jokes of of course.

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The systemic medications all cut my pain down significantly but I could not tolerate the side effects. Gabapentin made me tired, lyrica -sweats and night terrors, duloxetine just sad. All fogged my brain.

Topicals offer less complete relief for me, but no significant side effects. I use a topical marijuana product (Wild Mint “Rescue”, legal in my area) and then topical lidocaine/prilocaine combination for afternoon pain or before exercise.

That, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and yes…tincture of time. It’s been a long two years but can feel things getting slowly better on a month by month basis. Sex happens, but there is still day after pain. Biking still a no go…but I feel fortunate that I can now go hiking or snowshoeing.

Hang in there!

There is an old Chris Farley comedy named “Almost Heroes” in which a grizzly bear enters camp and threatens the safety of the men who are sleeping under the stars in the comfort of their sleeping bags alone.

Two of the men try to hold perfectly still in an attempt to prevent attracting the attention of the bear. The one friend says to the other, while trying to hold perfectly still, that he has a terrible need to itch his nose. His friend warns him urgently not to move. But he replies to his friend, “I’m not sure which is worse, the itch or the bear!”

In desperation, he reaches his hand out of his sleeping bag and scratches away at his nose, relieving the itch. Instantly, the bear growls angrily and seizes upon the man. As the bear drags the man out of camp, sleeping bag and all, he yells back to his friend who had warned him not to itch, “The bear is worse! The bear is definitely worse!”

If the bear in this story is my chronic pain, then the itch is the unacceptable side effects of the Gabapentin, which as you so perfectly put it, fog the brain. I’m not sure which is worse, the Gabapentin or the pain. After a sleepless night of pain tonight, the pain is worse. The pain is definitely worse! Yet I still refuse to continue with the ”itching sensations” or side effects of Gabapentin.

I’ll try some of the other medications you guys are mentioning and try my luck with them.

The bear and the itch description works . One medication, it might have been amitriptyline had me waking up consistently in the wee hours with night terrors…and yet the pain was so bad during the day without it, that I just kept taking it. At some point though, I was so fatigued I ran my car off the road. That made me quit. It was just too dangerous.

After I worked myself into a corner, I definitely made improvements over time (years). I have a complicated story / situation, but whatever the case, time definitely helped. Everyone is different, thus it’s hard to say if time alone will help everyone.

If you search through this place, time helped many, but not everyone. In regard to the OP title, it seems there are many of the same or similar threads and/or individual posts in related and non related topics that have covered this topic many times in the past. Might be helpful to locate and read some of those too.

Good luck

@Regrets2 I’m 3 years out from my vasectomy and my pain has definitely diminished. I was in unlivable pain for about 6 months but things have slowly, very very very slowly, improved over time. At this point, the thought of ever actually going through any invasive means isn’t realistic. Sometimes, I do regret not having the reversal I scheduled, but considering my pain is mild and only occasionally distracting, I don’t think I made a wrong decision to wait things out. I do think my body has adapted and changed how I respond to pain, similar to what Roy posted above.

My pain increased over 5 years after my vasectomy. It did not decrease. By the time I reversed I couldn’t sit/work and woke in pain daily. It prevented sleep if I got a nocturnal erection for too long. Reversal brought dramatic reduction but caused a few issues. I got them under control last year. So I was at no pain after vas that stepped up 1 2 3 … then up to 8 by year 5 situationally. Dropped down to 1 after reversal then had a setback and went up to 5 then came down to 1-2 for 5 years and then at close to 11 years I finally turned the lingering nerve pain off.

I’m not endorsing reversal however. I think waiting is a good idea as most guys that’s all it takes. I also think a cleanup surgery might get you exactly the same result as a reversal if it’s done by a competent doctor.

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sorry for the slow reply.

I think I pushed for about 4 months, but I’m guessing at least 2 of those I spent actively researching a reversal surgeon, I find it insane how little thought I gave to the vac, like it was irrelevant, but the pain afterwards was so horrible, and debilitating I didn’t want to be so casual on the reversal.

do your research on the best surgeon, if you are in Europe my surgeon is in the UK and I can massively recommend him. life changing for me.

Dawson micro surgery.

best of luck on your journey all,

apologies to admin if I’m not supposed to give names.

I don’t know how to measure pain, I must be a wimp. This morning driving ten minutes instead of fight the nausea that I get from the testicles when sitting, I just pulled over to throw up. That was a mistake, it hurts way worse.

You’re not a wimp and you’re not alone. Most of us know what you’re going through because we live the hell ourselves. Sorry brother.


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