Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

I've Been There and Now I'm Here..... My Reversal Story

Guys, I first want to say I’m praying for everyone is this forum and truly hope everyone here finds some relief from their pain… I’m going to share my story because reading everyone else’s story has helped me a great deal. I’ve read stories from the sidelines on this forum for months and now feel obligated to share my struggle in hopes it will help anyone out there that’s going through this terrible, unknown, misunderstood, debilitating, depressing diagnosis of PVPS.

I am 36 years old. I have two children. I lived a very active lifestyle. I worked out every morning at 5am at our local YMCA. My wife is a Nurse Practitioner. I play golf on the weekends (my usual partner is a Radiologist-I’ll get to this later). We have a pool that we swim in every day during the summer. I enjoyed yardwork and always had a project going on around the house. I’m in sales and own a small business. Your typically all American dad over here right?

December 2019 I had a vasectomy. Was very confident with my local urologist. He graduated from Duke medical school and he had performed the procedure for most of my friends (including my golf partner the Radiologist). I felt the procedure went well and most of everything I experienced was normal. Two weeks after vasectomy I ejaculated for the first time and everything “seemed” normal. Within 24 hours (*Christmas Eve) I was in so much pain I could barely sit in the church pew at service. I knew at that point something was very wrong.

Jan- March: These next three months were some of the worst months of my life. Multiple doctors, multiple types of tests, ultrasounds, MRI’s. Diagnosis of epididymitis. Tons of secretly searching for new doctors. Finally one doctor told me I was in the 1% that develop PVPS. (which we all on here probably believe that % is low, but I’m not going there). I do want to pause here for just a second and say during this time the game of mental attrition had almost taken its toll. Some days the pain was terrible and some days I hardly had pain at all. Nothing made sense and there seemed to be no linear explanation of my pain. I was regretting my decision. I blamed my wife for making me have this procedure. I wasn’t there for my kids he way I had been in the past. I was angry, depressed, and full of shame. So, if that’s you right now, I would like to tell you that those emotions are completely normal. Please don’t feel like you’re the only one.

March is when my doctor referred me to Dr. P which at that time was the PUR clinic in Orlando.

April- August: My pain had leveled out to about a 1 everyday. It didn’t hurt to ejaculate. I didn’t have trouble with erections but my sex drive was diminished. Most of my pain was from the epididymis, and most of that was from the left side. Just a dull aching pain all the time that would get worse 12-24 hours after ejaculation. During this time I played golf but was unable to lift weights or exercise. Typically enough beers would do the trick for the pain until the next day.

August- November: I had the same level of pain. On again off again. Literally going insane trying to figure this out. During this time I was in communication with Dr. P and he was in the process of opening his new clinic in Orlando Avant Concierge Urology, which I would highly recommend. He recommended a reversal and from what I had read on here with my symptoms, I agreed. If you’re thinking of reversal I would highly recommend him. Because the cost was much less at his new clinic ($3,800 compared to $7,600 at the hospice) I chose to wait util his private practice was open.

December 4th 2020: I had my reversal surgery (Vas to Vas). I am 8 days past surgery and I can say so far that I don’t regret it. Pain has been minimal and at this point I’m not sure if the pain I do have is from the reversal or PVPS. Swelling has been insane but that I was told by Dr P that is expected. I can say that immediately after my vasectomy it was painful to stop urinating and I can already notice the the reversal has resolved that pain. I feel positive and optimistic for the first time in a year. I will try to update every 30 days during this period of post reversal surgery.

Guys, I can’t say enough about how debilitating PVPS is for men. My radiologists friend looked at me one time and told me, “it was all in my head.” This was a physician whom I was good friends with. My wife who was a Nurse Practitioner didn’t believe the pain was “that bad” for months. I just wanted to say if you’re experiencing this please stay the course and try to find answers/solutions. I’m happy to answer any questions and be here for anyone. This process is a lonely place and I’m thankful for this forum.

Last note, I can only speak from my experience but Dr. P at Avant Concierge Urology was nothing but great. Through this process I found many doctors that didn’t want/care/unable to help me, but Dr. P is a great guy. He answered all my questions in a campassionate and caring manner.

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Hey, sorry you had to experience this and glad you’re on the road to recovery. It is a lonely path because everyone lauds this procedure so much. I believe that the root cause is that a few of us cannot handle the stretching of tissue in the epididymis as it becomes pressurized. It took me a few years to adjust to where I am 95% pain free but for a while I almost wanted to die.

Thanks for coming on here and posting your story. I appreciate, and I bet others here do as well, the candor in your quote above regarding your wife’s and the radiologist friend’s comments.

Please don’t take this as an attack, but medical practitioners like them are the #1 problem related to vasectomy. Again, please know I say that as respectfully as possible. Most men here received similar comments from doctors and nurses, just not those as close to us. You have an advantage in that you can share this forum with them.

Several studies show that the incidence of PVPS is more like 6-15%, not 1% or 0.1% like I was told. I recently got the world-famed Cleveland Clinic to correct the lies on its website that said “one in a million.”

I don’t think there’s a more dangerous elective procedure available to men that medical practitioners, those who take an oath to do no harm, are VASTLY understating the risks on. Hopefully your wife and radiologist friend will become educated and informed and begin counseling men from a position of knowledge.

Most of my physician friends have known me long enough to respect the changes I’ve gone through. However, my best friends dad is an older ER physician and he’s in complete denial. No matter the test or diagnosis he’s still convinced it’s in my head and is happy to tell my friend (his son) this all the time. I’ve sarcastically said they should both get vasectomies and see what happens. Of course I wouldn’t wish my state on my worst enemy but there’s nothing more frustrating than the disbelief, especially from those closest to you.

I think that’s why Dr. P is such a welcomed and beloved uro within this community. He has an understanding and compassion that most of us aren’t used to seeing as we navigate through the medical system.

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That’s the problem with pain. There isn’t a surefire way to measure it so you have to take the word of the patient. Combine that with the almost sacred reverence much of the medical community has for this 20-minute wonder procedure and yeah, it can be a lonely battle.

This is one reason I continue to collect, publish and index post vasectomy stories at /r/postvasectomypain. I want people to have a place where they can go and have an experience that has the power to change their mind and make them believe that what we are talking about is real and not in our heads.

I did a phone interview with Michael Stahl back in May, and he went on to write this article based on his conversation with me and several other men:

Just before we hung up the phone Michael asked me whether I thought perhaps my problems – especially the problems with lost libido and ejaculating not feeling good – were perhaps emotional in origin and caused by my obsessive focus on the issue.

I can completely understand why he would say that, given where he is observing from and the evidence he has before him. If you hear a rustle in the bushes you assume it’s a bird, or a squirrel, or maybe a deer, depending on where you live. It is very unlikely to be a tiger that escaped from the zoo. But sometimes it really is a tiger that escaped from the zoo!

I told him this is why I’m doing the subreddit. He can go and read several hundred examples of men who are reporting the same thing as me. Men who are not collecting and indexing stories. Many of these men did not know about PVPS until AFTER they experienced symptoms and are turning up on websites asking what the hell is going on. So what about them? You can explain me away, but you can’t explain them away so easily.

So yes, it is hard to believe this stuff, and the strong temptation is to look for quirks about the man himself for the cause and explanation. It’s hard to think that vasectomy is to blame when the authorities and experts unequivocally say it’s safe. But I want people to go to the subreddit and see that, for example out of hundreds, Edward King got a vasectomy in 1987, was in pain for 13 years, died of a morphine overdose, and it was printed in The Abbotsford News in 2002. There are already enough stories for people to go read a new story every day for two solid years, and there is a new one every day.

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@Ethan_Scruples

The stories certainly are plentiful. Kevin Hauber’s site kicked a lot of it off. Of course Alan Frazier’s case shined some light but even that didn’t garner national attention. Of course the medical community, particularly urology, is to blame for most of the lack of awareness but male sexuality is almost as guilty. On the cover, worry free sex sounds amazing! There’s millions of guys looking forward to the day they can ditch the latex and fulfill their dreams without the thought of pregnancy. We just don’t realize the odds when we sign up unfortunately.

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Thanks for sharing @TrapDraw your story sounds similar to mine. Wishing you the best in your recovery. I find a few things you say interesting from a correlation standpoint…one being you said it used to hurt when you stopped peeing before now it doesn’t. I feel the exact same way and keep wondering if it’s a pelvic floor (muscle tightness) issue that refers pain in that region or why that would have any relation to my right testicle… Number 2: I too have lost most if not all my drive for sex. I too can get / maintain an erection but I went from 100 to zero in one week on the libido scale…even when I’ve been pain free and have been in great moods I still struggle with it and I keep being told it’s all in my head but I know my body and I used to feel it in my bones, in my blood - you don’t forget that feeling; Keep me posted on that front as I am contemplating vas reversal. The only thing holding me back is I had a vas-re-do last Dec. which cleaned up scar tissue and removed the clip - which helped with the nerve pain I had but now I feel a throbbing pain more on testicle / Epi. And so dr doesn’t know if I have enough vas on upper end to reconnect. It would suck for him to open me up only for him to tell me not enough to reconnect. Anyone had issues or heard stories of not having enough vas to work with to reconnect? To him removing epi is off table.

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In guess that’s why we have this support group. Can’t expect compassion from those who have not experienced it themselves. My wife has endometriosis and it’s the same thing. She looks beautiful on the outside but suffering inside and it’s not seen on any imaging, just have to get exploratory surgery. My story is just like yours, but when my wife finally opened her eyes and repented of her disbelief and lack of compassion we have come together stronger. God is good, he works out ALL things together for GOOD for those that love him.

Also I promote Dr. Marks out of Tucson, AZ. Phenomenal reversal surgeon and person in general.

In Christ,
Ben

That’s what I remember…the lonliness. My wife was pissed at me, the urologist didn’t want to help, and I was in a lot of pain. Thank God the pain finally went away after three months. I can’t imagine that going on for years.

Yea if a Dr. friend of mine said it was all in my head, I would punch him in the mouth and tell him the pain is all in his head.

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In that case it’s the truth :blush:

How are you now? I’m currently looking at reversal… :frowning: