Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

My reversal is not helping (yet, 3 months)

Hi All,

New to this forum and wanted to share my experience and hopefully gain some perspective from those of you that are further down the road. At age 36 I had a vasectomy, as my wife and I were sure that we never wanted to have kids. Vasectomy was performed November 2018 under local anaesthetic. Pain during surgery was pretty minor, and for the first week lying on the couch icing my balls I felt like I had made a great choice. At that point I was only experiencing pain at the site of surgery which didn’t worry me, as that seemed normal. Swelling and bruising, which were initially pretty impressive were decreasing over the week.

The unexpected pain started at around day 7 after surgery - swelling had renewed and there was a congestion pain, with hard swollen feeling epididymis. I spoke to my surgeon and he started me on Celebrex 200mg (NSAID). The pain kept increasing and I started taking Lyrica (pregabalin) and after an afternoon spent crying on the floor, some Targinact too (Oxy).

By a month post surgery there was some improvement, but I was still taking Lyrica and Synaleve (paracetemol / codeine) and was still feeling pain. I returned to work a week after the surgery, but was walking like a cowboy, and couldn’t sit for too long due to the discomfort. Some days were better than others, but I couldn’t drive over a speedbump without holding onto my balls to stop them from bouncing. Any kind of bump was agony, like when a dog or a child knocked into my lap.

Two months post vasectomy I already felt like there was no chance that this pain was going to subside, and I started to make investigation into having a reversal. The surgeon that I had picked (I live in South Africa) was available in a months time, and I figured I would go ahead and book, thinking if things got better over the third month, I could always cancel (and lose my prepayment!)

By the end of the third month, just prior to the scheduled reversal, the situation was fairly steady, whereby I was in some pain every day, but not in pain all the time, and the pain was not too severe. I imagine this is where most people decide to stick it out, and perhaps regain normality 6 months or a year later.

I opted to go for the reversal, thinking it was my best shot at getting back to my normal life. At this point I had quit all exercise, could only walk a few kms before the pain got too much, and there was a definite decrease in pleasure with ejaculation, which was now accompanied by a sharp feeling deep inside me that was close to pain.

I had the reversal in February of 2019, two days shy of three months after the vasectomy. The surgery went well, and the Dr was able to perform a vasovasostomy on both sides. I woke up after surgery wearing a protective jock strap that I kept on 24 hours a day (removing only to shower) for six long weeks. No sex until week 4, after which I must say the first post surgery ejaculation felt amazing - the relief was back, and there was no pain, which I was really happy about.

The reversal surgery left much bigger scars than the vasectomy, and the decrease in swelling and bruising was slow. I was still in pain, and taking various medications. At six weeks after reversal I contacted my surgeon to tell him I was still in pain, taking Synaleve several times a day. The pain had changed somewhat from the pain after vasectomy, which was more of a focused, dragging pain, primarily on the left side, to a more general pain with a diffuse burning feeling in the groin area, spreading to the thighs.

I went on a month of steroids (prednisone and exinef) which did not solve the issues I was experiencing, I was still taking synaleve on and off, and while the surgery site had healed well, I still felt like I could feel hard, swollen epididymis. Also, the arrangement of my testicles had changed, with the one on the right now hanging much higher, due to some kind of adhesion of the testicle to the scrotum at the surgery site (this is apparently quite common).

I started swimming regularly, which seemed like a good exercise to do as there was no bouncing, but I was definitely not getting back into running, and I wonder if I will ever ride a bicycle again.

At three months post reversal I did a sperm analysis, which showed that the reversal had been successful, however, the pain seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, with a throbbing and burning sensation that was present basically 24/7 regardless of whether I was sitting, lying, swimming, whatever.

Currently I am 195 days post vasectomy and 106 days post reversal. In some ways the pain seems to be as bad as it has ever been, worse than the pain before the reversal, although it is hard to remember clearly the sensations that I was feeling then. I am currently on the 150mg Lyrica twice daily, as well as Synaleve, Panado, Celebrex on an ad hoc basis.

My urologist has recommended seeing a physio to help with pelvic issues, and a pain specialist, but otherwise there is not a lot to be done. The constant pain and resulting difficulty in concentrating was part of the reason that I recently quit my job, and so I am now at home, and dependent on my wife as the sole breadwinner (she has been a pillar of strength!)

Obviously I get depressed, thinking about what my life would have been like if I had never gone down this road, wondering if I would be feeling better now if I HADN’T had the reversal, contemplating life if this pain never recedes… When the pain gets too much I sit in the bath, but otherwise its mostly a case of grinning (or occasionally crying) and bearing it.

I was relieved to hear from some of you on this forum that the pain does eventually go away post reversal. I will keep updating this thread month by month to let you know how it goes.

In the meantime I have become an anti-vasectomy evangelist, and I think I have put my own urologist off having one :slight_smile:

Strength to all of you, and thanks for taking the time to read this - any comments / suggestions or encouragement are incredibly welcome!

2 Likes

Sorry to hear this! I’m going into month 5 post vasectomy pain and I was contemplating doing a reversal, but after your story, I’m not too sure anymore. I didn’t think it could get worse, but it obviously did for you. I hope things change for the better and please post updates.

1 Like

If you want to convince people not to have a vasectomy, you might consider sending them to www.reddit.com/r/postvasectomypain which is specifically designed to convince people that there is something worth paying attention to.

I vividly recall feeling somewhat desperate at my 90-day post-reversal check-up back in 2006. I was somewhat better than pre-reversal, but not by much. The next 3 months were when I got most of my healing. Hopefullyyou’ll get the same.

1 Like

Thanks @raising4girls I certainly hope so - the thought of this continuing indefinitely just seems too horrible to contemplate. I will post updates monthly to let you guys know how it is going.

Hi @Adriand208 thanks for the message. I do wonder where I would be now in my recovery if I had opted not to have a reversal. My surgeon was very confident that a prompt reversal was best, although he did say up to three years there would be similar success rates. I figured why wait any longer, but perhaps I should have been more patient.

Hopefully this route works out for me, and all the best for you with your decision. Will keep you posted, maybe in three months time I will be singing reversals praises :pray:

If you can hack it, I’d go another 3 months without doing anything other than trying to let the body heal itself. After that, I’d look into pain management injections, including botox.

I think a reversal is still in my future because the majority of people benefit from it. Is the scarring from the reversal obvious in the long run? It sounds funny, but I just want to know how ragged my boys are going to look in the long run.

Hey @Bry I hear you re: aesthetics! The incision sites for the reversal are much bigger than the initial vasectomy scar which was just one stitch.

I had about a two cm site on each side, five or six stitches. It looked pretty terrible straight after surgery, but now three months later you can’t really see the scars, the kind of disappear into the regular folds and wrinkles.

Main visual difference post reversal is that my right testicle now hangs higher as there seems to be an internal connection to the scrotum at the surgery site. Apparently this is fairly common, it doesn’t really bother me.

Good luck with the reversal hope it goes well!

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply.

It seems to me that your slow recovery could well be tied to the attachment at the incision. Who knows what has become entangled and how much weight is being supported from above rather than from the cradle of the scrotum itself. I wonder what could be done to keep this from happening.

Hi @Bry I don’t think that the attachment is having a big effect pain wise, most of the pain is localised away from that area. There has been a slight loosening over time, so its hanging a bit lower now. Four months post reversal now and still taking daily pain medication, but have had quite a good three weeks where it bothered me less - hopefully progress!

Hi @raising4girls I think you’re right - I’m four months post reversal now, still in similar pain, but there are longer periods where I am not bothered, especially when I am not sitting. Went on holiday to Scotland and quite happily climbed Ben Nevis with no trouble, but sitting in the plane for 12 hours was a killer!

1 Like

Sounds like progress. I’ve generally had a good outcome from reversal. Never even thought about my pain from late 2006 through early 2016, but I have to tell you, that doesn’t mean I could’ve tolerated a 12-hour plane ride. Sitting on bleachers for a high school football game or band competition was never pleasant during my best period 2006-16.

I consider myself recovered from this bout that started in 2016. I’ve been doing well. Biked 20 miles and hiked 3 miles yesterday. Still, while standing at the grill last night, I noticed some discomfort, so when I say “pain-free”, I mean it’s like the normal aches and pains I have for a guy of 54 who’s also had major back surgery and major ankle surgery. Meaning, tolerable, barely noticeable pain.

I think that’s the best most of us can hope for…sustained, barely noticeable pain.

1 Like

Update: Now 13 months post reversal, and situation is basically unchanged. I do have some good stretches where the pain does not bother me excessively, particularly when I am active - walking around, standing (not sitting!). I have been able to start running again and can happily complete a 10km run without trouble from my groin. Unfortunately as soon as I sit down at a desk the pain returns, not only while sitting, but afterwards too, to the point that it hurts when I go to bed and hurts when I wake up. The pain is not intense, but rather continuous low level 2 - 3 with occasional stabbing 4s. Best description of the pain is probably sun burn on bruise.

I am still taking 150mg Lyrica twice daily and 60mg Duloxetine. The Duloxetine has killed my ability to orgasm, which sucks. I would love to get off it, but with the fact that I’m still in pain and the difficulty I had when I started taking it (dizziness, spaciness) I’m reluctant to tamper.

I hate that there is no formal diagnosis for me other than my self described PVPS, no cure, no hope or help offered. I keep thinking, maybe in another month, another month, another month I will have relief.

1 Like

When you guys say sitting brings on pain, does it bring pain to your groin or in the scrotum?

Hi Tommy, my pain is mainly based in what feels like the vas of the left teste, but it radiates outwards to include everything in the groin and upper thighs.

Mine is the same. I mainly feel it in the groin. Sometimes to the hip. Vas only really has pain(cramping feeling) during erection or sex. Never really had groin pain until after a cord block. I think it was caused from pushing around on the vas site while numb from the cord block. Urologist wants to re do vas sites and perform spermatic cord denervation. I read here that it’s risky but Urologist says he’s never had anyone get worse. Only a few that didn’t get better. Block was only 5 weeks ago. I haven’t been able to run since vas 14 months ago. I had a 4-5 month period in the summer that wasn’t bad and was getting better. I didn’t wear support one day and irritated it. Then picked up something very heavy one day and brought it back full force

1 Like