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