I want to share my story and how I got better. This site was very helpful early on to know I wasn’t alone but one of the things I struggled with was the lack of positive stories and outcomes. A search for ‘better’ or ‘pain free’ etc. yields basically nothing. I searched for what positive members I could find to read their stories and feedback and yearned for more. I hope my story gives some people just starting out perspective and hope. I could have used more of that early on. Below is my story and what helped and what didn’t help.
I had my vasectomy in February 2020. Closed-ended with clips I believe. Rested for next couple days with ice but still had a stinging kind of pain. Would hurt sitting on a hard chair. Occasionally radiated into abdomen. Went back to Dr. who prescribed meloxicam for 30 days and said it was likely nerve/inflammation pain and called it the ‘sticky wicket’ of pain. I was frustrated as obviously this wasn’t discussed before. Meloxicam didn’t help that I could tell. Went on antibiotics for an unrelated skin infection I had which seemed to help but stopped antibiotics after 10 days. Asked to go back on so did another 10 days but with no effect so false lead there. Pain was initially more of a stinging pain higher up. Later months it could be that or was also a general ache/discomfort down lower. So very likely nerve pain mixed with some congestion later on.
After the initial urologist follow-up visit and my general doctor check-up where I was prescribed another month of meloxicam (which I never used), I never saw another Dr or specialist. I kept a pain journal and decided I would track my pain to see if I was improving over time. It was difficult to know without the journal as there were good days and bad days. There was minimal to slight improvement over the first 4-5 months (which were very difficult and challenging months) and then things seemed to start to get better. Not linearly and not without some regressions but the trend was there. Here I am about 15 months later and am basically the same as I was before the procedure.
Note, I was also extremely nervous about sexual side effects. There were times that my orgasm felt less pleasurable. Once that is a thought in your head, it’s a vicious cycle. Instead of looking forward to an orgasm, you get all these background thoughts about if it’s going to feel normal, etc. which takes you out of the moment. It can become a self-fulfilling prophesy where worrying about it makes it less ideal which confirms your worry. I do believe there was a ‘minor’ effect that resulted in the occasional orgasm being less great but most of it was in my head. When remembering old orgasms, the tendency is to remember how amazing they all were. With honest reflection though, I can remember many instances pre-vas where they were less intense, pleasurable, etc. And that was without a hyper focus on it like I had post-vas. Post-vas I have had some of the most pleasurable ones I can remember so don’t think a weird one or two means it’s game over.
So below are my pain (discomfort) levels from when I started recording until now. I judged my discomfort on a scale with a 3 being something like a bee sting or sharp pinch that took most of my focus away. A 2 was less than that. A 1 was like something that was there but was like a minor discomfort and didn’t take your focus away. I even did a 0-1 for times when it was basically normal but with the slightest of ‘off’ feelings. The daily recording was a reflection of how the day was overall vs. a max reading. A day with mainly 1’s but a brief second of 2 would be a 1 in my journal. In general, my discomfort was not constant; just occasional throughout the day. Not purely scientific but hopefully that helps you get an idea.
Feb – May ’20 : varied between 3-4 (I didn’t officially start recording pain journal yet)
May ’20 – Average of 2.3 : Sum of 71
June ’20 – Average of 1.25 : Sum of 37.5
July ’20 – Average of 0.68 : Sum of 21
August ’20 – Average of 0.37 : Sum of 11.5
September ’20 – Average of 0.16 : Sum of 5
October ’20 – Average of 0.23 : Sum of 7
November ’20 – Average of 0.22 : Sum of 6.5
December ’20 – Average of 0.08 : Sum of 2.5
January ’21 – Average of 0.61 : Sum of 19 (had a bad week)
February ’21 – Average 0.27 : Sum of 7.5
March ’21 – Average of 0.18 : Sum of 5.5
April ’21 – Average of 0.05 : Sum of 1.5
May ’21 – Average of 0.00 : Sum of 0.0
Below are my observations of things that helped and things that didn’t help. This is my personal list and beliefs.
Things that helped:
1.) Time: I don’t know what aspect of time helped, but it did. I started to see noticeable improvement by month 6 which gave me hope. As you can see, it wasn’t linear but the general progression was there.
2.) Supportive Spouse: At first I didn’t want to open up to my wife or be vulnerable around her which didn’t help anyone. Once I did though, it helped a lot. She was very supportive and I felt less alone. It didn’t fix the issue and I still had anger/regret but I had someone else in my corner. She also helped kick my butt out of a depressive funk which you sometimes need. Note, I didn’t share my orgasm concerns with her as I didn’t want two people over thinking during an already psychologically complicated activity.
3.) Avoiding Being a Victim: Part of me wanted to rage against my Dr. and the system and focus on how messed up it is (it is!) but that wouldn’t help me get better. I believe my Dr. was qualified and did a good job. I believe the vast majority of guys have little to no issues. I just drew a short straw (one I didn’t really know I could draw!). My focus is on moving on and living a happy life which is completely in my control.
4.) Limiting my exposure to this site: I think this site is amazing and want to thank those that created it and help to keep it a place to find support from others in a similar situation. There are those on here that truly helped me stay positive in their responses and approach. Having said that, it’s easy to lose an hour plus going down the rabbit hole of mainly negative experiences people have had. After reading posts, I’d start feeling the same issues or feel like there was no hope. Use this site to find people with similar issues or find positive posts but that’s it. Don’t make it daily/hourly reading.
5.) Exercise and being busy/active: In general, being active has helped a ton. Weeks where I was less active, the discomfort would seem to get worse. Even something as simple as taking a mile or two walk helped. Also weeks where I was busy with work or a home project or travelling were usually much better weeks.
6.) Papaya Seed Powder : This is the one supplement I took that I feel like might have had a positive effect. It seemed like it could affect how loosely things were hanging down there (tightened things up) but I don’t really know why it helped. I was taking 2x ½ teaspoons a day since June 2020. I backed off to ½ teaspoon every other day in February of 2021. I will likely stop soon. I just added it to yogurt or applesauce and ate it with breakfast in the morning.
7.) Eating Healthier : I don’t know the mechanism but I know that when I had digestive discomfort, the pain was worse. I think it might have been as simple as more pressure on the prostate and tubing but could also be an inflammation reaction as some people believe. Either way, there was a definite correlation between digestion and my discomfort.
8.) Pain journal : It’s very difficult to see slow improvement if left to your recollection. Made it as simple as possible so I would keep up with it and it showed me factually what I couldn’t tell intuitively on a week to week or month to month basis.
9.) More Foreplay : This was true before the procedure but also after. In general, if I rush an orgasm there’s a higher likelihood of a powerful event but without the toe curling pleasure. Taking longer to get there seemed to result in higher pleasure and helped build confidence for future orgasms.
10.) Cold Showers : Anything that seemed to make them hang tighter seemed to help. I would do a normal shower and then turn it cold for the last 10-20 seconds. Wouldn’t do over my whole body, just lower half. This one may be purely psychological. I don’t do cold showers any more but did for an extended period.
Things that didn’t help:
1.) Wearing tight underwear : This was one of the first things I did and it seemed to help at first but after a 4+ months, I had the strange feeling it might almost be making it worse. So I switched back and found it helped a bunch. Tight underwear seemed to press into the groin crease more and that could result in more discomfort.
2.) Saw Palmetto/Turmeric : I tried taking this for about a month but didn’t really notice a difference. I don’t think it hurt anything but also not something I wanted to keep up if it wasn’t helping.
3.) Sliding Door Thinking : I found myself often thinking ‘Sure this beer on a summer night is good but it would be better if I didn’t have this issue going on’. Easy trap to fall in to but it didn’t help and is damaging thinking. The same could be said if I had won the lottery or if my calf wasn’t cramping from my earlier run. There will always be things in life that could be better but it doesn’t help to compare your current situation to that. I think this one was harder for me to avoid since it was something I volunteered for vs. say an unavoidable accident.
4.) Heat : In general, heat either didn’t help or sometimes seemed to make it worse. Anything that resulted in the boys hanging lower or more loosely seemed to be related to more discomfort.
My decision to not see more specialists or dr’s was purposeful. I didn’t see anyone in the forums point to a solution that worked miracles for them (at least on any consistent basis). It seemed like most doctors were clueless. I worried it would also make it more a ‘thing’ and my goal was to make it not a ‘thing’. I fully support others seeking professional advice; it’s just not something I wanted to do unless it got worse or didn’t get better over time. I never seriously considered a reversal. Partially because my discomfort wasn’t debilitating, partially because I saw improvement, partially because it was clear from the forums that it didn’t make things 100% better, and partially because the thought of another procedure now that I was fully aware of negative outcomes wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.
So that’s my story and how I got better. Pain free. Normal orgasms. The whole deal. I think there are some lasting psychological effects (I’m more cautious when playing with the kiddos, don’t do ball play for now during sex, etc.) and I don’t doubt there could be a flare up in the future but I have the confidence to know to stay calm and know it’s temporary. This is my personal experience: I know everyone’s situations is different and am not claiming what worked for me will work for others and am not making judgments on others decisions.
If this post was helpful to you, please give it a like or share it with others so it gets seen and shared more. Please also comment if you have any positive news or experience to share. Thanks again to everyone who created this site and continue to support those going through a tough situation.
Hang in there guys and as much as possible, try to stay positive and have hope!
All the best - N