Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

My story so far - a few things seem to be helping

#21

That’s great news! Glad to hear you are making progress. I think you will continue to improve.

I was in pretty rough shape through 6 months, and then gradually started getting better after I started stretching. I don’t stretch as much as I probably should these days, though I still try at least once a day. The dull ache is almost a non-issue at this point, though I am still on the amitryptaline… 25mg/day. I’d like to get off of it soon, or at least scale back. I am assuming you are not taking this, which is also a good sign, that you are improving without meds. I am not sure if the meds ever really helped that much anyway… besides taking the edge off and making me sleep really hard. One variable at a time. I am also able to lift a lot more and I don’t have to sit on my donut pillow all the time. That is a big improvement for me over the last month.

I really think you’re on your way. I am glad you started the stretches sooner than later! Keep it going and you’ll be running soon. Just take it easy and don’t over do it.

Where this vas issue used to occupy my mind almost all of my waking hours, I hardly think about it anymore. I still wonder how many people this affects that consider themselves active. I did a big bike ride the day before my procedure, and I always wondered if I would have experienced all of this had I kept my muscles loose and relaxed. Anyway, take it easy and thanks for reporting the good news!

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#22

Hi @keebler456, @DG469, @PVPSux, can you pls describe how your pain was (location, intensity, congestion vs. neuropathic)?
I am seeing a pelvic floor PT, the 2nd one. She suggests doing the stretching exercises, but with lower intensity. I started about 5-6 weeks ago, and while I felt good while doing the stretches, I had increased pain levels afterwards. Now my new PT advised me to take it easier and do the exercise with less intensity. Can you comment on that? What’s your experience?
She is mostly showing me what kind of exercises there are, and then trying to relax my muscles in the area, but nothing more. I read about trigger points etc - she is not doing that (I haven’t mentioned it, though)

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#23

My pain/discomfort seems to be coming from the very top of my testicle and a little bit behind. Much worse on left side. I don’t know if it’s congestion or nerves. I’ve been taking papaya seed powder for about 2 months and have seen slight improvement - not sure if it’s from the powder, exercise, stretching, or just time. I don’t have any experience yet with a PT. I’ve just been trying some pelvic floor stretches I’ve found on this forum and with a youtube search. I try not to get overly intense with it, but generally the stretches feel good - no increase in pain afterward. Good luck. I hope you can get those muscles relaxed and that this gives you some relief.

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#24

I’ve had a bit of a relapse this week and I can’t figure out why. Definite return of pain on the left side. I can pinpoint the exact spot and it’s extremely painful to the touch. I think it’s always been this spot, but at times it seems extra sensitive and painful like now. I’ve noticed a small lump in this spot in the past (including now). The original urologist or maybe nurse practitioner didn’t seem overly concerned about the lump when I brought it up 1-2 months post vas and the ultrasound back then came out normal. But I’m starting to wonder if the lump might actually be something concerning. I’m now over 5 months post vasectomy.

If any of you Ohio guys are reading this I would love to get your advice on what to do next/where to go. The only Cleveland Clinic doc listed in the library on this forum is no longer meeting with clients (or at least his office won’t return my call) - Sabanegh. I don’t think I need pain management doc right now - probably someone who could help me with a course of action. Maybe another ultrasound since it’s been a few months. Honestly I’m not sure what else…it just seems like I should probably see a doctor at this point to check out the lump and the pain.

@raising4girls mentioned Shoskes…do you think that would be a good next step for me given my situation?

Anyone know of another option in Ohio? Would be so much better to have a recommendation rather than just find a random urologist.

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#25

Sabanegh was recently promoted to President of the entire main campus. I doubt he’s seeing patients any longer. I believe that this lady has replaced him as the CC’s fertility specialist and would be your only reversal option. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff/22270-sarah-vij

Shoskes seems to me to be a good man. A bit of an introvert so you won’t get a lot of gushing compassion from him, but I think he’s knowledgeable and talented. The challenge with him is that surgically he’s got one bullet to fire, spermatic cord denervation. He’s the only urologist in Ohio doing this procedure. He’ll offer you an in-office cord block and if your pain goes away, he’ll offer you SCD.

I think some on the forum have seen reversal specialists in Columbus. There’s also thi guy in the Dayton area. http://www.vasectomy-reversal-expert.com/

Right, wrong, or indifferent, I think Dr. Parekatill is the only urologist performing both reversals and spermatic cord denervations. To me, that makes him a viable option since he can discuss pros and cons of each. He trained under the doctor who did my reversal at the Cleveland Clinic back in 2006.

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#26

Hey @Juno, sorry for the late response.

How was my pain originally? Not too bad. Mostly swelling and discomfort above the testicles. Once the swelling subsided about 2 months in, my left side was showing signs of pain when walking… not shooting pain, but it was clear I was causing stress to the area by too large of a stride. I started 10mg of amitryptaline about 3 months in. This seemed to help a little and took the edge off, and also lowered my stress greatly. I was taking these every day for the next 2 months (through month 5), with not a lot of relief. I then started 25mg, and this did not change my discomfort too much, but it definitely helped.

In month 6, I realized I was going to have to take matters into my own hands, and not just take drugs to resolve the issue, as it was clear there was an underlying problem. I got a response from @Uncomfortable, which really shifted things for me about stretching (thank you). I saw a cranio-sacral specialist, who helped with alignment, and pointed out how tight my left psoas muscles was, which runs right near the left vas site. This gave me some hope. I then saw an acupuncturist and maya abdominal specialist, which helped very much. So, now I knew this was more about a tight psoas rather than some unknown ailment that the urologist, or even western thinking, couldn’t resolve. I began stretching this muscles, which made the biggest diff. I did some pelvic floor stretches I found online, and also saw a pevlic floor specialist 3 times, the latter of which didn’t make much diff. I think understanding the issue gave me great relief, and I never went back to that place of being scared of the unknown… I had a goal. I have been making steady progress and almost have no discomfort. I’d say 99% good to go. I rode my bike 36 miles this week, something inconceivable to me 2 months ago. Finally, I am doing yoga stretches 15 minutes a day to keep my alignment in check. Take deep breathes, and envision yourself being pain-free. A lot of this in mind over matter.

Ok, so I think time is also key. Again, I didn’t really started making progress until 6 months, and I don’t think my body was ready to try all of these things either until then, as I was still pretty tender. Lastly, I live in Portland, Oregon. All of my resources of specialists were within a 5 minute drive, so I was lucky to have easy access.

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#27

Hey Keebler/pvpssux was your epididymis/testicle tender to the touch? Mine is and didn’t think pelvic floor therapy could possibly help. That said, having done a few stretching exercises like the ones mentioned above consistently (like 20 min 3 times per day) for the past 5 days or so really does seem to have helped.

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#28

Update - 27 weeks post vasectomy - 1 month since last update (above)":

Overall still progressing. The good days are probably about 90-95% (still notice slight discomfort, but not painful). Normal days are around 85-90%. There are still “bad” days every once in a while and they are usually strung together. Bad days dip down to 70-75% and involve more dull ache and maybe a slight twinge of pain on one side. These seem to be getting less frequent.

Some changes I’ve made since the last update…these may or may not be helping. Like many on here I try anything and everything so I’m never quite sure what helps or hurts. I just want relief, and I’m thankful it’s still slowly progressing in that direction. Could be a combination of these things or just more time…

  • I slowly phased completely away from wearing a jock strap (for about 7 months I had been wearing soft trunk-style supportive underwear with a XXL jock strap over top 24/7. I gradually increased the amount of time with this off - starting at night and progressing a couple more hours each day (particularly over the holidays when I wasn’t as active.) Even though this felt very strange and “unstable” at first, I noticed that it started to feel better and better to not have things so tight down there. Eventually I could go for long walks without it. I still wear it occasionally while exercising, but no other time.

  • I started exercising a bit more strenuously. Mostly a mixed cardio type exercise along with some knee exercises a PT gave me last year in hopes that I could keep running. I use adjustable dumbbells at home and do the 3D Matrix - probably on Youtube. Plus some dynamic planks for core work. About 30 minute total - 3-4 times a week. I’ve increased the weight gradually and switch from exercise to exercise quickly to help raise my heart rate.

  • I continue to faithfully do 4-5 pelvic floor stretches at least twice a day (and sometimes after sex). These have evolved a bit over time, but they generally feel good and I think this is part of what’s helping.

  • I have been eating a bit healthier. Not a specific diet - just less sweets and fried foods/fast food. More fruits and vegetables and nuts to snack on. I’ve lost about 4 of the 10 pounds I gained through this ordeal.

  • I still walk at least 2 miles per day (to and from work usually does it). At least once a week I take a longer walk - have gone up to 4 miles. I would like to get this to 6 or 8 eventually - to help prepare me for backpacking again in the spring.

  • I continue to take an assortment of supplements listed somewhere above. Papaya seed powder included - though this never seemed to directly help…maybe it’s part of the long, slow progress. No other medications at this point.

Feeling very thankful and continuing to hope for 100%. Very appreciative of this community.

@keebler456 I’d love to hear how you’ve been doing.

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#29

Glad to hear that DG. I’m in a similar boat. Pelvic Floor therapy, papaya seed, supplements etc. Also had a phone consult with Dr. P and he put me on Gabapentin and his own concoction of oxytocin and low dose cialis. Hard to say what’s helping, what’s not, but seeing some very, very slow improvement with lots of ups and downs. I should get back into exercising regularly as I have a feeling this would help a lot.

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#30

Great to hear you are making progress still! I think you’re on your way.

I had a setback mid-December, as I scaled back on the amitryptaline too quickly I think. I went from taking 25mg each night to 10mg, and I think it was too drastic. I had to start the 25mg ones again, and have been on them since Dec 18 or so. Feeling pretty good since. I have good days where I am 95%, and close to 100%… other days maybe 90%. I haven’t had any bad days since mid-Dec, and even those were manageable with a few Aleve.

I started taking a new supplement called BCQ, and I believe that has helped as well. It is really a natural anti-inflammatory. I had to order it on Amazon, as no one around carried it, or even heard of it. I buddy recommended it after trouble with his ankle, and he swears this cured him. Anyway… something to consider.

I think eating well and decreasing inflammatory foods definitely helps. I could do better at that, but I can see the correlation on the good days.

I still continue to ride the bike, and that seems to not be a problem… though I have my noseless seat. I am not sure when/if I’ll ever get back on a regular saddle. We’ll see. I hope to someday, though I am getting used to mine.

I think I may get back to 100% once my one year old doesn’t need to be held anymore. He’s heavy, and my posture def is affected by holding him. So, at this point, I hope to stay near 95-99%, and shoot to get to 100% in a year or whenever he can be on his own more… and for now at least be ok with where I am, making smart choices where possible.

Great to hear your report and I love the determination!

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#31

I forgot to ask, what types of knee exercises are you doing? I tweaked my left knee 2 months before my vas last year, and I swear this affected my recovery. When my knee is 100% and in good alignment, my groin pain is near 0. When my knee if out of whack my groin pain creeps back in. I strongly feel that my left knee is associated with my left groin area, as the psoas muscle is part of the left knee all the way through the lower back.

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#32

This is super helpful. I am on day 10 of recovering after my no scalpel vasectomy and this gives me hope. I can hardly walk now and if I take a big stride it sends a shooting pain to my right testicle. I’m still super tender, but I am scared to try the pelvic floor exercises, but I will do it once I’m more recovered. Did you have issues with walking right away or did it develope later?

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#33

So sorry you are going through this. You are still really fresh off the table though… time is on your side. I didn’t have any shooting pain early on, but had just a really dull ache. I had some grape-sized lumps above each testicle for the first 8 weeks, which were really tender. Once those subsided, that’s when I started to get more of the left side nerve pain, though more where the incision site is and not where the testicle is. I think you’re right to hold off on any of the pelvic floor exercises until the pain is a bit more manageable. Is the pain in the back of the testicle? Does it travel up to your abdomen or down below the testicle? Does it feel better to be off of your feet or sitting down? I had to take a lot of pressure off of my perineum for a while and used a donut cushion to sit on. Sorry for all the questions… just trying to get a better feel for what you are experiencing.

Also, do you have any knee issues on the right side or any tightness or posture stuff going on? If so, you might want to start with someone that does structural integration or craniosacral therapy, as it consists of minor adjustments and isn’t so involved like physical therapy would be. This stuff is all sort of connected. However, you’re still only 10 days in. I would try and rest and stay of your feet a little longer before seeking treatment of any kind. I know it sucks and you really want to get back to your routines, etc. But a lot of folks take more than a few days to recover apparently. Keep the stress LOW however you are able to. Don’t read too much into this forum yet, or your mind will go crazy with the doom and gloom scenarios.

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#34

Thanks for getting back. My pain is on the right side of my testicle and not below or on top. When I put pressure on the right foot it send a a shock signal there and it shoots up my abdomen, but if I stop walking it goes away and the pain lingers for a bit. Sitting and laying helps, but if I move my leg a certain way the pain pops up again. I do notice my abdomen is so tense when I walk because I’m so scared of the shooting pain. I was getting better, but on day 7 of post op I tried pushing myself and walking normal pace and that sent me back to square one. I didn’t have the best experience during the procedure since I didn’t really numb on the right side and it was extremely painful when the Dr. did it. No knee issues or posture issues, just stressing and tightness in my abdomen when I walk to the bathroom. Showers have been a challenge to say the least. I hope to get better and I’m definitely staying off the forum until I get further down the road since I am reading some pretty scary stuff. I’m only 30, so hope this goes away. If I had any clue it was going to be like this I would have definitely passed up on the procedure, but I am here now. At least this gives me hope.

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#35

@keebler456 Sorry…just remembered you asked about knee exercises. Have you heard of the 3D Matrix? It’s a series of 3-directional lunges. I also do lateral step ups (on my stairs). And walking. I’m hoping to slowly add more as the supportive muscles get stronger. If you can’t find those exercises online let me know. I think my knees are getting stronger, but it’s very slow and definitely setbacks about every other week. Hope you are well. Would love an update when you can.

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#36

No worries! I intuitively started doing a stretch, that essentially is a wide-legged child’s pose, with my feet pointing away from each other. That has cleared up all knee issues, for now. However, I am still dealing with some muscle spasms in my perineum… so sitting too long is problematic. They’re really slight, but def causing some discomfort if sitting for a half hour or more. Otherwise, I am doing great, with mostly 0 and 1 days.

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#37

I sware this place could sell so many supplements haha. Having a bad flair up right now so I’m going to order that BCQ. Thanks for the heads up. I’m pretty sure my issues are inflammation related and I’m already taking turmeric and serrepatase but another one may help. Mind I asking what dose you take? Stuff isn’t cheap but if it works I’ll try it.

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#38

The BCQ is less of an anti inflammatory and more a pain reducer… from what I have learned over the last few weeks. It supposedly limits the amount of pain signals your brain sends to the area of interest. I bought the 120 bottle and was taking 6-9 day for the first few days, then scaled back to 4-5 per day and have been doing that ever since. Let me know how it goes:) I also started taking fish oil daily recently, and that has helped just a tad.

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#39

Ya I’m also taking 2 Fish Oil per day. I’ll let you know how it goes. Looks like online some are saying it’s best to take on an empty stomach? At this point I’ll give it a try and just add it to my other 7 or 8 supplements I take daily.

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