Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

People arguing over PVPS

Why is it every time I mention that vasectomies are not as safe as most people make them out to be, people come out of the woodwork to argue with you about how wonderful vasectomies are and that I must be just a whiny little baby that had an isolated bad experience and now has an agenda against vasectomies?
(sorry, that was a bit of a run-on)
There was a post on a closed group on Facebook that pointed out the idiocracy of a meme suggesting all should get vasectomies and have them reversed only after they are deemed worthy to procreate. It was all in a friendly discussion regarding reducing unwanted pregnancies.

This is what I posted:

I’m a big opponent of vasectomies and tubal ligation as the risks are not worth the reward. If something that is naturally a part of someone’s body is working as it was designed to, don’t mess with it. I support birth control, abstinence, and Plan B (if used as instructed).

Basically, long story short, I had a vasectomy and am now stuck with chronic pain that will be with me for the rest of my life and will continue to get worse as I age. Insult to injury, the doctor completely missed both vas deferens so my sperm count is the same as it ever was. And this doctor was well researched and arguably the best in Houston. I could go on but I’d be typing for a very long time.

People had a problem with the part about the “risks are not worth the reward” bit as “vasectomies are perfectly harmless procedure”. I went on to say that the side effects and percentages of people affected by them are not accurate at all and that many people, including myself have suffered for years from it.

Look. I don’t want to argue. I am just sharing another side of the coin to make people realise that vasectomies are not the in-and-out, easily reversible, and harmless procedure most people incorrectly claim them to be. If you were to go into a COMPLETELY ELECTIVE medical procedure, wouldn’t you want to be informed of the actual side effects and accurate rates of what percentage of people will experience them? Hundreds of men I have spoken to online and in person wish there had been someone that had told them the actual risks involved with this procedure - I count myself as one of them. As I mentioned before, had I known there was a even a 1% chance that I would even have half the pain that I feel constantly every day, I would have never gone through with it.

But, no. People just want to attack you over this even if you provide legitimate sources supporting your position.
I know. “Welcome to the Internet.” but this happens in person too. Anybody else have to deal with this every time they suggest they oppose vasectomies?

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Yes, I have had many experiences like this on Twitter and Reddit. If you so much as mention the possible complications of vasectomy you are likely to be immediately derided, shouted down and dismissed.

BTW, if you don’t mind, what was the name of the facebook group? I like to scan all of the active vasectomy related channels.

It wasn’t a vasectomy page. The topic at the moment was vasectomies but that is rarely mentioned in that group.

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It’s totally the nature of the beast with this procedure. There’s a lot to do with the fact that we are the minority and quickly escorted off stage by the urology community when we speak out. That said, if you didn’t have your experience and pain, you’d probably say the same thing. I know my own personal sex life has improved 10 fold since my vasectomy…but now I have a hard time walking from the pelvic problems I picked up along the way. Other than the other 23 hours of the day, my life is great! :wink:

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that conclude that your experience loses merit simply because it wasn’t their experience. Sharing my story didn’t get my friends to reconsider getting a vasectomy, they just got one in secret and kept it from me for 2-3 years. A few of these guys are doctors themselves. It really would be the perfect birth control if it didn’t ruin your life. I’m ranting, late night and can’t sleep!

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If I can add my few cents to this discussion from my own experience. Is it really true that so few guys struggles with pain and mental issues after a vasectomy or is it a matter of guys do not talk about it openly or to proud to admit? Some of the guys that recommended the surgery to me and claimed that they had no issue are also now struggling. I also think that some guys are so worried about unwanted pregnancies that they would rather cope with the issues related with a vasectomy and then we have the group which mentally are influence by the surgery and struggle to cope being “broken” and infertile. The last category of men in my opinion is the men that are pressured into the surgery by their spouses and suffer from any of the above. Sadly I have asked these questions in a open forum to friends and other people and recieved a very negative response.

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I think it’s because of ignorance and misinformation. People have a black/white perception of vasectomy. Most think that it is “safe”, without any additional thought.

There is very little access to information that can nuance people’s thinking of vasectomy, and that is - imo - because the medical (urological) community wishes it to be like this.

Compare to birth control pills. “Everybody” knows that combination pills has a risk of blood clot (DVT), because they are thoroughly informed of it. Even if that risk is just in the order of 5-7 per 10.000 (0.06%).

With vasectomy, even those who inform of risk of chronic pain never uses any percentages. It’s words like “very rare” etc, words that imo has no meaning.

Compare again to birth control pills. There are strict regulation on what words should be used to describe the frequency of side effects (in package inserts for medicines). A side effect with incident 0.06% should be called “rare”. A side effect occuring in more than 1% - like everything with vasectomy - should be called “common”. More than 10%, like some studies show the incidence of PVPS - should be called “very common”. If vasectomy was a “pill”, regulations dictate that chronic untreatable pain would have to be called a “common or very common” side effect.

So it is impossible for everyone - even medical professionals - to understand what the risk of pain really is, given the choice of words from urologist.

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@SLB

I agree with you. Guys don’t like to talk about their depression, pain, weakness, etc. ESPECIALLY when it comes to their manhood and sexual prowess. Like you, I’ve spoken to a number of guys off record that admit it was the worst decision they ever made even though pre op they told me it was fine. I think the internet is changing that. I think this website is single handedly changing that. As humans we have more access to information now so when your urologist claims you are the only one he’s ever seen in pain and you know the statistics are 18% and go one to interact with thousands of fellow sufferers this site, you, as a patient can see through his BS.

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Well, the real problem is that the consent forms are not reflective of the real risks. Below are a few I dug up with a quick google search, but are consistent with current medical practice.

I work in Clinical Trial regulatory and legal, and no IRB/ethics committee would EVER let a vague and misleading explanation of risks pass for a study drug in an Informed Consent Form like these guys are allowed to with vasectomies.

If you pull the current literature, the risk of permanent pain and/or discomfort from a vasectomy is somewhere around 8-20%.


“As with all surgical procedures, there are potential complications with a vasectomy. I
understand that these complications include but are not limited to infection, bleeding, pain,
sperm granuloma (painful scar tissue), and recanalization as discussed above. I realize that the
change of having a complication that needs further therapy is about 1 per 250.”

“Other complications that are less common include sperm granuloma
{lump}, epididymitis, sperm antibodies, and spontaneous return of fertility {recanalization},
and rarely, prolonged testicular heaviness or pain. There is no conclusive evidence that
vasectomy causes any health problems, including prostate cancer. However, if you choose
to undergo a vasectomy, it is recommended that you have periodic examination of your
prostate gland. The American Urological Association and the National Cancer Institute
recommend that all men have a digital rectal examination and a PSA blood test performed
annually beginning at age 50, or age 40 if you have had a vasectomy, a family history of
prostate cancer, or are of African-American descent.”

“I understand that the risks include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, pain, and failure.”

"I recognize that, as with any operation, there are risks, both known and unknown, associated with
vasectomy, and that no guarantee has been given to me as to the results of this operation. Possible
complications include, but are not limited to, the following:

Inflammatory reaction in the epididymis or vas deferens (5%)
Excessive bleeding into the scrotum (hematoma) (0.1%)
Painful nodule or scar (sperm granuloma, neuroma) (1.5%)
Infection (0.1%)
Allergy or adverse reaction to an anesthetic or medication (rare)
Emotional reactions that could interfere with normal sexual function (rare)
Impaired blood flow resulting in loss of a testicle (< 0.01%)
Failure to achieve or to maintain sterility (0.3%)

I understand and accept that these or other conditions may necessitate further treatment, tests,
another operation, procedure, and/or hospitalization, at my own expense. I request and authorize my
doctor and other qualified medical personnel to perform such treatment or procedures as required."

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I don’t think the consent ever matters. It’s important legally but my consent form said “lifelong disability and even death” near the bottom and I continued to sign the document. Misleading, yes, but no one reads that stuff anyways. I have patients sign consent forms daily knowing very well that 99% of the information is BS.

I have done plenty of arguing with people about this topic myself over the years, especially in my early years, but there is no point in arguing with anyone about this topic. People are going to believe whatever they choose to believe and for a variety of reasons. Some may come around eventually, but based on what I have seen, that’s not typical. It seems to be the nature of humanity in general.

When it comes to internet forums and places like fakebook, instantshame, and so on, the vasectomy argument will always be there. I rarely entertain such arguments anymore. It’s unfortunate that the majority of online arguments in general are far more opinion based than fact based.

I try to stick with fact based data and/or literature when presenting my arguments. If not, I would be presenting my opinion. I try to stick with what is currently accepted in the majority of current medical literature regarding this topic. There are decades worth of fact based literature pertaining to this topic.

Take your pick regarding what literature one chooses to present. It’s probably best to not come off as completely biased and present numerous articles rather than one. I try to present numerous references that aren’t somehow in cahoots with each other wherever I can. I have been studying this topic for a decade and I have a general idea what is partially or completely bullshit and what’s not.

Everyone must keep in mind that there is so much nonsense vasectomy related literature out there and people are being programed to believe stuff that isn’t true, is partially true, is completely true, and everything in-between. The term brainwashing comes to mind. The internet is no exception. It’s intentionally overwhelmed with that kind of stuff. Tack on cognitive dissonance, and the stage is set for a recipe for disaster when it comes to many topics - including vasectomy.

As of more recently, I have went as far as reading through every webpage, PDF, etc, that the world health organization has online that is relevant and/or related to this vasectomy topic. I won’t post links nor get into details as it’s all easily searchable, but what people will find might blow some people’s minds.

Some people think pvps is a myth, including some of the educated. Others, including some doctors, urologists, and so on think it’s all in a man’s head. There’s to much nonsense to list. Many opinions that come from the people we would think we could trust are completely nonsense and/or contradictory.

Do an online search for ways to minimize the risk of PVPS. Some doctor’s present some really good fact based arguments. Others… all I can say is - lol.


Statistics… I see them everywhere and they are nothing new, but they can be so misleading and contradictory. There are some statistics posted in this thread that made me laugh out loud :joy:

Some of these statistics specifically

No worries @myballshurt. I’m sure you simply posted them statistics as reference to generic information. There’s no shortage of that kind of stuff online.

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Had mine said “lifelong disability and even death” anywhere on form, I would have ran away as quickly as I could. But, even if the consent form said, “you are guaranteed to be running your fastest mile 5 minutes after the procedure is complete” you would still be SOL if something bad happened.

Wonderfully said, but I would also extend that to real world arguments as well. If not opinion based then it is based solely on their feelings or subjective beliefs.

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Consents are just legal jargon that release liability. Every time you drive your car theres inherent risk you could die but we still do it. I’ve attached my consent form for your viewing pleasure!!

Now tell me, if no one has ever experienced a post vas arrhythmia, stroke, disability, or death…why is it in the consent form?

I think a lot of people think that when they go to the doctor, they are going to someone who is acting on their behalf, with their best interest as the primary consideration. With that in mind, the expectation when a doctor counsels you about your upcoming surgery is that they will make sure that you know about the stuff that you would want to know about.

Most people do not particularly care about the 0.00001% risk of cardiac arrest from novocaine allergy or the 0.0000001% chance of an unfortunate power surge during cauterization. But over, and over, and over again, when people inquire about vasectomy, their first question – often the only question – is whether it can ruin your sex life. Can it make orgasm feel different? Will you still ejaculate the same way? Will it make you impotent? Will it make you uninterested in sex. That is the type of question that people lead with. That is the question that is on everyone’s mind. That’s the big joke about vasectomy.

And I believe that doctors either fail to mention this stuff, or say it’s so unlikely that you would be ridiculous to let it influence your decision.

It was always an approximation to say that a doctor looks out for your best interest. In the case of vasectomy, that approximation is unfortunately significantly different from the ugly reality. The doctor is there to persuade you that if you do not want children you should disregard the physical risks and get the vasectomy. And no technique is as persuasive as maintaining the man’s ignorance.

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I’m pretty much with you Ethan. I agree with your thoughts regarding what men are generally concerned about beforehand. I was worried about exactly that myself.

Compared to many others, I actually received some decent pre vas paperwork regarding the typical risks. But, like the majority, I would’ve never imagined my urologist was actually gaslighting me in regard to what the terminology on my paperwork actually meant in real life. Sure, it defined many of those risks to some extent, but who truly imagines that urologists are potentially selling men hell and not disclosing the true nature of those hells beforehand.

Side effects are another thing. Sexual, ejaculate, hormonal, and so on - my paperwork clearly says it changes nothing.

The prostate risk, cancer risk, etc - my paperwork clearly says that there is no such thing.

My paperwork never gave any statistics regarding the risks either. Just a vague description and the word pain was in some of those descriptions.

Bottom line - I think many of us realize how this happened to us. In some cases, it happened various ways. In many cases, there were numerous red flags. Speaking for myself, I was gaslighted by my urologist and railroaded by my wife into doing it despite my reservations, my gut feelings, etc. My instincts, intuition, etc, were screaming at me.

Keep in mind that I had a pre-existing scrotal pain condition. I’d had a previous encounter with testicular pain. Yet, oddly enough, I was mostly concerned about potential negative sexual side effects. My urologist downplayed my pre-existing asymptomatic testicular pain condition as more less irrelevant…

And as Ethan has posted similar about elsewhere, I was also under the influence of the idea that I was doing the right thing for my wife. If I have nothing to lose in the long run, if all of these risks are managed with ease and/or curable as my urologist suggested, and the procedure changes nothing about me, and my urologist is telling me that every man that had a vasectomy prior to me gave it a positive review, what did I have to loose and/or why wouldn’t I do this for my wife?

Meh…

Bottom line - I knew better. It’s all water under the bridge. I stopped beating myself up over this shit a long time ago. Live and learn. What didn’t kill me made me stronger.

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I thought you might like this.

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This is a bit off topic @SlayersCouncil, but beins I am familiar with your story since your first post on this site, and given the quote above, has any doctor or urologist ever suggested that you may have some sort of structural abnormality?

Ethan posted the link below in a non related thread, and I read every single post within that link shortly after he posted it. There was more than one post that suggested several men had a similar situation as you. There is more than one post that talks about a man having more than one inner lumen, more than one tube, etc, and required additional surgery to become sterile post vas.

There is something else in that thread that is not related that I found critically important for everyone on this site to be aware of. Perhaps some of you guys will see it too, assuming you didn’t catch it the first time.

This is the 34th anniversary of my vasectomy (actually at 2:30 PM this afternoon). I had a terrible time and was in pain for 3 months afterward, but was one of the lucky ones, and only the emotional scars remain. Our marriage suffered from this, and there is a knot between us. Sadly, my wife still refers to the operation as “just a little snip, snip procedure.” I bristle with anger every time she says this, but it does no good to argue the point. My son-in-law had it done about.a year ago, and I was prevented from sharing this forum. He had intense pain about a week later. I don’t know if that has subsided, but I’m still pissed that I couldn’t warn him.

Let me add that if I had access to the information on this site, I NEVER would have had it done (I didn’t want to do it, but got pressured into it. Sound familiar?). Be thankful this information is available now. 1986 was prior to the internet, and I only had the information from the urologist and my wife’s gyn. I now have no use for either.

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Exactly. I remember the exact words, “The worst that happens is that it gets infected and we clear it up with antibiotics.” 34 years ago.

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