Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Post Vasectomy Pain Cure: Anxiety Program & Tools

I had severe PVP pain for a long time after my vasectomy, got a reversal (5 months after), and tried every medical procedure and pill that has ever been discussed on this site. My symptoms just kept getting worse (and spread to many other parts of my body) and I was off of work for months, couldn’t sleep, and had suicidal thoughts. When I was off work and recovering from my reversal surgery, I started reading books about the mind-body connection and went to see a therapist that concentrates in mindfulness and anxiety. I went into an intensive outpatient program for Anxiety and learned a number of new tools. I then read every book I could possibly find on controlling and reducing anxiety. Very slowly, with lots of ups and downs, as I got my anxiety and panic attacks under control, the pain associated with PVP slowly started to disappear as well. My body became less tense overall as I used techniques to calm the body and mind. It took a long time and lots of hard work practicing mindfulness tools, meditation, body scan meditations, simplifying my life, yoga, etc. but about 72 weeks after first learning about anxiety tools and the mind-body connection in general, I can say I am cured of all PVP pain both in the original spot and elsewhere in my body. I am happier and healthier than ever with a new perspective on life.

Anxiety creates different physical symptoms in different people. For guys like us, it just so happened to take over right after our vasectomies. While the surgery seemed to push my body into a viscous downward cycle, the symptoms got worse and worse as I read posts on this site and elsewhere about pain syndromes. The anxiety got worse and so did my physical symptoms. As I started to avoid things so as to not feel pain, the pain got worse or more likely the anxiety around feeling pain got worse and made things spiral further. You must face the pain and turn towards the pain to truly get past it. Likewise, you must face the anxiety/fear to truly overcome it. It just takes a long damn time to do it and you have to be persistently patient.

I know it is hard to believe that such great physical pain can be caused by anxiety or thoughts/emotions, but that is the reality. Once you become more self aware of your thoughts and emotions and how tied they are to the variety of physical sensation patterns you feel, then you are on your way to understanding it much better. I strongly suggest the following steps to anyone who is experiencing PVP symptoms:

  • Stop going to medical doctors or taking pills. They just feed into the anxiety and in many cases make it worse. Those that were cured by a reversal were actually cured by their reduction in anxiety due to having the reversal and “fixing” things.
  • See a therapist that specializes in anxiety. Get over your fear/stigma there - it is not like you see on TV. More people deal with it than anyone realizes.
  • Download the phone app called Insight Timer. Start doing the meditations on there at least an hour a day. Do the body scan and sitting meditations the most. You need to train you mind to be in the present and calm. A calm mind leads to a calm body. Once your mind/body are calm, then the pain patterns reduce over time.
    Watch your patterns when you notice the pain creeping in. What thoughts are running through your head where do you feel the pain specifically. Track your thoughts and pain patterns on a piece of paper but don’t react to them. Just record your thoughts and observe.
  • Read about Mindfulness and try as many Mindfulness tools as you can.
  • Read the book The Tapping Solution. They give tools in there for working with pain and give examples of pain disappearing in people as they get their thoughts under control.
  • Read about the Gupta Amygdala retraining program and buy it if you so desire. Chronic fatigue and chronic pain syndromes are very similar.
  • Eat healthier: get rid of soda, processed sugar, etc. Anything that is going to mess with your nervous system.
  • Do yoga. Very calming to the mind and body.
  • Act opposite to action urge. If you have an urge to avoid going for a run because you are afraid it might cause more pain, go against that urge. It may not happen right away, but over time you will see that the pain gets less and that fear urge lessens.
  • Accept where you are and know that things will get better. Be optimistic and stop reading negative posts on this site or elsewhere.
  • Face fear again and again.
  • Reduce stressful events in your life.
  • Read the book Get Out of You Head and Into Your Life. Great tools for dealing with emotional/mental patterns. I highly recommend it.
  • Read John Sarno books like Healing Back Pain and how many people like Howard Stern were cured of chronic pain by getting their emotional patterns (OCD in Howard’s case) under control.
  • Concentration mind exercises to stay in the present moment. The mind likes to go to the future or the past over and over. The more you can stay in the present, the more calm things will be and the more you will interrupt those persistent pain patterns.

Again, I realize people will think I am way off base here as they are feeling so much physical pain. They will say how can medical doctors not get this and how could I possibly be in this much pain from thoughts and emotions. But, when you reach the end of your rope, then what is there to lose by not trying some of things I suggest. You might just end up with your life back and a hell of a story about how you overcame a nightmare of a pain syndrome. I am proof that there is hope and that you can have great health once again no matter how bad you think things are right now. I had it as bad as anyone I ever read about on this site and now I am completely healthy.

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Interesting read…my main problem is believing that my body can still repair this after being in pain for most of the day for 8+ months

I thought it was an interesting read myself. I do agree with much of what you’re saying @Andy.

I’m not sure if your advice will cure everyone, but your intentions are good. I actually have to apply some of your advice to my every day life to keep myself straight. I won’t get into details here as I’ve brought a lot of it up in the past, and recommend the same to many others over time.

I feel pretty confident saying your theory won’t cure my medically proven lower back injury, but may have other positives far as how to cope with a permanent, intermittent, chronic pain condition that changed my life forever.

I think a lot of what you speak of has a lot to do with why so many people drop off this forum indefinitely. Reading about pain, etc, etc, that one is dealing with themselves is probably not helpful past a certain point in general.

Thanks for sharing.

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@Andy what a awesome story and glad to hear from you. I read your story on this site since I have similiar pains early on. I guess my question is did reversal start your body on the path to healing or was is mainly by the stress and anti anxiety methods. Thank you for coming back and posting a update.

It’s all stuff everyone should be doing about everything.

What about the guys with T levels that are non-existent now and have all the associated problems related to that?

You can’t wish somethings away with good thoughts/habits alone, like when your testicles are damaged and don’t produce hormones anymore.

There are also levels of pain that simply can’t be ignored.

@Andy, having thought about your post for hours now, I still think you have good intentions, but I do find you to be stretching your own personal beliefs as far as possible in regard to how your theory will cure everyone.

Are you saying you also had other surgical procedures beyond your initial reversal? Did you have various blocks to?

Maybe this is true is some cases, but this seems like pretty extreme advice to me. I certainly wouldn’t advocate such advice.

What is, or where is your fact based proof for this statement?

I still find your post to be full of some good advice @Andy, but the more I think about everything you said, it comes off as very opinionated at minimum. I could actually go on, and on here picking your post apart, but won’t.

Who’s to say you didn’t get some relief from any of the procedures you ever had eventually?

I’d be curious to know what would happen if you discontinued your mental strategies. Do you really think you’d fall back to square one?

Did you suffer from any sort of anxiety, panic attacks, etc pre vas?

I know of others that said pvp/s changed their life for the better. Lifestyle, eating habits, exercise, spiritual, mind, body, etc, etc. Your certainly not the first. It changed me to.

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Every cloud has a silver lining. Being affected by pvps, gave me a lot of time to think and reflect about my lifestyle choices and habits. Although it has not been long for me, but in some respect, I have changed for better.

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@Andy thanks for the post. I’ve noticed that mindfulness has helped my pain a lot. For example, I’m in the process of moving into a new house and notice that when I’m doing things like painting, cleaning, electrical work, clearing brush, etc that I have no pain. It’s not until I sit down to rest that I notice that I’m experiencing pain. I’ve also started up some old hobbies to keep occupied. Anything that gets me out of my head. Don’t get be wrong though because I feel like I, to an extent, have healed physically too. However, playing the mental game has offered a lot of respite from PVPS. A caveat though is that I do take Cymbalta and Amitriptyline which have helped mentally too.

Seriously, thanks for the post. I’m all for men passing on what works for them, even if others on here won’t heed the advice, and for some reason, try to dismiss it. Glad to hear things have improved. Good luck.

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Thank you for this detailed post Andy. I was an absolute skeptic who now really does believe it’s an important part of the puzzle and can possibly help many men dealing with PV issues and PVP.

I don’t doubt for a second that everyone here has experienced real trauma and real physical pain that is caused by any number of real physical and debilitating post vasectomy complications. I also think our minds play an important role in how we perceive that pain. Lots of people who deal with chronic pain (often from an accident or whatnot… rather than elective surgery like a vasectomy!) turn to cognitive behavior therapy to help them manage chronic pain.

I have already started to turn to alternative treatments to use in conjunction with real physical/medical treatments. I recently began trying mediation through the Gupta guy’s app and was really surprised to find that it actually helped a bit. I went in very skeptical, but also desperate and willing to do anything that provides relief. To my surprise I was able to kind of noticeably dull the pain, by I guess sort of removing my mind from the pain through meditating, similar to those who mention distracting themselves from the pain through a hobby or whatnot. And while the pain still returns full force and it still feels like I was kicked in the balls 5 minutes ago (even though my vasectomy was almost 3 months ago), it’s nice to have it reduced if even for a little bit. It gives me hope that it’s one more tool I can use to help my body heal as best it can and deal with this friggin nightmare I handed it with this damn vasectomy.

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Hey Andy, thanks for the post. I tried your anti-anxiety treatment. Soon afterwards, it seemed like the things that increased or decreased my pain level were physiological issues, such as the type of underwear I was wearing, or lifting something, or sleeping on my left side, etc. I didn’t really get much out of the anti-anxiety program. My shrink told me that anxiety could increase PVPS, so your ideas may work for some people.

I read about The Tapping Solution. Wikipedia says that Emotional Freedom Techniques (what tapping is) works only as a placebo effect.

One anti-anxiety book I have read that I would suggest as an addition to your list is Taking Control of Anxiety: Small Steps for Getting the Best of Worry, Stress, and Fear. There are a lot of good ideas in there.

Another possible idea is CBD, which I’m taking right now for anxiety and PVPS. Too early right now to know anything.

I’m struggling with the chicken vs egg thing here, never having had signicant nut pain pre-vas…BUT, at this point I’m open to anything.
Thanks for sharing!