Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Sex, Pain, Relationship Breakdown and Vasectomy - Large cohort study

Yes. These statistics are WAY higher than what other studies have shown, but I think vasectomy studies have been poorly done. The topic is subtle and loaded with misunderstandings, self-deception and fudged communication. The questionnaires must be crafted carefully and the studies need to be designed cleverly to tease these issues out into the open. By and large, I think the scientists have not really wanted to find out anything bad about vasectomy and consequently were unable to bring the necessary level of creativity and effort to ask the right questions in the right way.

Look at the intro to a classic study:

The incidence of chronic testicular pain following vasectomy has not been previously assessed. We have carried out a survey by postal questionnaire and telephone interview of 172 patients 4 years after vasectomy to assess the incidence of chronic testicular pain. … Only 3 patients regretted having had the vasectomy because of chronic pain.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/21618758_Chronic_Testicular_Pain_following_Vasectomy

The “only” there gives the game away. That’s “only” 70,000 men every year who regret the vasectomy because of chronic pain. They regret the vasectomy even though it protects them from another child, even though it means no more condoms, even though their partner can quit the pill, even though their partner might feel more sexy and relaxed because she is not worried about getting pregnant. Those are some great things sitting on the positive side of the scale. How bad does the pain have to be on the other side of the scale to tip the scale over toward regret? There are definitely some guys out there who will say they don’t regret it even though sex feels different, or not as good, or they don’t like having their balls played with anymore, or they have a dull ache all the time.

These scientists are investigating with the desire to show how safe vasectomy is, and that desire damages their ability to design the study properly.

So you get studies like this that show that on average, vasectomized men have sex 5.9 times per month, while non-vasectomized men have sex 4.9 times per month. Case closed, vasectomy has only a positive impact on your sex life and everyone can take that to the bank.

But men are individuals. They are not averages across a set of men. So you can still have 5% of the men in constant pain and obliging their wives once a month, and if the other lucky couples are having enough sex, they bring up the average. And if you don’t design you study carefully – in other words, if you design your study the way a person who is not looking very hard would design it – then you don’t get a full picture.

Thanks for Sharing. If there was some other emoji for “like” besides the heart- I would have used that. The screaming testicles would have been appropriate. Like everyone else here, wish I had taken a deeper dive before getting vasectomized!

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Yes, I understand that you think this topic is somewhat of a misunderstanding within modern medicine. The Bermuda triangle of poorly logged statistics, poor follow-up, etc, if you will. I’m sure you are aware that I think differently, and that’s ok. If you study other other controversial statistics and studies within modern medicine, I suppose there are many bermuda triangle’s within the subject matter. Again, I think differently, and that’s ok.

That’s one way of looking at it, and I agree with that to some extent. What was the purpose of not wanting to know? What is the purpose of them not wanting their potential clients to know? Are we to assume that modern acidamia, scientist’s, etc, are, or we’re all so stupid that they didn’t know how to conduct a study properly? Or, are were the studies “cooked” on purpose? They we’re smart enough to build an atom bomb among countless other far more trivial things, but since the bomb was built, we still have nonsense literature, statistics, etc, on the front lines of vasectomy related data? Everyone must decide that for themselves wth is going on. I honestly question the purpose of such contradictory studies within modern medicine. Why as of more recently are these people getting smart enough to word studies properly? I have some ideas, yet I have not the answers, but it does make me think :thinking:

Not a great study considering how many are done annually and have been done for decades. Obviously that study sites approximately 2% chronic pain.

I hear you, but this paragraph only covers a fraction of the title of this thread / study. As you know, there’s far wider swath of negative outcomes beyond chronic pain.

Yes, I understand. My first thoughts are, who funds the studies? From my POV, I follow the money. I equally follow special interest groups. Who has the most power, money, influence, and push? And, what is their MO?

Yeah, those statistics are very misleading. I read that and I’m like? Who is having sex or masterbating ~once a week? I understand that this is an average, and I think vasectomy might work better for some men that ejaculate very infrenquently. If ~once a week is an average number, that means some men were having sex and/or ejaculating once every month, two, or three :roll_eyes:

I don’t mind if you disagree. You’ve seen different data points over your life than I have, after all.

I try not to have any loyalty to any particular conclusions – I just want to make sure I’m using good process, and stay ready to discard or modify conclusions as it seems appropriate.

As a political matter, I do think it’s useful to grant people the benefit of the doubt where possible. But I also understand that everyone here feels deeply betrayed and jaded and rightly so.

Just another though I had about this study… You know how the focus of the counselling is all about “Are you sure you don’t want kids?” etc.

Thing is, vasectomy doesn’t guarantee you won’t be able to father kids in the future. What it does is jeopardize your ability to father kids in the future. Sort of a subtle distinction I guess, but doctors run with that. Don’t get a vasectomy if you think you might want kids in the future. Treat it like it’s permanent. This is serious. You treat every gun like a loaded gun.

So here, we have a study that maybe puts some hard numbers on how much risk vasectomy poses to your marriage.

You think urologists are going to take that seriously? You think they are going to bring that up in counselling?

Doctor: “So you understand that after you get this vasectomy, there might not be any way back. Like you could get a reversal, but there is a significant risk that you won’t be able to have kids.”

Patient: “Yeah, doc. I get it. I mean, I came here with that understanding. I’m getting a vasectomy because I don’t want any more kids.”

Doctor: “Good. Ok. And you understand that if you get this vasectomy, there is about a 6% chance that it will destroy your marriage?”

Patient: “Wait, what? How?”

Doctor: “Oh, well usually it’s sexual performance related stuff. This much I can assure you. None of the guys I’ve done a vasectomy on have come back and blamed me for the breakup of their marriage.”

Patient: “Well that’s encouraging I guess.”

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I hear you brother.

Again, thanks for the OP.

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Excellent post, Ethan. Thanks for all your research and the work you do on this forum and on other sites.

I came across a similar study, that was done way back in 1973. I’d be interested on your thoughts on this one : https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3d28/fa97c7b4c9630877c7672212fd6d604a9bb9.pdf. In this one, 12% of the people developed problems, I was surprised to see basically all the problems that are reported on this forum. I don’t agree with their conclusions though, they are blaming illiteracy as the cause behind those issues !

Maybe you have seen this study from 1976 before : https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(16)41653-5/pdf, this one is on the effects of vasectomy on hormones. They talk about significant drop in the percentage of free testosterone from weeks 4 to 40. Of course the study was conveniently done only for 40 weeks ! The drop is free testosterone is cleverly omitted from the summary at the end, they simply state that overall levels of T, LH & FTI did not change.

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I’m going to hit on this one to.

You see, it’s not about what has changed as of more recently, such as the wording, the questions, the data, etc.

Such data has existed for decades, yet society, potential clients, etc, are still being dumbed down with memes and psyop’s like vasectomy is a low risk procedure, vasectomy is safe, world vasectomy day, and on and on. Ignorance is bliss.

Thanks for sharing the link to the study from 1973 @Primo. It’s been a while since I seen that one.

I feel confident saying that if we could get a master list of every single vasectomy study that has ever been done, we’d be shaking our heads.

Love this article. Thanks for sharing

Couple of thoughts about the first study there. First the overall picture:

Percent complaint

They present a table that looks like this:

Complaint by status

From that table they notice that most of the complainers are lower class or illiterate, and they conclude that this variable is explanatory in terms of who complains about their vasectomy. Supposedly men who are ignorant or have false notions about vasectomy have psychosomatic problems and complain about them.

I haven’t gone over this study with a fine tooth comb, but one thing I didn’t see was any kind of evidence that the authors understand how statistics works. Looking at the raw numbers tells you really nothing about what is important – you at a bare minimum need to take into consideration the relative proportions of high/middle/low class and educated vs uneducated people.

Just as a rough cut at this, using what is available, and normalizing everything to percentages, this is the same information that is presented in that table:

by class

by education

Looking at the data from that angle, one could say that the different classes and education levels are actually reporting a similar ratio of mild/medium/severe. It’s also worth noting that these are pretty small sample sizes to cut up this way. You only have 1 or 2 people with higher education complaining. It’s hard to know what that means if you don’t know how many people with higher education got a vasectomy.

In the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, the con-men fooled everyone for so long by telling them that wise men could see the clothes, while idiots could not. In fact, there were no clothes, but no one wanted to admit that they could not see the clothes because that would signal to others that they were idiots.

There is a similar game I see a lot which you could call the “Emperor’s Awesome Vasectomy”. That’s where, sure, admittedly 15% of guys complain that they had a bad experience, but we are going to find a way to make it signal something unflattering about the man. We are going to ascribe the problem to some flaw which the man has.

Maybe he’s uneducated. He’s lower class. He’s a weakling. He’s a whiner. (I pushed a baby head out of a hole the size of a lemon and he is complaining about a little snip?) He’s misinformed. He has out-dated views on masculinity. He is worried about a zombie-apocalypse and want to be able to repopulate the earth. He thinks he won’t be able to ejaculate anymore. :roll_eyes: He is prone to psychosomatic problems. He has psychological issues. He’s getting older and blaming his vasectomy for all the stuff that everyone else his age doesn’t feel the need to broadcast to everyone in earshot. He consulted “Dr. Google” and freaked himself out by reading too many horror stories beforehand and now suddenly every normal twitch is the end of the world. He didn’t ice his balls enough. He couldn’t keep it out of his hands and masturbated too early. He tried to walk to the top of the Empire State building the day after his vasectomy. He got a vasectomy in a third world country. He did it because his wife told him to but didn’t really want to.

Etc. etc.

Yes. Some guys complain about their vasectomy. Can’t dispute that.

But don’t worry, because you’re not like them. You’re a strong guy. Mentally strong. Physically tough. You’re an upper-class, high-education guy. You’re secure in your masculinity. You’re going to follow the post operative instructions. You’re going to wear this magic crystal on this necklace and nothing bad is going to happen to you so hop up on the table and let’s do this!

And if you do have problems, well… you need to think carefully about who you tell. After all, if you have problems we will make sure that everyone believes that you have only yourself to blame. You know who had a bad vasectomy? Clowns like Michael Scott. I don’t see how you could possibly be taken seriously if you try to blame the vasectomy. Vasectomy is a very safe procedure, as everyone knows.

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Could also be that lower and middle class ( as awfully as it sounds) tend to have hard manual jobs, which have the potential to aggravate already irritated area? I know I’m generalising now, but makes me wonder.

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Absolutely.

What ought to be clear is that this is a superficial study, with superficial analysis and a surplus of confidence in their conclusions.

To me, the only solid takeaway is that 12% of the men who got a vasectomy had sex disorders significant enough to prompt them to go to the hospital and seek help.

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What generally annoys me with this or any study in general is that I absolutely hate the way we use %; it’s only 12%, 5% or whichever arbitrary number. It’s not a percentage, it’s a person, who is suffering the consequences. In my opinion, problems are somehow are trivialised by masking then behind percentages.

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Excellent analysis @Ethan_Scruples. Great writing style.

I agree, it’s not about the percentage, it’s a person/family that is suffering the consequences. Although I am willing to bet the other 88% are not problem free. They probably felt the effects years down the lane, at which point they probably were told that the problem was in their head.

@SomeGreyBIoke, you bring up an excellent point. You are correct, the so called “lower class” do indeed have jobs that involve hard physical labor. And it’s the same for some percentage of the middle class people as well. I know this well, first hand. Which would explain why they had problems early on.

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Science, merely the studies are all about correlation and confimation bias. Oh wait, am I talking believe here? When I shared my opinion with my fellow university students the Pavlov reaction is no it’s not! We are indipendant, moral free, unbiased scientist. Well, these guys are performing the studies.

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Figured I would post a link to this thread as it is relevant to the discussion and pretty mind blowing as well.

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Mind blowing and an infuriating catch-22. What a bunch of weasels.

How many of us have gone in and told the doctor about the symptoms we have that started after the vasectomy, only to be told:

It’s only been a month! Give it some time!

Maybe this is a hernia? A back injury? A pulled muscle? Idiopathic orchialgia. Could be bacterial. Psychological. Regular old epididymitis. You know guys without a vasectomy get that? Wait for things to “settle down”. The plumbing just needs to figure itself out down there. Could be a while before your body learns to absorb sperm. Well I’m not sure what it is, but it’s a coincidence that it started after your vasectomy. Ultrasound doesn’t show anything. MRI didn’t show anything. You’ll be fine. I do vasectomies all the time.

If reports of PVPS are not getting up the chain of command, I think it’s pathetic to lay the blame at the feet of the patient and not on the diagnostician. There is more than enough science to show that this is a real thing and I think it comes down to pure craven politics to keep the code off the books.

“We won’t look because we haven’t seen anything.”

Meanwhile, here is the ICD-10 code for a medical diagnosis of burn due to water-skis on fire

They will also break it out separately if you are struck by a duck

Enough patients are also reporting spacecraft collision injuring occupant

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This sounds like someone has done it as a joke

I would settle for “#ICD-10-CM CODE V99.07ZL Chronic scrotal pain starting within 12 months after vasectomy but probably not related.”

At least doctors would feel comfortable coding the patient that way.

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If there was ever a case of “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Say No Evil”, it’s the American Urological Association. Reminds me of the scene in the original Planet of the Apes when Charlton Heston is pleading his case the the council of orangutans.

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Sounds like New Zealand as well