Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Tips on handling the Mourning Process

We had a pandemic baby, our third. An amazing, happy little girl, born in Oct 2020. Vasectomy was presented as the responsible option for birth control. At 39, with three kids, we didn’t want to risk a fourth.

There was a wait list due to the pandemic. My closed end scalpel-less procedure was performed by a UPenn/Yale grad with an amazing reputation on April 30, 2021. Only a little over a month ago.

Procedure was non-eventful, other than smelling my flesh being cauterized. Initial recovery went well. I have always been extremely active, from the time I could walk as a child, playing lacrosse in college, golf, weightlifting, biking, and running as an adult. Even installing a squat rack and full barbell/kettlebell set up when the pandemic hit to keep that part of my life going. 17 days after the procedure I began to exercise, maybe at 75% of what I would normally do. Later that week, at day 20, the pain began. Sharp, pulsing, radiating to my groin and abdomen.

When I called that day the nurse called back prescribing a 30 day course of Mobic (Meloxicam). I didn’t have time to even formulate questions, but immediately thought “why TF is it 30 days?”

One week later, I had a slight burning sensation arise and was granted an appointment with another urologist from the same practice. He pressed my left and right epididymis indicating they were swollen. Extreme pain was experienced. He prescribed a week of anti-biotics - doxycycline to rule out epididymitis. And only then, did I began to explore more information on PVPS. Terrifying. Learning that conservatively 25k new American men experience this every year was a complete gut punch. Certainly, this potential outcome deserves more than a two sentence disclaimer. My symptoms seem to be worsening and the care tree is being followed, and it’s like looking into the future. Tomorrow I will have an ultrasound…my urologist is telling me that reversal is not the answer…repeating many of your stories it would seem.

Like many of you I am mining the interwebs for clues and ideas. Learning about the vavovasectomy process and experts. Papaya seed powder, jock straps, and a cocktail of supplements recommended by the few reliable PVPS publications available are on their way. This forum is a godsend in terms of community access to difficult to find anecdotes and strategy based outcomes.

I have already been shouting from the mountaintops to my friends and family members about what is happening to give them the facts before deciding. Two cancelled their VAS appointments. A small consolation I suppose, saving others from this fate.

While there remains much hope in terms of a non-invasive treatment based approach, the potential for the “2-12 week” recovery period happening on its own, all the way to a reconstructive reversal, I find myself in mourning.

I am mourning the man I was just a few short weeks ago. The things I could choose to do. Working out, drinking a beer, making love to my wife without the threat of pain, playing with my kids, taking a walk, working on my home…sleeping with only the threat of our 4 year old barging in to ask for someone to snuggle with him. I am mourning the man I was to my wife and the father I was to my children. I cannot and will not let this regret haunt me. But I am experiencing deep regret just the same. The feeling of devastation that I am experiencing seems to be one you have all gone through in your own way.

What have you found helpful to move past the regret and into acceptance?

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To explain where I was coming from a few years ago, here is a bit of an email I sent a while ago about my experience with PVP:

In the early days I had that moment when I woke up when I would suddenly remember that I had this problem now and no real hope of a resolution, and my heart would sink again. Every morning.

I feel as though part of me died when I got my vasectomy. A big chunk of my personality died. But I can’t bury it because it is attached to the living remainder. Some day the rest will finally die and all of me can go into the grave together, but until then I am condemned to drag the prematurely dead part around wherever I go.

I’ve called my vasectomy a bruise that will not heal. That is how it feels physically. Emotionally it is like grief that cannot resolve. It is disorienting. Expectations-bursting. We take it for granted that we would be able to heal from an injury.

It has been three and a half years since my vasectomy, and from this vantage point I can offer you two glimmers of hope.

One is that the psychological pain will fade dramatically if the physical pain fades. Seeing as how your vasectomy was less than three months ago, there is a high probability that your pain will improve a lot – and at that point the whole ordeal will seem far less emotionally significant. A lot of guys who are quite traumatized and regretful when they are still in pain eventually, amazingly, go on to say that it turns out it wasn’t that bad after all once the pain goes and it no longer haunts their future.

The other is that grief does fade and happiness reasserts itself. I think the key is to avoid cultivating a habit of being bitter, which seems like a much more durable negative state than sadness.

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Ethan. Did you get a reversal. What helped you get through the pain.

No reversal yet. I still have intermittent aches, hypersensitivity to pressure or hits, soreness with ejaculation and an absence of pleasure when I ejaculate.

Psychologically, though, I suffer a lot less, probably because most of the time I feel mostly fine.

Still might get that reversal though.

Your vasectomy was when again? Had mine August of 2019 and the real bad pain hit October of 2020. Just trying to get time line of how long I show wait to think about reversal. Mine is nerve pain and has also moved into my back.

Mine was Dec 2017. My uro advised me not to wait much past 3 years.

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Have you seen Dr P in Florida or anyone in Cleveland

No, I haven’t consulted with Dr. P or Cleveland.

@Ethan_Scruples I hadn’t really thought of it that way. Certainly, I’ve experienced the death of loved ones, and absolutely, the natural grieving process takes effect. Insightful, poetic description. Rings true to me at the moment as well.

My mind has worked its way through the blame cycle (myself, the URO, VAS as a procedure, and more) and I could/can feel that bitterness rising. I need to be aware of that and try to starve it as I pursue options and opinions. Come what may on the pain front, embracing the changes to my lifestyle and activities seems like the healthiest way to do it. I still have three kids to raise.

Thank you for replying.

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Hi I had mine in summer '18 and I think I have a combination of everything, nerve pain, congestion, and autoimmune flare-ups. Also back pain since 1/2 year. What have you been doing? I spoke to numerous doctors, in Europe, but also consulted with Dr. P. He suggests reversal, and with my recent autoimmune issues, I tend to agree - but it’s such a tough decision.

From my own experience, which hopefully can help somebody in a way that this group help me. Firstly I realized that I was not the only man in the world that was negatively effected by a vasectomy and that after all the stories I have read over time realized that my pain issues could have been worse and that I should really be grateful that it is not, although it is difficult especially when you hear and see other guys that had no issues at all. PVPS is really and effect a lot of men. I also learned that you have to be 100% honest with yourself why you had the procedure and deal with that in order to be able to forgive yourself for doing this to your own body. Lastly for me personally I did not wanted for anybody to know that I had a vasectomy, suffered from PVPS and had a reversal and therefore did not want to share or dicuss the problem. Through learning about other guys experience I learned to open up and start sharing my experience which help me tremendously. Unfortunately I still get bad days, however less frequent, and have then to work hard then not to fall back into the emotional rollercoaster of anger and regret.

I’ve been there and know exactly what you mean. I felt the same way. I felt like a trapped animal. I mourned the lose of my past self, retreated my decision to have a vasectomy, and was bitter that I had been mislead as to the risks.

I’m not sure there’s a way to avoid feeling that way. The best thing to do might be to hold onto hope. Realize that a lot of men do get better, and there are treatments. Also, hopefully your wife is supportive. I was on the rocks when I had my vasectomy and my ex wife offered no support. I met a girl right before my reversal who was totally understanding and having someone understand my suffering helped me so much.

I had my vasectomy in Aug 2019, and my reversal Jan 2020. Over a year later, I’m doing by much better. I’m probably feeling 90-95 % of how I felt prior to the vasectomy. Don’t give up.

Status
Week 7. Still on Mobic (three days left in a 28 day course). Just finished a 4mg course of prednisone. Inflammation seems to be in check at the moment. Pain is 1-2/10 with periods of 0.

Ultrasound showed inflamed EPIs and a “small hydrocele” on the RHS.

URO was actually super helpful last Tuesday. Listened. Preached time for a bit but not much past 3-6 months. Based on some different intermittent pain when urinating and discomfort when sitting on anything firm she recommended pelvic floor physical therapy. Local spot that specializes doesn’t have any openings until August.

URO actually brought up the PUR clinic website in the session. She didn’t know Dr. P bounced, but that action carved a footpath of trust.

Forgave myself somewhere along the way last couple weeks. Intentionally. Def considered what you guys said here. Which really helped. Also have a stupid awesome wife, which also helps. I refuse to let this own me.

OTC supplements (2x day):

1/2 teaspoon organic non-gmo papaya seed powder (went with the Herbal Goodness jawn)
500mg Longvida Curcumin
300mg Mag Bisglycinate
Dr Theos Fish Oil
Dr Theos Vitamin D3

Adding Tart Cherry Concentrate (pill form) as soon as Amazon delivers it.

I’m probably throwing money away, but it feels like I’m taking some modicum of control.

Garments

Rocking jock strap underwear underneath some Lululemon THE Short with compression liners. Just ordered some UFM boxer briefs today. Support helps me for sure.

Activity

Cancelled two golf trips which…ya know, WTF man.

I’m dying to get back to the weights. At some point I might just say F it to the pain and go.

Introducing yoga and dry sauna this week.

Daily hot baths have been great. Reading while I sit in there has also been a way to decompress. Dove back into the stoics and I’m currently rereading Meditations, love this excerpt:

7.33 Unendurable pain brings its own end with it. Chronic pain is always endurable: the intelligence maintains serenity by cutting itself off from the body, the mind remains undiminished. And the parts that pain affects-let them speak for themselves, if they can.

Positives

Moderate diet changes and eliminating my beloved microbrews (and alcohol entirely) has caused weight loss. 12 lbs so far. Probably some slabs of melting muscle too, but I digress.

As the pain even slightly subsides its created such an appreciation for those moments and hours. Finding joy in things I used to push aside. Clarity in those moments is so incredible.

Last two ejaculations (3 days apart) felt pretty good and looked normal. Not as watery as the previous attempts. And they didn’t dribble out. Probably the prednisone helping on the pain, maybe my body is figuring it out. F if I know.

Haven’t had my T tested, but my libido is still high.

Keep going!

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