I finally decided to write this up and posted on Reddit’s r/postvasectomypain forum as well. Here’s the copypasta:
Been almost 2 years since vasectomy. The procedure itself was incredibly painful — yes I realize I should have been numb, but it’s like 99% of me was completely numb but 1% wasn’t numb at all. So most of it would be OK, then suddenly I’d have full sensation of them stabbing me. The stab would happen at least once a minute for about 20 minutes. And of course I couldn’t move or do anything about it other than crush the nurse’s hand as she tried to comfort. It was torture.
Things I’ve learned since then:
(before, if you’re still deciding to get it done)
An interesting note regarding orgasm sensations: This is totally anecdotal but after talking to many men and reading countless stories I began to notice a pattern. Men who described their orgasm sensation being entirely or almost entirely in the shaft of the penis (this seemed to be most men) did not have any negative vasectomy experience. Men (I am in this group) who describe their orgasm sensation as being entirely or almost entirely in the testicles had a much higher rate of post vasectomy pain. I really feel there’s something to this but I’m not equipped to study it scientifically.
Take NSAIDS . If you can’t due to severe stomach issues, don’t get a vasectomy. This isn’t just a “I’ll deal with the pain, I don’t need it” it’s a matter of inflammation can cause long term damage to the area. So either take NSAIDS or don’t get snipped.
If you have chronic abdominal pain issues , you are higher risk of complications (so says my urologist, though I have no data to back this up) These include things like celiac, crohns, Hirschsprung, IBS, etc. I have a double whammy of celiac and Hirschsprung so I should not have had a vasectomy.
Get knocked out . If you have the option, go full under and go to a big hospital. Even if everything else had happened the way it did for me, this would have at least saved me the trauma of what was essentially being operated on w/o being numb. I went to a very reputable national clinic that I respect greatly but it was not a hospital. I don’t blame them and I will not name them, but in retrospect I feel I should have gone to a facility that could have put me under.
(after, if you’re experiencing significant pain long term)
Acupuncture ! It has helped my pain significantly. It varies widely by practitioner. I’ve seen about 4 different ones and only one made a significant difference. She treated “blood stagnation” (Eastern medicine term).
She also recommended an Eastern herb blend called Stasis in the Lower Palace . I no longer take it unless I have a really bad flair up, but I used it for at least 6 months during the worst of the pain and I believe it helped. Bonus : women, from what I’ve heard it helps with cramps!
(disclaimer: I am not a practitioner nor am I licensed. This is not medical advice, I’m informing what worked for me and what my provider recommended. Please seek professional advice, this is just a reference)
CBD cream ! Applied daily - it’s not cheap, but it’s legal here. I won’t go into the brand I use so I don’t sound like I’m advertising but if people really want a specific recommendation send me a PM.
Swimming . It’s so important not to lose fitness for both physical and mental health. I found swimming to be the best exercise that did not cause pain.
Communication . Please talk with your significant other, be open with them, be vulnerable with them. This experience can be a huge strain on a relationship. Don’t bottle it up.
The first 6 months after the procedure were the worst. The first 4 weeks were unbelievable. One of my first post op check in appts the nurse very gently touched the area on top of the right testicle and it threw me to the floor. She was horrified and sent me to the ER. I missed 2 weeks of work, was high on opioids for a couple weeks. Would have been longer but I got off ASAP. Had an ultrasound which found nothing wrong (I swear this is worse than finding something). After the first month it was only slightly better, I was still walking funny, couldn’t lift heavy things, still constant pain and horrible shooting nerve pains from naval / appendix area down through right testicle. My right leg had an odd semi-numb sensation (anterior) that extended down to my big toe. I tried a few different meds but none helped. After months of acupuncture treatment it started to stabilize slightly but still had pain attacks on a regular basis.
These days (been this way for about a year) it’s incredibly sensitive but most of the time only mildly sore. I cannot lay on my left side for more than 5-10 minutes (something to do with the way the testicle hangs?). I still have periods of a day or week or two where it will flair up and be significantly more sore. Every so often my cat jumps onto my lap just wrong and what should be mildly uncomfortable feels instead like an ice pick in my groin.
About the only up side is I think my testosterone went up after the surgery. From what I’ve read there’s some percentage of men this happens? Odd, but I’ll take it - mine used to be a bit low.
I know most people won’t read this all so I tried to highlight the most important bits. I hope it helps someone.