Sure… Let’s start off with the story of how I had some plumbing disconnected. Or more commonly known as getting a Vasectomy. The main reason I want to talk about this is to share my experience of a no Scalpel Vasectomy to other Dad’s that are thinking about it. My tale will be warts ‘n all… (there are no warts!, but there is a Tale.) Also, I usually scatter my blog posts with photographs, but in this instance, I’ve refrained from photographing most of the detail!
Getting a Vasectomy
I AM A SCARDY PANTS! There I’ve said it. I won’t deny the fact that the thought of a needle or an operation freaks me out. It’s only really this year that I’ve come to terms with my regular Dentist visits. So choosing to get a Vasectomy for me is a big thing. We’d talked about it for a while and I agreed that out of the two of us, my operation is less invasive and quicker. What’s the worst that could happen?
So I booked an appointment with our GP and did the usual thing where I have 2 other ailments to tick off first. New inhalers for my Asthma, my sore back and… Oh yeah can I have my nuts detached, please? The doctor I saw at our GP’s was a female doctor. That doesn’t usually cause me any concern as I believe that they have seen everything and heard everything before. I took a deep breath and said: “I’d like to book a vasectomy please!”.
I was asked a list of questions about my lifestyle, background and thought process. Most people who get this far have already looked into it in detail and are ready. I was ready. Although I wasn’t ready for the waiting list to get it booked in.
My experience with the Vasectomy on the NHS was that our local provider does a non-scalpel version of the Vasectomy. This means that there are no stitches to be removed afterwards and is done under local anaesthetic. I’d watched the video animation online. The doctor finds the tube to cut and clamps it through the… ball bag. I believe this is then cut with a device that burns and seals the tube (sealing being that it stops it bleeding not closing up the tube).
The Vasectomy tale
As mentally prepared as I thought I was the reality turned out different. I walked up to the “operating theatre”. Which seemed like an office with a bed on one side and a curtain down the middle. The Doctor handed me a modesty blanket to cover myself up.
“Take your trousers and pants off and place them on that chair. You can leave your T-Shirt on.”
I quickly stripped down and wrapped a tiny paper tablecloth around my waist for what it was worth. The Curtain opened and I hopped on to the table. My paper skirt was taken away and everything that was private became almost public.
“I can see you’ve had a good shave, lots of people try it and it’s not done enough”
As requested I’d shaved my lower regions. If I’m totally honest I got a little carried away with it. What I thought was going to be quite difficult, turned out to be easier than shaving my chin.
What happened next just felt weird. My balls and groin were washed three times with a cold fluid and cotton wipes. It’s possibly what a bed bath feel like but took me by surprise. Finally to regain some modesty. A blanket was placed over me with a circle cut in and my tackle was pulled through. The doctor started to ask me about my hobbies and interests to keep me distracted, while they prepared a local anaesthetic injection.
“You’ll feel a little scratch!”
The injection wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It certainly makes me cringe thinking about it, but it’s not that bad. After a couple of minute of injected, bare balled conversation it was time to start. The doctor felt around for the Vas and clamped it. I jumped! I felt a sharp pain. I needed more anaesthetic. Time to continue.
“You’ll smell burning so we’ll turn on this fan”
The Device that separated the Vas Deferens cauterizes the tube to prevent bleeding. This is done by burning the ends. And It smells like burned hair. At this point, I didn’t feel too great.
“I think I’m going to fain……”
I was out for the count. Probably just a few minutes, but I’d never actually fainted before. It felt like the most amazing sleep. The radio in the background started to fade back in and I slowly came around. To find the Doctor and a Nurse looking at me. The fan was blowing towards my face. I was handed a glass of water. I felt fully refreshed, slightly strange with my nuts out. Although possibly the best outcome for this op for me. To fall asleep naturally while it was happening.
“Would you like me to continue with the other testicle or would you like to rebook in for the other side?”
I was only halfway through. There was no chance of this turning into a second visit, so I gave the all clear. The second vas was severed much quicker than the first one. The small talk dried up and we were done.
Post Vasectomy pain. How long should it last?
Usually after the walk in / walk out procedure you’re home before any pain kicks in. I nearly passed out in the recovery room again and dragged the 5 minutes into 45 minutes. Which also became 2 cups of coffee and a couple of packets of biscuits. You’re advised to go home and relax and that is where the pain would start waving in.
The Pain after the local anaesthetic wears off feels like you have been kicked in the balls. When you would usually rub the area and it’ll go away it’s not shifting. Two paracetamols and a couple of Ibuprofen sorted me out quickly. Which I continued to take the following day. The actual pain had gone by then and a pair of tight pants helped. There was a psychological pain/fear of sudden movements.
The worst pain I had felt like needles stabbing into my ball bag. It was only by the 6th day that I realised what the pain was. What I thought was surgical recovery pains was my pubes growing back in. The stubbly growth was worse than the injections, the burning and clamping or the kicking in the balls pain.
How many days to recover from Vasectomy?
The day of the procedure, I returned home and lay in bed. Which is a great time to learn a new skill on youtube. I started to learn how to use my camera properly via FroKnowsPhoto.com. As I also have two young girls in the house it meant I was less likely to be climbed all over.
The following day was partially spent in bed and very much kept as a lazy day. Day 3 turned into a walk out and about. Day 4 everything was back to normal. I could have gone running (in my mine), but kept to light duties for a full 2 weeks. In my mind, this all helped in the recovery and from talking to a friend who had the same op a couple of weeks earlier, prevented Black Balls!
Yes, Black Balls is a thing. There is potential to get some amazing bruises on your nuts, but I think my taking it easy approach prevented them. I had a very small bruise appear that was the size of a pea.
How long after Vasectomy before sterile?
As bizarre as this sounds, it wasn’t until I saw a poster on the wall in the clinic, that a Vasectomy is a form of contraceptive. The whole purpose is that the procedure detaches the pipework needed to connect the sperm to the outlet.
The instructions you are handed upon leaving is that you have to produce a sample 12 weeks after the vasectomy. During these 12 weeks you need to have… erm… let’s say expelled the contents of the tubes at least 20 times. Or in other words, if you have 2 weeks off you need to shuffle the stuff out twice a week.
When you hit the 12th week you provide a sample into a test tube. Place that into a Transportation container, which goes inside a ziplock bag, with then gets placed into a Biohazard postal packet. My 12th week coincided with the UK’s general election. I made certain not to mix up any postal voting and sample packets. Otherwise my protest vote would have been DNA tranced back to me.
For the record… a week later I received a letter in the post with the results. All clear. Unlike most of the other posts on our blog, I wanted to share my experience that may be of interest to other families. Also unlike the other posts, I won’t be rushing back to experience this again, but it wasn’t that bad. Certainly not on my top ten things to do in Newcastle list.