I’ve had quite a few questions from people about my vasectomy so I decided to write out my experience. It is going to get a bit medically graphic so proceed with caution.
The procedure itself cost about $800 out-of-pocket. Luckily, my health insurance covered about $200 off the bat, even though I had not paid a dime into my deductible yet. My workplace also covers 50% of any out-of-pocket expenses for medical procedures, and I have already paid $200 into a Health Savings Account. So in the end I’ll be paying about $150. The biggest annoyance was scheduling the appointment, it was about a month before the doctor was able to get me in. I guess it could have been worse but clearly Missoula needs more urologists.
When I arrived for the appointment I was feeling confident. I had made this decision years ago and I was finally in a financial position where I could take care of it. I had to fill out the normal paperwork and after about 15 minutes of waiting I was brought back to the operation room. The doctor arrived shortly and we got started. First the doctor shaved a small part of my testicles and then felt around to locate the vas deferens (Fun Fact: vasectomy literally translates to “cutting out of the vas” but there isn’t really anything cut out, it is just cut). After locating the vas and covering up the rest of my genitalia a nurse came in to assist the doctor. I certainly didn’t care if she saw my penis but I guess it is proper medical etiquette to cover up everything except the workspace.
The next step was the local anesthetic… a fairly big needle that made a pinch. The pain wasn’t too bad, my apadravya piercing was way worse, but it was pretty uncomfortable. There was also a bit of a mental block feeling so vulnerable, I think we have an evolved primal instinct to not expose our genitals or allow dangerous things near them.
After everything was numb I didn’t feel anything else directly, but there was a lot of pressure and vibration along my upper thigh and in my upper pubic area. Apparently everything inside is connected so when you tug on things it echoes through the body. Most of what I experienced at this point was based on sight instead of touch. The doctor took out a scalpel and made a small incision along my upper scrotum, he then located the vas and cut it. There was some clamping and such involved but I couldn’t really see what was happening. Once the vas was cut they took out a small soldering tool and burnt each side of the vas shut to help guarantee they wouldn’t grow back together. This was probably the weirdest part, there is something really uncomfortable about seeing smoke rise from your crotch. The doctor then stitched that side up, added a little more anesthetic, and repeated the process on the other side.
The whole appointment took less than an hour and after holding some gauze on my crotch for 5 minutes I was free to go. The first stop was the liquor store.
I’m on day three now and things have been going smoothly. I haven’t had to take any pain meds beyond over the counter aspirin and an occasional bag of ice but I am following my doctors orders not to do any lifting or exercise for a few days. I decided to take it easy and just lounge around the house. I wasn’t able to get it wet for 48 hours but I’m fine to do that now. I do have some bruising on my penis shaft and on my testicles but that is all normal. I also am not allowed to ejaculate for another five days or so. That will probably be the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. I had a similar restriction after getting pierced and it gets pretty tough to not release after a few days. I’m an adult though, so I can handle it.
Now it really is just a waiting game. After I can ejaculate again I am supposed to do that 20 times before bringing a sample in to get tested. Apparently live sperm can hang around for a bit. Once I get two samples tested that do not have any life sperm I am officially sterile and my partner and I won’t have to worry about protection with each other.
I am really happy with my decision to do this. As I pointed out in a previous post, this doesn’t prevent me from being a father but it does allow me greater control over when that will happen. I never really minded condoms much (once I found one that fit comfortably) but it will be nice to not need to worry about pregnancy at all.