“First, a disclaimer: I know there are a lot of views on the subject of birth control. The point of this post is NOT to argue these views one way or another. The point of this post is to INFORM you on what you might encounter if you have decided to have this procedure done. I don’t want to hear why you feel it’s wrong, or right, or upside down, because frankly, I don’t care. In our case, due to some health issues in my wife, and a few other reasons I’d rather not share, we decided it was the best route for us.
“I can’t believe your going to blog about that” said my wife when I told her what I was writing about today. Well, I’m actually a little surprised myself, but here I am, writing about getting snipped. Maybe I’m drawn to subjects that normally don’t get written about, leaving a huge void of information on how to deal with/what to expect when you go through them. Maybe that’s why I blogged about our miscarriage. I guess I just figure that if I went through it, and had to learn some things the hard way, why not share it with other husbands (even if it is a tough subject to just “bring up”) so you have some information to go into it with? Make sense? Ok, you’re still looking at me like I’m crazy, but whatever. Maybe at this point you want to navigate over to the Newsweek blog. But, if not, buckle up, ‘cus here goes…
In this post, I want to answer some of the hard (and strange) questions I had as a guy, going into this thing. Questions that you can’t really just ask off the cuff. It’s just a little strange to follow-up a “Man, the cowboys lost again huh?” with “So, how bad did you swell up after you got snipped?” Just seems a bit awkward. The following is a little bit of what I experienced/questions I had. Obviously you’re going to be a little different, but it should be at least close to what it’s going to be like for you. Also, if you have any questions (no matter how strange) that you’d like answered, just ask them below in the comments. I’d be glad to answer as honestly as possible.
“Where do you go to get it done?” - Yeah, that’s what I asked. Is there some sort of “snip doctor”? No. Well, not exactly. You can have your family practitioner do it, but I don’t recommend it. (And neither does my sister, who is a General Practitioner) You want to look up the Urologist in your area. And do your homework on them too. Get reviews online, check with other guys that have had it done. This isn’t something you want botched, or being done by a “newbie” who “thinks he know’s how to do it”. The Doc I went to had done over 300 of them, so he had a VERY good idea of what he was doing.
“Why do they want me to come in for a consult first? – Most docs want to sit down and go over the procedure with you, and make sure you understand what you’re having done, the risks, etc. I was scared that they would try to talk me out of it, but instead I got a really good understanding of what exactly he was going to do, what to expect. It’s worth the extra time.
“How bad does it hurt during the procedure?” – I can honestly say that I didn’t feel ANY pain during the procedure. There were sometimes when I felt a “tightness” in my testicles when he was working down there, but no sharp pain. They will numb you up at the incision site, and then again inside where they are working, so you shouldn’t feel a thing. They also had me take 2 Valium and a Hydrocodone before I came in, so I was feeling pretty “good” (ok, I was higher than a kite) when I got there. Let’s just say that my wife can tell you some stories about how I was acting before/when I got there. The Valium totally relaxes you, and makes you not care about much of everything. Doc could have fired up a chainsaw in the operating room, and I would have been like “cool man, what’s that for?”
“How bad is the aftermath?” – The docs will tell you to go home, keep ice on it, and take pain meds as needed. In my case the after-pain was nonexistent until the meds started to wear off. Then I started to feel the pain. That being said, if I kept an ice pack on it, and kept up on my pain meds, it was very manageable. Another thing I did was wear TWO pairs of boxer brief underwear when I slept, and put the ice pack in between the two pairs. That way the pack wasn’t making direct contact with it, and they kept the ice pack there while I slept.
I took two and a half days off of work, and was back to work for 4 hours on that 3rd day. It really depends on your job though. They don’t want you to lift anything for about 10 days if at all possible. And believe me, you might think “oh come on, it can’t be that bad”, but let me tell you, I started to help my wife move some boxes of stuff into the garage that second day, and let’s just say I stopped as soon as I started. You don’t realize how much you use the muscles down there when you lift, until you have this done.
“How bad was the swelling?” - As long as you keep ice on it every few hours the first couple days, it’s not bad. Are they bigger than normal, yes, but it’s not like having a soccer ball down there. It’s not comfortable to cross your legs for at least a couple of weeks however.
“How long until you can have sex again?” – The doc I went to said “Oh, you’ll know when you’re ready”. I didn’t really know what he meant by that, but was too afraid to ask. There turned out to be a lot of wisdom in it though. Basically, the first 4 or 5 days, the thought of sex just sounds painful. Like kick you in the crotch painful. But at about the 6 or 7 day mark, it sounds a little better, and for most you should be “back in the saddle” (sorry, bad pun) by around the 7-10 day mark. Each procedure is different and some docs will ask you to wait more or less, but for most, it will be about a week before you start to enjoy it again.
“Does sex feel the same as it did before?” – For the most part, yes. Let me explain. At first orgasm felt a little “different” then it did before. Almost as if there was less of a “full release” than pre vasectomy. Most of it was probably just in my head, but it just felt a little different, but not in a “less pleasurable” way. Now, 2 months post-op, I can’t tell a difference in feeling at all. If anything, it feels a little better, not worse.
“Other strange sex related questions” -
“Is there as much ejaculate as before?” Since sperm only makes up about 5% of the ejaculate, the scientific answer to that question would be no. Can you tell just by looking at it? Not in a million years.
“Does the ejaculate look different from before?” No, not at all.
“Will my wife desire me less?” Yes, us guys like to play these silly head games. As a man, there is something about being able to get our wives pregnant that gives us a sense of “manhood”. To our wives however, it can actually be a stress, not a turn-on, if pregnancy isn’t desired at the time. So, the answer to this question is no. If anything (and I’ve heard this from several guys who have had this done), it let’s the wife enjoy the encounter MORE, since there is no fear of pregnancy sitting in the back of her head.
“Is there any pain after total recovery?” - Like I said, I’m only 2 months post op, but the only pain I have is an occasional “ache” (similar to the “blue balls” feeling) in my testicles, and I do notice that I’m a bit more sensitive to accidental hits/knocks there by random misplaced knee from the kiddos, etc. I’m told that most of this will also go away over time.
“Can you still see the incision after it’s all healed?” – No, not at all. Even my wife couldn’t find it. My doc used the stitches that dissolve, so other than a small, harder spot where the stitches were, you can’t tell at all.
“How long until you can have unprotected sex after the procedure?” - They want you to wait 6 weeks, or 12 ejaculations, whichever comes first. Then they have you bring in a sperm sample to the office, so they can test for any remaining sperm. If there aren’t any, you’re good to go. If there are, they have you bring in a sample every week, until there are none.
Random things you need to know:
- Take the drugs they give you before you go in for the procedure. Don’t try to be the “manly man”. Just take them. They know what they’re doing.
- If you wear boxers normally, go buy some boxer briefs, or regular briefs. You will need at least 6 pairs. 10 would be better. Remember, you will be doubling up for the first few days. The goal is to have underwear that is supportive, without being TOO tight.
- Resist the temptation to “see if it still works” too soon after post-op. There was a guy I know about who did that after the first day, and let’s just say it turned all kinds of pretty shades of purple. Yeah, BAD idea.
- Buy some ice packs. You want them to be about 4 inches wide by 5 or 6 inches long, and you want the ones that stay pliable even while frozen/cold. You can find them on Amazon, or any drug store. Have at least 2, so you can keep trading them out.
- DO NOT try to go back to wearing boxers less than one month out from surgery. Don’t ask me how I know this, but while you may think you’re fine, by the end of the day you will NOT be fine. Too much movement = bad.
- Remember the “ice pack between two pairs of underwear” trick that I talked about above. Works GREAT.
- Do NOT try to do ANY lifting before the 10 days are up. And even then, be careful! Like I said, you wouldn’t think it would affect that area, but it does. Anything over 10 lbs, don’t do it.
To sum it up – Was it worth it?
Here’s the deal guys. Was it fun to go through all the “stuff” I described above? The ice packs, the pain meds, the surgery, the awkwardness? No. Is it worth it to be able to have worry free sex with my wife anytime we want, without having to worry about if we have a condom, what time of the month it is, where her cycle is, if she’s ovulating, etc, etc, etc? Totally. I have, and will always, hate condoms, and I will never regret the day I got to throw them all away.
Is it the right thing for your marriage? Sorry, I can’t tell you that. Pray about it, have a long hard talk with your wife, and look at things in a “down the road” kind of way. If you’re 25, have 1 child, and might want more later, probably not a good call. If you’re 32, have 4 kids, and feel like the Lord may want you to adopt later, instead of having any more of your own, it might be a good option for you.
Whatever you decide, my hope is that this post gives you some real answers about what to expect, and how it’s going to affect you physically. Beyond that, is up to you.
How about you? Have any tips/questions to add?