Vasectomy recovery tips
August 27, 2004 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Now that mrs. Richat and I have two beautiful daughters, I am thinking of partaking in a small procedure, but I have some questions that will be, well, you know, inside…

I haven’t spoken to my doctor about the modern vasectomy yet, but I am wondering…should I be planning a weekend away afterward to avoid the horseplay that my three year old loves? Can I expect much pain, or general discomfort afterward? Can anyone share any good advice?
posted by Richat to Health & Fitness (21 answers total)
An older friend had one a couple years ago and said it basically hurt to do anything but sit in a chair or sleep on a bed for about three days. His two young daughters once walked by and jumped in his lap that first weekend and he said he was in the worst pain of his life, but a week later he was fine and dandy again.
posted by mathowie at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2004

They have different kinds now (a no-scalpel, and the usual surgical kind), and the discomfort/pain is supposed to be less for no scalpel than others. And good for you--more guys should have it done.
posted by amberglow at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2004

Yes, it hurts. Yes, you will want to avoid moving around. Plan a four day weekend for recovery, and hide from the children if they're young enough to be climbing all over you when you're trying to heal. By day three or four you will be mostly fine, and seven days later you'll have forgotten all about it.

No, it's not the worst pain in the world, not by a long shot. But you are not going back to work the next day, no matter what the doctor tries to tell you. I've been in far worse pain: vasectomy pain is equivalent to 0.2 kidney stones.

Bring a support cup to the doctor's office for the trip home. You're going to be tender. Walking will hurt. Sitting will hurt. Laying in bed will hurt. All of them will hurt more without some way to prevent unwanted motion.
posted by majick at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2004

Oh, and talk to your doctor about titanium clips. Ideally the doc will prefer to use four of them rather than two.
posted by majick at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2004

majick, which kind did you have? the no-scalpel, or the old kind?
posted by amberglow at 6:18 PM on August 27, 2004

I had one a couple of months ago. I had the procedure done late in the afternoon and went home to crash. Before 24 hours had past I was feeling pretty good. Before a week had past everything was as before, well with the exception of a couple of cm of vas deferens. Looking back there wasn't too much pain, I only used tylenol for pain during the first 24 hours and then there was no need for it.

I might suggest that you and your 3 year old are at least separated for the first day, I have heard horror stories from men that did not take it easy the first day.

Be prepared to still use some sort of birth control for a couple of months until pronounced sterile.

majick; my dr. suggested the clips only if there was a chance I would want the procedure reversed. I went with the snip, remove, and tie.
posted by busboy789 at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2004

"majick, which kind did you have?"

Embarassingly, I can't remember. I think it was the no-scalpel, but it took a little extra work (and hurting) in my case due to some connective tissue in there.

"majick; my dr. suggested the clips only if there was a chance I would want the procedure reversed."

I don't mean clips instead of cut, but in addition to them. My doc did a snip, removal, a tie, and capped the loose ends with ties. It's a belt and suspenders approach; some fraction of patients actually manage somehow to heal themselves back to fertility with snip and clip.

I agree with ensuring you have alternative methods on hand. My doc wanted a count after several weeks before pronouncing All Clear, and suggested, er, "remaining active" in order to "clear the pipes," so to speak.
posted by majick at 7:32 PM on August 27, 2004

From what I've heard, bags of frozen peas will be a welcome side dish.
posted by stonerose at 7:33 PM on August 27, 2004

My boyfriend had one last December and reported about the same as busboy789. He had his done on a Thursday morning and was back to light-duty work on Monday. He didn't use the painkillers, just alternating frozen bags of peas and a cup. Good as new in a week!

About two days after the procedure I took some pictures of the bruising. He loves to look at them and brag that it didn't hurt at all. Looks nasty, though.
posted by dual_action at 7:49 PM on August 27, 2004

From one of the links in this thread: How much does a vasectomy cost?
Fees range between $240 - $1,000 for an interview, counseling, examination, operation, and follow-up sperm count. (Sterilization for women costs up to four times as much.) Some clinics and doctors use a sliding scale according to income.

WTF? It's going to cost the goobermint a helluva lot more than $1000 to put a kid through school. Vasectomies should be free. Sheesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on August 27, 2004

countries with population probs do do them for free i think (India i think, and maybe China)
posted by amberglow at 8:01 PM on August 27, 2004

Some ten years after the fact, I'm pleased with my results and heartily endorse the procedure. The pain vanishes with time. I got over procedure in three days (Friday snip-snip, and Monday back to work).

That said: ice, ice, baby! I can't stand a cold-pack on my joints for more than 10 minutes, but I gladly spent the first day of post-op holding a bag of ice on my 'wound.' In a normal day, you can't stand a chill that severe for more than a few minutes. Imagine a day when it feels good for hours. That's a vasectomy!
posted by F Mackenzie at 8:07 PM on August 27, 2004

How much does a vasectomy cost?

I actually had a friend who was interested in making a short film about getting a bus full of guys and taking them to canada to get vasectomies. Apparently, they're cheaper there.

That said, the only other note I can contribute to this thread is that my father had a vasectomy way way back in the 70s, and was possibly considering it before I was even concieved.

Naturally, I defied nature.

posted by fishfucker at 8:13 PM on August 27, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks All! I feel both relieved and a little afraid...I am debating taking off for a weekend maybe. Our three year old is really active (i.e. likes to jump on me, jump at me, expecting me to catch her, etc...) I love it, but...I will admit to fear of that pain that was mentioned by Matt above. It seems that it might be easier for me to head out for a weekend than to send everyone else away! 'Course I will likely talk to our doctor about it too...He's a peach. You guys are great though...thanks for the input.

My favourite part is the bit about being "pronouced sterile"!!
posted by Richat at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2004

Sounds like a wise idea Richat. You don't want to get a knock as a bleed can be very dangerous.

Apart from that just rest up for 2-3 days and don't cough or sneeze without "holding on."
posted by lucien at 2:11 AM on August 28, 2004

load up on dvds, a cooler near you, frozen peas is a really, really good idea, hang out for a few days and you're good to go.
posted by damnitkage at 5:51 AM on August 28, 2004

And no one has had any post-op, ah, "quality" concerns to speak of?
posted by blueshammer at 6:49 AM on August 28, 2004

And no one has had any post-op, ah, "quality" concerns to speak of?

My ex had had one and swore that it noticeably improved things from a "quality" standpoint.
posted by biscotti at 7:44 AM on August 28, 2004

'Quality' of life improves beyond all guy had his done about six months ago, and the ensuing possibility of good clean fun without constant last-minute juggling of assorted bottles, foil packets, bits of rubber, foam canisters, etc., etc., etc., is glorious.
posted by picopebbles at 8:25 AM on August 28, 2004

Quality's just fine, here, thanks.
posted by majick at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2004

With respect to quality, I had a woman tell me that guys that have been snipped produce cum that tastes "sour". That is of course but one data point and doesn't seem very likely to me. Make of it what you will.
posted by willnot at 10:27 AM on August 28, 2004

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