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Advice about Vasectomy

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Parenting, Families, & the Community > Birth Control > Vasectomy


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Post vasectomy pain

Jan 2012

My husband had a vasectomy last month (6 weeks ago) and still is in a lot of pain. One testicle in particular hurt more when he was given the injection before the procedure and and that is side continues to hurt. Some days there's a dull pain and on other days there's acute pain. When he feels the right side of his testicle there is a small painful bump that he feels (not there on the other side). The doctor's office have been very unhelpful -- telling him to take an advil for the swelling and being rude when he's called more than once. Is it normal for it to take this long to heal? Should he go to another urologist to make sure nothing's wrong? Any advice is most appreciated. Feeling guilty for having asked him to do this


Now you have me worried as I am going in for a similar procedure next week! Mine is being done by one of the best urological surgeons in Northern CA (so I am told). I have seen several including one at Northwestern and they all agree I am in ''good hands''. My surgeon told me up front that I should expect extreme swelling and considerable pain for days. Mine will be done with IV general anesthesia I believe not direct injection. Standard medication is Vicoden or Percocet outpatient. He has advised me I should expect to not be fully recovered for 3 months. He also told me it is common for men to call him a week or two after the procedures complaining of a lump and concerned he didn't do a thorough job and so on. All par for the course he says as the area is just ultra sensitive to invasion. If you aren't happy with follow up care and wish for a second opinion Dr. Nudell is at 408-358-2030. If San Jose is too far to go he can refer you to a local guy perhaps. There is a Dr. Turzan at Kaiser Oakland and another good one in San Francisco named Turek who hails from UCSF. At the very least somebody should help get the pain under control as there is no excuse for that unless you have refused stronger medication. worried
All of my friends who have had vasectomies have had no pain after about 48 hours. It sounds as if something went wrong with the procedure. I wouldn't count on another urologist saying that; I have found that doctors won't ''tell'' on one another's poor work. However, your husband should definitely go to a different doctor for what to do from this point forward. It's also time for him to find a different PCP; being dismissed for calling when you're in pain is pretty much the opposite of being a good doctor! don't feel guilty!
Hi there, Sorry to hear about your husband's pain. I think most vasectomies heal fairly quickly. However, my husband had pain (both acute and dull) for a LONG time afterwards. I remember at one point they said there was a possibility they'd have to do another surgery. But they never did. My husband just lived with the pain for a long time. And eventually it slowly went away. I don't remember how long it lasted - but it was at least 3-4 months and maybe less 'pain' and feeling 'not quite right' there for another very long time. I haven't asked him about it in a while, but I think it's pretty much gone now. And, he's sterile - at least that part worked. There may be some other issue and the doctors should keep an eye on it. But our experience was not good and it just took a very long time to heal. All is well now. Sorry and good luck! anonymous

Negative effects of vasectomy?

May 2011

We are considering vasectomy as we are sure we don't want any more babies. We've read all the research and info material from our doctor, and it all sounds great. Now we are wondering if there is anyone who had it done and regrets it for whatever reason. We would be really grateful if someone who unfortunately had such experience would share that with us, as these are the experiences that no-one ever mentions. Thanks BPN!!


Just a heads up...the vasectomy will change the pH of your husbands semen, it will become more acidic. This causes me to have chronic BV. Not a deal breaker of the big V, but, i wish i would have known because i spent years wondering why i couldn't get rid of the BV. Now i know, and we try to have him pull out most times to lessen my reaction. Used to it
You don't mention your ages - that will inform your thoughts. Of course, I guess you could always store sperm. My first husband had had a vasectomy before we met - major problem for me - I was 28. We tried vasectomy reversals that were unsuccessful - though maybe they're having higher success rates now - so then had to research alternatives. anon
I don't know too much about this but my son and his wife made a similar decision for their family so asked him. this is his reply: Don't do it. they have a new out patient procedure for women that works well with out the risk of complications. He has been extremely upset about serious complications even after quite a few months. anonymous

Vasectomy with no insurance

March 2009

My husband and I are done fulfilling our biological imperative and he has decided to get a vasectomy. The problem is, I'm a stay-at-home mom and he has no insurance. He is on the job hunt right now and we are on a VERY tight budget. We live in the East Bay in Contra Costa County. I have done some research and it seems that the only place I found where we might get a break in price is going to the Concord Planned Parenthood. My questions are: Has anyone used this service with them? Are there other places we could look that might give us a break in price without cutting quality of service? As this is a delicate procedure, we want it done right. anon


Planned Parenthood would be an excellent place to have a vas, insurance or none. Don't let the non-profit status fool you - for family planning services, including vasectomy, Planned Parenthood is always on the cutting edge of the art and science. The physicians who provide surgical services there often have a full time private practice, and moonlight because the work is professionally fulfilling. In a typical pvt practice setting they may do a few vasectomies a year, but at PP they could do hundreds.

Also, be assured, a vasectomy is extremely simple, with a very superficial incision, the complication rate very low. Yes it's important that it's done right, but if it were me, I'd put my scrotal sac in the hands of someone who does them a lot, and I'd have no hesitation about going to Planned Parenthood. I don't work for them, I promise


Go for it, the clinicians and staff at Planned Parenthood are great for their vasectomy services. I worked the vasectomy clinic as their recovery nurse for about a year and would send my own men friends there! They provide good service and accept medi-cal and State funding, as well as cash and other insurances. It is a very short procedure and the whole process takes much less time and healing than a tubal ligation. Good luck.

Worried that vasectomy might affect sex drive

March 2009

I have a somewhat delicate problem I need advice about and I'm turning to BPN for some feedback. My husband has been contemplating going ahead and getting a vasectomy since we don't want any more children and frankly we both hate condoms. He doesn't want me to have to go back on any type of contraception that would mess with my hormones and I don't want to use the IUD or Cervical cap/Diaphram since I know people who have had problems with both of them and ended up either with serious health problems or pregnant unexpectedly. My husband has talked to everyone he knows who has gone through the proceedure and has gotten both good and bad feedback ranging from ''no changes at all'' to ''my sex drive has totally disappeared''. He is anxious to get additional information from men who have had a vasectomy and hear of their results since he has no interest in going through with the whole thing if it's ''just not the same as before'' after everything is said and done. Thanks in advance to all of the people who respond to my inquiry since this is a very important issue to both me and my husband as I am sure you can imagine.


Definitely glad I did it. Nothing changed at all, except that I don't have to worry about birth control malfunctions. I highly recommend it. Snipped and proud
I had a vasectomy about 2 years ago. our sex life as never been better. (we've been together 14 years, have two kids 3 and 6, and we are having better sex than ever). I see no decrease in sex drive at all, quite the opposite. Not having to worry about contraception and especially condoms/pill, plus being 100% sure you will not get pregnant is a great turn on.

schedule it - you will not regret it - procedure is about 30 minutes total. Go see Dr. Peikney (sp?) at Berkeley urology. happy to be snipped


My partner had a vasectomy over 6 years ago. I had a tubal ligation about 8 years ago. We have a happily active sex life. No worries of getting pregnant. We are both happy we did it. Anon
My husband says, ''I have experienced no loss in sex drive. I am very happy with my vasectomy. The recovery was not bad.''

Hope this helps. It was a very good decision for us. Happy with Two


You said the responses you have gotten from others range from ''no change'' to ''lower sex drive.'' Well, our sex life got way BETTER post-vasectomy (a couple months after) cause we were no longer worried about getting pregnant, could be more spontaneous, etc. anon but satisfied!
OK, this is a little graphic -

Your husband is right, it's not the same as it was before. It's better! Sex drive is the same, but no birth control, no fussing, no worries.

The procedure is about 15 minutes, a little uncomfortable. I was nervous and sweaty, I really don't like the idea of anyone with a scalpel down there. All told, it was pretty benign.

However, there is one piece of advice I must share. Get several pairs of bikini briefs. Wear one pair to keep the balls high and tight, and wear another pair over those. Put a package of frozen peas between the two pairs to keep the swelling down. Keep an extra bag of peas in the freezer so he can rotate them and keep ice on them as much as possible. Do this for a week - 7 days. He should do this when he's home, both morning and evening. I didn't do this at work, but I don't think that contributed to the following complication:

(more graphic below)

I stopped icing early and went back to boxer shorts about 3 days after the procedure because I was feeling pretty good. Then they swelled up to about the size of my fist over about 2 days. Went back to the frozen peas and it took care of itself over another 5-6 days. I've given this advice to a number of friends, and none have experienced any swelling issues.

Even though this happened, I'm still really glad I did it. If I were to do it again, and knew that the swelling problem would happen again, I'd still do it.

Good luck! Glad I've been there


Vasectomy and future pregnancies

Sept 2008

My husband and myself have recently decided that he would get a vasectomy after our second child is born this fall. While we both feel this is the best decision for our family, there is a tinge of hesitation at the finality of having our last child on both of our parts. We may want to have a 3rd child down the line, but are unsure. That said, I also have had horrible reactions/ sensitivities to all methods of birth control- both hormonal and non hormonal, but neither one of us want to have an oops pregnancy. One of our solutions is to go ahead with the vasectomy and to possibly freeze his sperm through a facility that offers this service. I would like to know how other families have dealt with this decision. Also, has anyone had sperm frozen or preserved and the logistics and reliability behind it. Anon


It is much more difficult to get pregnant using frozen sperm. You might want to look into vasectomies that have a good chance of being reversed (not sure if there is such a thing). That being said, the Sperm Bank of California in Berkeley has a lot of info on their website regarding storing frozen sperm - they are a great resource. http://www.thespermbankofca.org/ anon
The first thing I want to say is what any urologist (or anyone else for that matter) will tell you.... A vasectomy is considered to be a permanent, surgical sterilization. You should not expect to father any more children after that. The decision should be taken VERY seriously. Going on that premise, I would heartily encourage you to bank sperm. But understand that even that is not going to guarantee future pregnancies. Lots and lots of people have fertility issues as they get older. So that is the ''rational'' and ''conservative'' and ''conventional'' spiel.

Okay, now for the freak of society and nature story. My husband has had two vasectomies and two vas reversals. All of these procedures worked. He had children with his first wife before his 1st vasectomy. About 6+ yrs later, he married me and had a reversal. About 5 yrs (and 2 babies) later, he had another vasectomy, followed 14 mos later by another vas reversal (and another baby). Vas reversals are quite pricey (~10K), and are definitely not guaranteed. The longer you wait after the vasectomy, the lower the chances of success. The more tube they take in the vasectomy, the more difficult it is to reattach with success. The procedure is pretty un-fun to go through and to recover from.

My husband likes kids... no, LOVES kids and LOVES being a dad. I got really lucky. I am pretty old and still got pregnant this last time. All the medical professionals involved (both western and alternative) are amazed by us. I need to stress... we are NOT the norm. I would totally recommend banking sperm... I think it is way less expensive (but I could be wrong) and way less ''invasive''. If you want to talk about any of this with me, my email follows. Good luck with whatever you decide! the_missus


Well- I was pretty sure that I was done after two, so we went for the vasectomy. No regrets!! And it's been such wonderful peace of mind to not have to take birth control. Our sex life and probably marriage are better because of it. And he was quite anxious but afterward said ''piece of cake''. I don't know that I'd go for it if I was looking for a way to still have #3- I'd just hold off. A friend of mine was also done after #2 and her husband kept postponing his appt- and she's now a completely insane mom of 3. Of course she loves #3 but it wasn't in her plan and it's been a huge struggle. bc free!!

Vasectomy: waiting period after?

Dec 2007

We've got two great kids and are ready to stop hassling with birth control, so my husband is getting a vasectomy next month. We were both surprised when his doctor told him we'll need to keep using other forms of birth control for four months after the operation, before his sperm count will be tested and confirmed to be zero. I have always heard it's a two-month waiting period. We'd love to hear from others who have been through this: is his doctor just being extremely conservative, or is a 16-week wait realistic? hoping to go au naturel by Valentine's Day


About the vasectomy waiting period: I just had an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy that began about 16 months after my husband's vasectomy and at least a year after his ''zero sperm'' follow-up lab test. A test performed after I conceived (17 months post-vasectomy) revealed a sperm count of 2500 (20 - 50 million is normal) -- it only takes one, you know.

If you check the websites about vasectomy reversal, you will discover that between 5 and 10% of men who have had vasectomies still have some sperm present in their semen. Please do not assume that vasectomy = no pregancy worries ever again. It has a failure rate equal to the IUD, pill, and tubal ligation.

The least you can do is to observe the waiting period (3 months) and wait for the all clear from the lab. It really does take time for the sperm to clear the system. Even then, nothing is for sure. The cut tissue can heal and grow back -- it's called recanalization. I have no idea why urologists don't advise annual vasectomy follow-up testing -- their liability potential is huge (ever add up the cost of raising a child?)

I wish I had known this -- it would have saved me lots of tears and guilt. I would advise googling ''Vasectomy failure'' so you know what you're getting into.

Nothing is for certain but death and taxes, but if you don't like unwanted pregnancies and the decisions that must be made when the occur, take heed. I cried myself through an entire month or two. It only takes one sperm. Remember that. One little wiggler.

Anyone can land on the wrong side of the law of large numbers. Please take at least the basic precautions, and know that you are still taking your chances. Fertile Myrtle


My husband got a vasectomy last year. Four months later, he got a sperm analysis and there were still sperm in the sample. They told him that some men have three of those sperm tubes (I forget the name, sorry) rather than the normal two, and he might have to go through more surgery. He waited a few months and got tested again, and that time--much to our relief--the test came back negative (no sperm). So, yes, you should be prepared to wait four months or possibly even more. Taking no chances
I don't know what the waiting period is, but I know of two couples who did not wait the entire time they were told and ended up with an unexpected child!! I'd play it safe and go the whole 4 months if I were you. Best wishes! anon
After my second was born and my OB asked our ''family planning'' plan and I said the Big V would happen she said, be safe, use backup for one year. Her experience taught her that.... waiting...
We were told 20 ejaculations. done it
yes, you do need to use another form of birth control for four months. this is considered standard procedure. my husband just passed the four month mark and after two lab tests, we are clear! worth the wait!
My husband was told to wait for 20 ejaculations. The avg. on that is probably around 4 mos for most couples (unfortunately!). He will need to go back and be checked to ensure he is ''clean'' for you to be certain he is sterilized. The nurse at my husband's class did say they had one guy come back 3 days later to be checked. How he managed that so soon following the procedure, one can only speculate! anonymous
My husband had a vasectomy with Kaiser 4 mos. ago, and they request a waiting period of 20 ejaculations (no matter how long that takes), before submitting the specimen to test for absence of live sperm. We have a numbered check list to check off as we go along! I'm curious what other non-Kaiser providers are suggesting? Anon

Doctor for a vasectomy

Oct 2007

My husband is planning to get snipped soon. His primary care physician apparently does vascectomies so we would like to know if any one has had him (Andreas Anaker, MD) for this procedure and how was it? Also if anyone can recommend a doctor or urologist who takes Blue Cross HMO. We are looking for good experiences and quick recoveries, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! no more babies


Joel Piser did my husband's vasectomy a few months ago. He is a urologist and takes Blue Cross HMO. The procedure was quick and the recovery easy. Highly recommend him. Debbie

Urologist for a Vasectomy

Oct 2006

I am looking for recommendations for doctors who perform vasectomys in the Oakland/Berkeley area. I would also like feedback from readers on whether this procedure changes the sensitivity of the penis or any other effects that have occurred or are expected because of the procedure. Thanks
J


Joel Piser of Berkeley Urologic Associates performed my vasectomy last Thursday. He did a fine job and I am feeling well just 5 days post procedure. All I can say to you sir is there is a vas deferens between the penis and the testicle. The procedure takes about 10 minutes and consists of two small incisions just at the top of the scrotum. It has nothing to do with the penis and does not change sensation in the penis in any way. It feels great to finally take on full responsibility for birth control with my wife and to be free from unplanned pregnancy (at least I will be in about 2 months). Go for it.
Josh
March 2006

Not much in this category on the website -- does everyone just go to whomever their primary doc refers them? My health plan is a Blue Shield PPO and there are over a hundred (!) local urologists listed in the network. Anyone been snipped by any of these guys lately?
Two Great Kids; We're Done


The Pinkney Pisner group has a wonderful reputation. anon
My husband was snipped by Dr. Piser almost two years ago. He thought he was great (or as great as one can be in the circumstances...). He had a sense of humor, knew what he was doing, and we didn't wait long. Worth it
Oct 2005

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good urologist to perform a vasectomy? Anonymous


My husband used Joel Piser and we are thrilled with the freedom. I left town with our kids for the actual procedure (just happened to work out that way). We resumed having sex with a condom about a week after the proceedure and then he had to be tested a few times to make sure the pipes were clear.
when ever and where ever since this procedure
Feb 2005

Hi, my husband is looking for a good urologist for a vasectomy in the Berkeley area (he is a bit nervous about the procedure and wants to make sure that only a very qualified doctor is involved). We have a PPO plan and can visit any doctor, I was hoping that maybe some of you may have more recent recommendations than I saw on the Board. Thanks!


My Husband's urologist was wonderful. His name is Dr. Andrew Pienkny of Berkeley Urological Associates. He came highly reccommended to us as well. The procedure and post procedure expectations were explained to us in a non fear-inducing manner which given the nature of the procedure, was of paramount importance. He was attentive and direct and my husband experienced little to no pain. (only slight discomfort).
Wings Clipped
2001

Does anyone have any recommendations for a urologist in the ABMG who would do a vasectomy? Any experience with the procedure would be helpful as well. Thanks.


To the person who wanted a urologist, John Floyd is excellent and he does vasectomies. He is part of ABMG.
My husband had a vasectomy done last March with Dr. Joel Piser (2999 Regent st. #612 - Berkeley - 848-1727), there are also other urologists in the same clinic. It was very simple, he even drove back home. The whole procedure didn't take two hours. He was a little sore for about 2 days and had to avoid physical effort for 10 days. We also had to use other contraceptive method for 4 months. Now we have total piece of mind -) Hope it helps
Dr. Brenner of AMBG whacked my vas deferens. Nice guy, a memorable procedure that I'm happy not to repeat. Enjoy!
March 2002

hi there, has anyone had any expiriences with pacific urology, and or Dr Stephrn P Taylor from there? My husband is getting his vasectomy reversed and we are thinking with going with Dr Taylor. Any comments? thanks, cris


I don't know anything about Pacific Urology, but wanted to mention Dr. Paul Turek, who is in the urology department at UCSF and also has a private practice in S.F. He specializes in male-related fertility problems and has done some cutting-edge work.

Vasectomy recovery - what to tell kids

Oct 2006

My husband is planning to have a vasectomy in November. I have heard from those have had them that he needs to stay in bed on ice afterwards. We have a very precosious and curious 6 year old who knows that sex makes babies, but does not yet know about the other reasons for sex, and we do not want to go there yet. What do we do?


When my husband had a vasectomy a few years ago, we told our boys (ages 9 and 11) that daddy pulled a groin muscle and needed to ice it on the couch for a day. They never questioned it. The next day, he was up and about. Vasectomies are great!!
happy mom
At 6 he probably doesn't need a lot of detailed information, and you don't even have to explain the surgery in terms of sex or babies at all. You can just say that daddy had an operation to change the way the tubes were connected in his scrotum (and if he asks why, just say they weren't connected the way daddy wanted them to be, and if he seems concerned, let him know that only grownup men do it--kids never have surgery like that). And, depending on comfort levels of all concerned, let him see it if he wants, help bring daddy ice, etc
anon
I don't think you need to tell your 6 year old anything. I would be very surprised if your husband even needs to lie down. Most men (including my husband) who have had vasectomies have very little discomfort. My husband came home w/ a bag of frozen peas, walked around the house for awhile and then decided he was bored and went into work. My friends tell me similar stories about their spouses. I'm not sure where these stories about recovery time come from but I have yet to meet a man who needed any. Perhaps dr's just prepare them for the worst case scenario?
Snipped spouse

Reversing a Vasectomy

April 2006

My husband and I would like to have a baby but he's had a vasectomy +/- 20 years ago. After many discussions about the various avenues we could take (IVF, Adoption, donor sperm), we have decided that we'd like to first try vasectomy reversal. We had a consultation with a Urologist, male fertility specialist, who for obvious reasons cannot give us a 100% guarantee, but thought it could be sucessful considering he'd already had 3 kids before and my age at 37 still being young enough to not present any complications. (The MD mentioned that if i were over 40, he may not be so apt to recommend the reversal). I feel like we're running a tight time line on a risky operation. So before we fork out the big bucks thought i'd ask if anyone has any experience/advice to offer.
-wanting kids


We were in your same shoes, and my advice is don't do the reversal. When we got married in 1998 I was 33, and had been pregnant before at 18 but not since then. My husband was 50 and had had a vasectomy 15+ years before. He had a reversal done at UCSF six weeks after we got married, and had what the urologist termed a ''successful'' result, but his sperm production was very very marginal (6-9 million vs. an expected average in a healthy man of 60 or so million I believe).

After a year of trying to conceive, we began infertility treatment. We went through 3 Clomid IUI cycles, 1 injectable IUI cycle, and two IVF attempts (which did not result in a harvest because I didn't stimulate well enough on the drugs). If I had to do it over again, especially considering your age and the healing time required, I would have gone straight to IVF. There is a way to retrieve the sperm from him via a needle, and then doing ICSI (where they inject one sperm into your egg). Your urologist is telling you that you should do the surgery becuase he may view it as a ''challenge'' to operate in someone who is so many years post-vasectomy. I always wondered whether we might have been able to conceive naturally if we hadn't ''wasted'' a year on his surgery and trying to recover from it.

By the way, the surgery is very long (my husband's was five hours at least I believe) and expensive (not covered by insurance). Additionally, the recovery was very very painful.

If you have not already done so, I would urge you to consult a reproductive endocrinologist and discuss what procedures are available to you via IVF/ICSI before agreeing to the reversal. Your urologist may think that 37 is young, but in reproductive years you are really behind the 8 ball (I thought 33 was young) and if you really want to conceive time is of the essence.

In the end, we now have three children through adoption. As you can tell I feel strongly about this. Your money and time would be better spent going straight to IVF. Best of luck! Mom to 3


My husband had his vasectomy reversed last August and I'm due July 9th. When I researched this I decided to go with the best in the field although he was the most expensive. His name is Dr. Turek and he's out of UCSF. I figured if we're going to spend thousands on this procedure I'm prepared to spend a little more to up our chances of success. With reversals the longer it's been since the vasectomy the less the chances of success. My husband had only had his vasectomy done a few years ago so Dr. Turek gave him over 90% chance of success. But this is success of getting his sperm back but not of me getting pregnant! I'm 39 so he advised me to take a test to determine how fertile I was. I can't remember what the test is called but it's a blood test you take on the 3rd day of your cycle. The test showed that I still had lots of good eggs available so we decided to go ahead with it. One option he gave was to harvest any live sperm during the operation. So while he's in the process of sewing the tubes back he checks to see if there are any live sperm hanging around. If there are he can harvest them for future use. This will come in handy if after the operation he is not able to get his sperm back you have some available to do IVF with. My husbands operation was successful and he had minimal soarness afterwards. But the Dr. advised him to stay as immobile as possible for 4 days. About 5 weeks after the operation I was pregnant. I used the Clearblue Easy fertility monitor as well. Good luck. Diana
My husband had his v. reversed at the age of 42. I was 34. It took about a year for his sperm to really start swimming (we took a microscope home and had fun watching for them under slides). He did have some blockage so the surgeon had to do ''alternative'' plumbing which resulted in a reduced sperm count. (BTW, if you do get a microscope, wait about 20 minutes before you look at your samples - they don't separate from the semen for a few minutes.)

We had 3 miscarriages before we had a successful pregnancy. I gave birth at age 37. There was definitely some stress associated with our efforts - worried about my age, his sperm count, all the miscarriages, etc. However, we talked frequently and perservered in a supporting and loving way with the understanding that it might just not happen. Although, if we hadn't successfully conceived, I do think that there would have been strain on our marriage that we would have really had to work at resolving.

Also - my husband said that the recovery was pretty painful (he's a cyclist) and that things didn't feel right or particularly good during sex for about 18 months following the reversal. V. different than the feeling following the original v.

Best of luck to you regardless of what you decide. Anonymous


Hi there,

My husband and i went through much of what you are going through in trying to decide about a reversal. In our case, it clearly made the most sense given that i was/am 27, he is 34 and had only had his vasectomy for 6 years (he also has 2 children from before the vasectomy). We felt from our research, and from what our Dr.'s (we went to a few for consultations)said that we had a very good chance of achieving pregnancy. We had waited years before we could afford the surgery, and refinanced our home....finally last November he went in for the surgery.

We had been having well timed intercourse since then with no success, so, a few weeks ago my husband had a semen analysis and it came back negative...meaning no sperm. Not any.... not low sperm count....just plain zero. I cant really explain to you how bummed we are, we had our hopes up so high i guess, and put all our eggs (money) in that basket.

We have talked to our surgeon, which by the way, we don't feel like we would choose someone else if given the choice over, he was/is great, very responsive and competent. My husband has as appointment with him to confirm the results and talk about ''options''. From my many phone conversations with him since, i have gathered that he thinks that the two possibilities for why this happened is 1. Scar tissue may have formed as a result of the surgery and completely occluded his tubes, or 2. He may have needed a more complicated procedure called a vasoepididymostomy (the vas deferens is hooked up directly to the epididymis above any blockage). At the time of surgery , which is when the Dr. distinguishes if a patient needs that extra step done, my husband showed no signs of having a blockage. Some tests are run mid surgery to determine someones need, and, it is possible my husband did have a need , but didn't display any of the classic physiological signs of it.

So, now we are in a spot where we have to decide what to do next. Forgetting about money for the moment, our options are 1. Going through the surgery again, (though, if he did in fact scar up i don't understand why he wouldn't again)2. Doing the vasoepididymostomy, or 3. IVF. Â Certainly, both of the surgeries are cheaper than IVF, but, we put ourselves right back in this position of spending money we dont have on something that may not work. The vasoepididymostomy does have a higher rate of success, but....we dont have the resources to keep trying until something works. As far as IVF goes, i am not completely on board with it yet.....the process is not attractive, but, i think i am still not quite ready to accept the position i am in; being a young , healthy woman who has to undergo such highly medicalized treatments to have a baby. If it were up to me, i would be happy using donor sperm, but, my husband does not share that feeling.

So, I'm sorry i don't advice for you.....I just wanted to share with you my process. Feel free to e-mail me with further questions. cris


Husband refuses to get a vasectomy

October 2004

I am feeling increasingly distressed and resentful about a discussion that has been going on for 2+ years with my husband, and is going nowhere (not my way anyway.) I am clearly done, maxxed out with having kids, he agrees but is scared to make such a final decision (says things like, we might change our minds in 5 years. And would not plan another child but would consider another one a happy accident whereas I feel an ''accident'' would be my total mental demise and would take away from all of our well-being.) But the main reason he refuses to consider having a vasectomy is because he is very squeemish about pain. Yes, he saw both our children being born and the labor and pregnancies, he knows tubal ligation is much harsher surgery. also I had an IUD which got ejected by my uterus and I didn't know it, and have been advised that there's no way to know whether it would happen again and can't rely on it. Plus I react badly to birth control hormones and lost half my hair with norplant hormonal b.c. So I really want him to take responsibility in birth control now and am feeling resentful about his refusal to participate. The resentment is seeping into our sex life as well. A good, old friend of his give him a pep talk about how it was for him getting the operation and how great it is now, etc. and it didn't seem to affect my husband at all. Any advice welcomed.... Thanks in advance.
mad and vulnerable


This is a bit of a pep talk, which didn't work last time with him, but maybe repitition will get it to sink in.
It doesn't hurt
Having your partner shave you to prep for it is fun!
Your sex life will improve, guaranteed.
Given that your partner has difficulty with other methods, it's either that or condoms
Get over yourself, act like a grownup, and take some responsibility!
Been there, Done That
My husband and I planned for years that he would get a vasectomy after we had our 2 kids. That time came and went, and he was still dragging his feet -- even after I had to have two abortions! Yes, it creates a lot of resentment, but ultimately, it's your body and your sanity. I didn't like the options of tubal ligation, IUD, pills, etc. and the diaphragm had already failed me. So I finally decided to try an IUD which I'd heard had improved over the years. What a blessing! I've had the same one in place for 8 years. My periods are lighter and no cramps. I couldn'tbe happier, and sex without worrying about getting pregnant is GREAT! It still bothers me that my husband refused to do his fair share, but as the saying goes, ''you can lead a horse to water...'' IUD convert
First off, according to a good friend of mine who had a vasectomy, it was not as pain free as advertised. In fact, he suffered quite a bit of pain and discomfort. When he told me the story, I felt squeemish. Secondly, it's your husband's body. He has the right to make any and all decisions regarding his body, period. I think he needs to be respected for his decision, whether you like it or not. When you say he refuses to participate, keep in mind that he is the only participant in a vasectomy. Bill
That is a topic that men hate to discuss. I have a man who is defintely against me having more kids, but yet he will not get a vasectomy. I even told him that I will cut out sex & he still refuses. So my advice is to just go ahead & get a tubal. I just had one & I won't lie, it was painful. But I made him pay for each ounce of pain. But to insure that there are no more mistakes, i advice for you to take care of your own business. anon
Hello, I can relate! My husband and I had the same talks: No we don't want more kids, but, he was all nervous and would say, let's wait till our child is in kindergarten to decide for good. I couldn't worry about having an accident for 3 more years — I'm stressed out enough as it is just wanted that one worry off the table. I talked to my OB. Did you know there's a new procedure called a tubal stent? Basically they implant a coil in each of your fallopian tubes — no incision, your dr. gets them up there just like he/she does for pap smears, etc. Your body tissue grows around the coils, and in a few months your tubes are completely blocked. Yay! Most can be done (like mine was) under local rather than general anesthesia, further reducing the health risk. I'm so happy. Yes, I could continue to resent my husband's cowardice, but I decided to look at it the way I look at a lot of things: If I really want it done, I can spend a lot of emotional energy trying to get him to do it — and trying not to look like a ''nag'' in the process -- or I can spare myself the long battle and just do it myself. (And of course once I suggested me having this done, rather than he go under the knife, I never heard the ''let's wait till she's in kindergarten'' thing again.) I told my sister, who's a bigger feminist than I and who was a little annoyed that I let him off that easy, ''Look, I don't have a deep, emotional attachment to my fallopian tubes.'' As opposed to, you know. :) For me, the relief of eliminating that one big worry, with relatively simple surgery, has made the resentment not worth hanging onto. Good luck! -- Sure like my tubal stents
Sounds like your husband is being pretty selfish. You didn't mention condoms as a possibility for birth control. They might be a good idea for a couple of reasons... one, they put the responsibility for birth control on him; two, some men don't like them as much so that might put subtle pressure on him that maybe a vasectomy isn't so bad... I'd suggest you stand firm on this, or you may find yourself pregnant and that would be even worse for your relationship. Good luck!
any reason why condoms aren't an option? at leas until he's willing to deal with his fears? in the meantime find your postion and firmly stick with it. expressing your anger or trying to push him into this will only make him more reluctant. try to let go of your anger and be supportive of him no matter what he does (or not) ultimatley it IS his decision and can't be forced. if your are firm and secure in what you are willing and not willing to do, you can deal with the rest with equanimity anon
Although I was trying not to weigh in on this one, I found that the vasectomy discussion was getting under my skin (so to speak). I am a dad with two kids, and, after dragging my feet for a couple of years, I finally got a vasectomy earlier this year. I did it because we are quite settled that we don't want more kids, because I felt like my wife had done most all of the heavy lifting -- and I mean that literally -- in the reproduction area (the pregnancies were hard ones), and because we were both sick of condoms. I'm glad I did it; it is great not to worry about an unwanted pregnancy, and our sex life has improved immeasurably.

Still, I just don't think it is right to insist or expect that one's husband or anyone else undergo surgery that forever alters a basic function of his body. Partly this is because my own experience was far from painless -- in fact, it was about the most painful thing I've ever experienced. (I think the doctor, in a hurry to get out at the end of the day, didn't wait until the anesthesia had really kicked in; the second half of the operation wasn't nearly so bad). It was also just plain upsetting -- unexpectedly so -- to have someone cutting away and burning shut a healthy, functioning part of my body. And there was nothing fun about shaving -- I nicked myself, and you really have no idea how much the scrotum can bleed. Even with all this, it was worth it -- but it was no small matter. But the part that really bothers me about some of the things said in this string of posts is the notion that it is up to anyone except the person getting the surgery. If someone suggested that a woman HAD to get an abortion, or a tubal ligation, etc., because her husband said so, I would be outraged -- even if the couple had previously jointly decided that they didn't want kids. I don't see how this is fundamentally different.

So I sympathize with the dilema of the woman who posted the question, but I don't think an appropriate response is to pressure her partner or punish him for not going under the knife. It seems, well, disrespectful.

-- been snipped


I'm not sure anything a stranger says will sway your husband, but for what it is worth, my husband had a vasectomy today. He drove there himself, read Newsweek and talked politics with the doctor (until he thought better of it, lest the guy with the scalpel at his groin liked Bush), and drove home via the coffee shop where we met and had coffee. He said he feels a bit of discomfort, but not much. We're off to a restaurant for dinner in a little while. Not so bad.... Free to Be, No IUD
So far only one vasectomized husband weighed in on the topic with a simple pep talk. I will try to offer a better pep talk. I had a vasectomy six months ago, so I know. Your husband is being a weenie for several reasons. Let's pick apart his justifications for not getting it done: 1) it might hurt Here I won't pull any punches. It hurts. It's pretty uncomfortable having it done. In retrospect, I should maybe have asked my doctor for a valium during the procedure, which is a good option that any doctor would offer. That would take the pain/anxiety edge off, but then I wouldn't've been able to drive myself home. But all in all, it didn't hurt that dang much. Like getting stitched up after a mishap in the garage or yard or something. But don't believe it when guys tell you it totally doesn't hurt at all. And of course, it probably varies from case to case. And the recovery was perhaps a bit longer than I had expected. I was pretty tender for a week or so, and I was less than completely comfortable on my bike rides for several weeks. But all in all, not bad. And way better than the recovery for tubal ligation. And it's way, way easier than 9 months of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. DUH! This objection, to me, is just selfish. Marriage is a partnership, and the wife already did the way hard part of bearing the children. Honestly, it's the least he could do. And if he doesn't see it that way, how hard is the nighttime feeding/diapering/crying infant routine on him if you have another baby? Sure it hurts. Big freaking deal. 2) he doesn't want to do something so permanent to his body Oh, please. Get over yourself. You aren't sixteen anymore. Guys screw up their knees permanently when snowboarding, for example, and they don't forego snowboarding because they might permanently mess up their body. I enjoy a sense of permanent freedom now. And what, he doesn't think your marriage is gonna be permanent? What's he holding out for, the trophy wife who wants babies of her own when he's 45 or 50 years old and he wants to give that to her? A disingenuous rationalization. 3) he isn't as fully comitted as you are to not having any more kids (''if we have an accident, that would be okay, and we'll keep it'') When push comes to shove, it's not actually the guy's decision to bear more kids, now is it? That's just unfair. The reality is that you, the wife, have to do all the hard, dangerous work with your body, and most of the childcare for an infant for a good solid year. You, the wife, are allowed veto power over all decisions to bear children, and deep, deep down, he knows that. It really isn't too much to ask for him to take some responsibility for birth control in the most effective, permanent, practical, cost-effective, least disruptive way available which keeps you, the wife, happy and secure with the family planning situation. And as the other guy said, the sex life afterwards just rocks. Uninhibited. I love my wife and I consider it a really good gift from me to her in appreciation for bearing our two great kids. Any mature guy should be able to see that. bike dude
I went through a similar discussion with my husband. I think his hesitance had to do with a feeling that a vasectomy would somehow diminish his masculinity. He also felt that any ''surprise'' babies would be fine, though I felt differently. What finally spurred him to get a vasectomy was my active initiation toward getting my tubes tied. It would have cost more and would have required output of funds for childcare and assistance while I recovered. I think he realized that this was impractical in many ways. However, I didn't threaten idly; I was prepared to follow through. When he did finally get a vasectomy, it caused very little discomfort. In fact, we had a miscommunication, and he ended up walking home from the doctor's office after the procedure! A simpathetic mother

The truth about vasectomy

December 2003

My wife is expecting our second child and we have decided that we don’t want to have more than two children. Since it’s easier for me to do the deed I have decided to have a vasectomy several months after the birth. I want to know the truth about the operation from those who have had one – both the positive and the negative. Interestingly, I’m not so concerned about the operation itself or the “forever” nature of it, but instead wonder about any short or long term sexual impacts – erection, pleasure, orgasm, etc…I would love to hear stories about all factors of the choice, procedure, and post-operation changes but am most interested in hearing from men about the above. Also if you have any practical advice, I'll take that too.
Goin' under the knife


This will probably draw lots of mail, but here is my two cents. I had it done and it really was no big deal. The two issues are you will still need supplemantary protection for about 6 months, or until you pass the sperm sample tests. Otherwise I would say there have been no negative side affects. There is the comforting thought that you can no longer father another child, but they will tell you there are failures. There will be some discomfort at the beginning, but I don't remember much. The biggest drag for me was I couldn't ride my bike. Also, be prepared to be ''infirmed'' for the first couple of days. So unless you are at a cush desk job you might want to schedule the procedure for a friday afternoon. Finaly there are 2 different types of procedures, sorry I don't remember which one I had, but I belive it has to do with how they work on the Van Defrens. good luck and no fear.

ps have wondered if it might mot be a bad idea to go back and be tested occasionaly anon


As a woman whose partner was ''snipped'' about 8 yrs ago I can say it's been great for both of us. More sexual freedom and less anxiety. He says no diminishment of pleasure. Satisfied!
I had a vasectomy 7 years ago and have no problems now or immediately after the procedure. My wife and I enjoy the freedom of not having to use or worry about any other type of birth control.

I have heard of others not waiting the prescribed amount of time for all sperm to be cleared out, and they became pregnant! So please continue your current birth control method until you get a zero sperm count. David


I got snipped at Kaiser, not long after my second child celebrated his first birthday. I wanted to be sure he was strong and healthy before I burned my evolutionary bridges. I haven't regretted it a bit.

Like you, I wanted to be sure we didn't end up with any surprise extra kids (though I'm one myself). I think I had my procedure in the morning, which worked well. It gave me a full day in bed before worrying about accidentally straining myself while sleeping. My day in bed was great...my wife treated me like a king, and I reclined (with ice packs) while watching ''guy'' movies, reading, eating popcorn and slurping the occasional brewski.

I was back at work the next day. Aside from spending a few days feeling rather tenderized and walking stiffly, I haven't experienced any post-operative complications or changes, and really enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about birth control in the heat of passion (my wife had been using a diaphragm). I highly recommend it. Good luck!

Once a Tenor, Always a Tenor


Having a vasectomy has had zero impact on my sexual performance (erection, orgasm, etc). Some men have the misconception that having a vasectomy will diminish or stop ejaculations. Essentially nothing changes as all the procedure does is sever (and cauterize) the tubes (Vas Deferens) carrying the sperm from the testicles. Sperm is a minuscule content of your ejaculate (1%) as most of it comes from your prostate gland and seminal vesicles (glands next to the prostate, located behind the bladder) which is not affected by the procedure at all.

I was worried that there would be some kind of back-up in my testicles (remember blue balls?)but, as my doctor explained it, sperm is constantly being manufactured and transferred to a holding area (the Epididymis) before being released via the vas into the semen. This holding area is huge (compared to the volume of sperm) and whatever sperm is not passed is reabsorbed into the body.

Here is a great illustrated site that explains it all http://www.vasectomy.md/Anatomy.htm

The actual procedure itself was like getting a filling: initial poking sensation followed by numbness and boredom (I almost fell asleep). I drove myself to and from the event but made sure I didn't have to go back to work afterward and scheduled it for a Friday. Of course, I really played it up for sympathy when I got home but my wife quickly caught on (after all, she's been through childbirth twice).

The worst part was having to shave all the pubic hair off from the top of the penis shaft on down (including all of the scrotum). Although this was kind of kinky at first, it became annoying and uncomfortable later as the hair grew back out. Also, there is a reason for that hair like keeping the skin of your scrotum from sticking to your legs, getting sweaty, etc. I ended up using the top of a sock as a wrapper to keep everything separated.

The other worst part was the follow up which seemed, in my case, to be exclusively handled by women. Having phone conversations with strange women about my semen sample in an open cubicle office environment was awkward to say the least.

Now that it is all over, I have noticed no change in my sex life. If anything, it is more spontaneous and intimate as our choice for contraception was condoms. It took me a while to acclimate to that intense skin to skin sensation but I don't miss contraceptives at all.

Quell your worries as any impact on performance will be psychological and not physiological. Good luck and welcome to the world of real men.

Been There, Done That


Pregnancy after a Vavovasectomy

January 2003

After eight years, my husband and I decided to have a second child. Having gotten a vasectomy seven years prior, we consulted urologist about reversing his procedure and went several weeks later for an out-patient vavovasectomy and had his ''tubes'' reconnected. The doctor said it was a success and that within 3- 6 months sperm would begin developing hopefully we'll see results. I'm wondering if anyone has some suggestions on increasing our chances of conceiving. We're both very anxious to become pregnant and it seems that we continue to get disappointed month after month.
Anyone?


Has your husband had a sperm count done? Don't go through the emotional roller coaster each month without finding out what the test shows. We tried to conceive for over a year -- only to finally find out that my husband's sperm count was zero. He had congenital absence of vas deferens -- basically, like a naturally occurring vasectomy. We ended up conceiving through IVF using surgically extracted sperm from his testes.
I posted earlier about my own experience conceiving with IVF. I wanted to add that a close friend's husband had a vavovasectomy about 15 years after the original vasectomy. Although the second surgery was a success, his sperm tests showed that the sperm weren't good swimmers (I can't remember the technical term for that). Apparently, this is common. It's not clear whether it is a result of getting older or whether it has something to do with the length of time between the vasectomy and the reversal.

My friend ended up conceiving twins through IVF. In her case and mine, ICSI (intracycloplasmic sperm injection?) was used since the sperm couldn't swim and penetrate the ovum on their own. Unlike us, they didn't need to surgically extract sperm since they had the plumbing.


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