The Vasectomy Experience

Category: Parent Health Advice

PSP members talk about getting a vasectomy, including the procedure itself and recovery time.

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Question

One PSP Member asks on the PSP Main Advice Yahoo Group:

"My dear, dear husband is considering getting a vasectomy. Neither of us know anything about vasectomies or even what kind of doctor to see for a consultation. I have some specific questions and I'm wondering if there is anything else we should know about the process before we get started.  My questions:

What is the recovery time?

Is there any instances of adverse effects such as impotency?

What kind of doctor does them?

Is it usually covered by insurance?

Has anyone regretted their decision to have one?

Is there anything that we should know about the procedure or aftermath?"

What to be aware of

- In New York State there is there is a state mandated 1 month waiting period after your
consultation before you can have the procedure.

- In addition, it will take a month or so for the sperm to completely clear out after the procedure.

Responses

“The 30 day waiting period is important to know about; I finally got an appointment scheduled when I had some time off (I teach, so I'm on my feet all day and bike to work), paid the co-pay, and then it was just a (imho) BS session where they make sure you don't have any medical conditions that would make it a bad idea, and they tell you to come back after 30 days. Didn't know about that going in, and was really angry that I'd wasted my one time window (and gotten myself mentally ready to have surgery) with what amounted to a questionnaire and a handshake.

The actual surgery was relatively minor- I brought a book (it's just local anesthetic, so it's nice to have something to distract you from the sights and sounds). I had some heavy bruising and swelling, but I used maybe one or two of the prescription painkillers, and the rest of the time just took regular over the counter stuff. Was back at work in a day or two, back on a bike a week or so (don't really remember) after that.

No difference in sex drive (or anything else - without using a microscope to look for individual sperm, one would never know their partner had had a vasectomy) covered by insurance (specialist co-pay),
no regrets at all (quite the opposite).”

_____

“I'm not usually a big fan of getting medical information from the internet, but there are lost of reliable organizations (such as Planned Parenthood, the National Institute of Health, the Mayo Clinic) who explain vasectomies on line.”

_____

My husband had a vasectomy last year after the birth of our second child because, like you, I had been doing all the "heavy lifting" as far as our reproductive life went.

[The doctor] does prescribe Valium in case your husband needs it to relax for the procedure, and Vicoden for the pain afterwords, but like I said, my husband was fine with regular Advil. All men need to take antibiotics prior to the procedure.

By law your husband has to go in for a consultation first and then wait at least 30 days before the procedure. The procedure is done on a Friday afternoon so your husband has the weekend to recover. If he works a 9-5 weekday job he'll have to either leave early or take the day off.

Six weeks after the procedure your husband will go in with a "sample" to see if the procedure was effective. In the year since my husband's vasectomy I have not gotten pregnant - and we were super fertile. :-)

As far as I know this procedure will not make your husband impotent, but you can look up any actual medical info on MayoClinic.org.”

_____

“The actual vasectomy is done in his office under local anesthesia. It took a little under 2 hours total from when my husband walked into the procedure room until we left the garage.

The recovery time was a few days -- there was some localized bruising, some swelling and some discomfort but it was never described as painful recovery. There was ice application for the first 24 hours or so, an anti-inflammatory and a script for a narcotic pain reliever (in case it was needed -- which it wasn't)and the constant wearing of a jock strap for support. My husband had the procedure done on a Wednesday and he was playing ice hockey by that Saturday night.

It was TOTALLY covered by our insurance -- I think that we only payed a total of $20 for our office visit co-pay.

There has been no after effects -- no impotence or loss of sex drive. We have had the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want. There have been NO regrets. None.

From the first visit, the consultation, there is a NYS mandatory 30 day wait period -- and then you have a certain amount of time to get it done before you need to re-do the wait period. So there is no pressure and if the feeling is that it isn't right for you and your husband, there is no pressure and no snap decisions. 

Go have the consult and then decide...there is no harm in an office visit.”

_____

“The actual vasectomy is done in his office under local anesthesia. It took a little under 2 hours total from when my husband walked into the procedure room until we left the garage.

The recovery time was a few days -- there was some localized bruising, some swelling and some discomfort but it was never described as painful recovery. There was ice application for the first 24 hours or so, an anti-inflammatory and a script for a narcotic pain reliever (in case it was needed -- which it wasn't)and the constant wearing of a jock strap for support. My husband had the procedure done on a Wednesday and he was playing ice hockey by that Saturday night.

It was TOTALLY covered by our insurance -- I think that we only payed a total of $20 for our office visit co-pay.

There has been no after effects -- no impotence or loss os sex drive. We have had the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want. There have been NO regrets. None.

From the first visit, the consultation, there is a NYS mandatory 30 day wait period -- and then you have a certain amount of time to get it done before you need to re-do the wait period. So there is no pressure and if the feeling is that it isn't right for you and your husband, there is no pressure and no snap decisions. 

Go have the consult and then decide...there is no harm in an office visit.”

_____

“My husband went running to the doctor when we were pregnant with our third! We already had the matched set, a boy and a girl and no intention of having number three. Luckily he went while I was still pregnant, cause we enjoy the third so much, we might have been tempted for number four! (well, not really, but she is fabulous).

As for the procedure itself, my husband doesn’t do well with medical procedures, and decided with the doctor at the last minute to have a general anesthesia.  He had a bad reaction the next day to the anesthesia and ended up in the ER, but the procedure itself wasn’t so bad.  And it is really fabulous now that we can be as spontaneous as possible with a small house and three children and lots of exhaustion!  I highly recommend the equal opportunity route of birth control, but I would recommend doing it under local, not general!”

_____

“Ditto. Snip snip is the way to go. My husband heard from some friends/relatives that "it's nothing". Well, it was definitely not nothing, but it wasn't bad (though I wouldn't recommend his urologist). He got through it with local, and while he won't be able to have a new family in ten years with his trophy wife (at least not without another procedure) we're really happy with the choice.”

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“My husband just had this done. It takes about 6 weeks to not feel sore. Then you must wait a few more months AND go back for a sperm test before you are given the all clear to abandon all contraceptives. We don't regret it for one second, though we must wait until January. Contraception is a big pain! My husband did a lot of reading online. He and another friend made a deal to do it THIS YEAR, and the other friend went first! He's very pleased with the results. It took about 45 minutes for the procedure.”

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“My husband did it last year. I think he didnt love his dr but it went mine and except for some soreness for the first few weeks he was fine. I felt sad but we had already decided to not have more than two kids and the vasectomy makes things a lot easier! We are both forty btw.”

_____

“I had a vasectomy about 6 months ago. It is done right in the office with local anesthesia. The procedure takes maybe 30 minutes after the groin is shaved. There were essentially no side effects beyond a sense of fullness for a few hours. The post-vasectomy sperm test showed that it was a success.”

Alternatives to a Vasectomy

“I wanted to suggest -- and I hope this is okay -- an alternative. In Europe, what most people use instead of surgical procedures is for women to use Mirena IUS. It is probably the single best form of birth control, because it requires no effort after it's inserted and lasts for 5 years. On lists of the safest and most effective methods of contraception, it is usually number one. If you are open to a female-oriented method, rather than a male one, then you might want to ask your ob about it.”

Reviews

Urologists (general)

Urologists (Vasectomy specific)

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