Saturday, September 19, 2015


this post contains comments and judgements about medical practice and attitudes. Although I'm fairly knowledgeable about such things, I am not a medical doctor, surgeon or allied practitioner. Please consider this post as opinion only and not as a basis for medical decisions

I've got two kids, and it's enough. My wife and I decided that I'd get a vasectomy to be sure (well, fairly sure) not to have any more.

I had a vasectomy on Friday September 14th. The actual procedure seemed very simple and quick, and I was home that afternoon. I had a very quiet weekend, just relaxing on the couch, I followed the advice of my urologist to apply ice and take neurofen. He had previously told me that Monday "might be the worst day", so I  wasn't too concerned as the pain become more acute throughout the weekend. By Tuesday I could hardly stand up, and the pain was so acute that, even lying down, I couldn't tell when I needed to urinate because of the constant pain and discomfort.

My scrotum was approximately double its normal size.

At this point I phoned the urologist's surgery to get some advice, but was told that he was on a week's holiday and that his colleague (also a urologist) was also on holiday. There was no post-operative support (!)

When nothing had improved by Wednesday, I went to my GP, who thought I might have an infection, so put me on antibiotics. This did seem to help, and by Thursday the pain had reduced to the point where I could walk, but was still extremely uncomfortable (it felt like I had an extra pair of testicles).
I saw the urologist the next Monday (when he returned from his holiday) and he was quite concerned, diagnosing a hematoma (bleeding from the operation), and advised that I continue taking the antibiotics.

It's now 5 weeks after the procedure, and things have mostly settled. I can ride my bike again, though I still regularly get pain, especially at the end of the day.


I think that we take vasectomy too lightly. It's a surgical procedure, and thus vulnerable to all the complications that other surgical procedures can cause. In my case, my scrotum wasn't shaved before incision (I would expect that would increase the risk of infection).
As an example of people's attitudes, I heard a story about a guy who cycled home from his vasectomy (ie. it's such a trivial thing), and had a couple of veiled comments along the lines of "toughen up and stop whinging".
But, speaking with other men, I have heard many stories of problems. One guy I spoke to said he still gets pain from his two years after the procedure. Another guy had an infection that required hospitalisation.


Vasectomy is a very minor operation. It is routine and is usually successful. Despite my experience, I would recommend it. But -- do not take it lightly, do not attempt to be tough, and do not ignore symptoms afterwards -- if you have significant swelling or pain, see someone straight away.
Also, remember that the experience of surgery is hugely varied -- just because your brother has a vasectomy and jogs home does not mean that will happen for you.


  1. Hi Angus,

    Sorry to hear about the surgery gone horribly wrong. Not good. If it helps at all, that exact same story happened to a mate of mine a few years back. It is actually not that uncommon with that particular procedure. Ouch.

    How's everything else going? You've been getting some decent rain up your way recently and I hope the water tanks are full going into spring / summer? This winter has been a seriously cold one here and the fruit trees are only just breaking their dormancy.

    Hope it gets better.

    Cheers. Chris

  2. Thanks Chris,
    Really it wasn't that bad (a cursory glance around the net reveals some true horror stories), and it isn't that common. About 0.5 - 1 % I think.

    The garden is absolutely blooming. I love spring, but we really need to get the wicking beds sorted -- we're well into watering season now!

    Cheers, Angus


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