Getting a Vasectomy
Male Sterilization – What’s Involved?
Written anonymously by a close friend of Julieta's.
"Vasectomy! Vasectomy! Clip clip clip!” – Ryan Stiles, whose line is it anyway?
I recently (as of the writing of this, 2 weeks ago) had a vasectomy done. I had never wanted kids, and the stars aligned so I pulled the trigger on the procedure. I’m here to write about my experience, and about just what the hell a vasectomy is.
To start with, I’ll talk about why I did it. Each person who is considering sterilization should definitely consider why they should or shouldn’t very carefully. For me, a guy in my 20’s who never wants kids, it confuses people or (as has happened before) gets people to say that I’d change my mind. The deeper reasons why I chose this are another story, but in short – for the longest time, and I’m talking since when I was in fucking grade school, I didn’t want to have kids. Just none. At all. I figured that since it’s been over a decade of that line of thinking, it was time to make it happen. Just two weeks out, and I’m pretty damn happy about my decision.
Just bear in mind that if you’re following my way and not having biological children, not everyone will be supportive. So fuck ‘em. You do you, especially when you’re vacationing on the Amalfi Coast after your snip snip. You make the choice for your own life and what you want out of it. Fuck the peer pressure.
Basics (Science Shit)
Alright, so you’re continuing through this and want to know the basics of how this shit works. First off, pee is not stored in the balls. Second, your balls stay attached to your body. Third, no hormonal changes.
To go into detail/rehash shit from sex ed, your testicles develop sperm. The grown-up swim team hangs out in a structure called the epididymis, attached to the top of the testicles. When pre-snip men have an orgasm, the swim team dips out of the epididymis and is racing to Splooge Point (aka your penis). They go through the vas deferens, basically a long flexible pair of pipes, on the way out. The vas are what is snipped during a traditional vasectomy.
Notice I said “traditional”. Here’s a crash course in some urology concepts here. So, the way that most of us may know this as, the traditional vasectomy means making 1-2 small incisions in the scrotum. Then, the doctor finds your vas deferens on both sides, then cuts out a small section of both of them. After that, they’ll take the cut ends and “fulgurate” them (burn the ends), then take some sutures and tie the cut ends off post-burn. The urologist will then stitch the incisions back up.
Different Vasectomy Techniques?
Now comes the fun part – how does a guy get through this without wanting to kill the doctor due to the weird sensations and the pain? This way of getting a vasectomy can be done under local anesthetic, meaning it’s done in the doc’s office using local lidocaine injections to block pain during the procedure. But, you’re awake for it. Some of my buddies who’ve done it with local said that the sensations of the doctor’s work plus, you know, being fucking conscious and thinking about what is actively going on in your ball sack was weird. But at the same time, they said that the pain was actually negligible, and because it was a local anesthetic, they were able to drive home right after the procedure.
Alternatively, you can go under general anesthesia (like I did), which is a totally different context, but the basics of the vasectomy remain. Same thing gets done, but with fun drugs and more money spent. I won’t get into detail about that here because I’ll talk about my experience later on.
“Hey, cool man, but what the fuck do you mean by ‘traditional’ huh?”
Yeah, so there’s also a third way that urologists can perform this, usually called a “no-scalpel” vasectomy. The gist is – they’ll still do local anesthetics, but instead of cutting into the scrotum, they’ll actually take an injectable plastic or polymer, find your vas through the scrotum, then inject the polymer in, blocking the vas from any aspiring swim champions looking to take the title.
Your urologist may give you a choice between these based on their expertise, or will give you their best recommendation on the safest way to do this. But these are the most common. These are the most effective ways for avoiding having children (except for abstinence).
**One last note – go into this process with the thought that this is permanent. Because people will say that “oh it’s reversible if you change your mind”. But again, fuck peer pressure, do you. Second, reversal of a vasectomy within the first two years only has a success rate of 50-70% or so. So make damn sure for yourself that you want this.
I looked on my insurance provider’s member site to find in-network urologists, called one of them up, and set up a consult appointment. At the consultation, my urologist talked with me about whether I knew the risks, and if I still wanted to go forward with it. Then, he examined my groin to assess what might work best, and we decided that it would be safest (and less fucking weird) to do the vasectomy under general anesthesia. After that, we got the surgery scheduled just nine days later in a surgicenter. Had a few phone calls back and forth with billing departments for both the urologist’s office and the surgicenter to clarify my insurance benefits, and ended up paying only $488 for the whole show (thank fuck).
Since I was going under, the night before meant shaving my groin completely and not eating or drinking after midnight. Got there, filled out some paperwork, went into pre-op and changed into those skimpy ass patient gowns and hung out in my gurney watching cooking shows from 16 years ago. Pre-op nurse hooked me up to an IV and a bag of fluids, and the anesthesiologist came in to verify the procedure and who I was, and same for my urologist.
I haven’t had surgeries before this, but I was pretty calm. That said, that also means I’ve never had the usual pre-op drugs, didn’t know what it was like to go under anesthesia, or have opioids. So, after the urologist clears me and gets the OR prepped, the anesthesiologist and one of the operating room nurses swing back in and get ready to roll me back. I notice that the anesthesiologist is pushing a drug in my IV, so I ask what it is. They gave me Vistaril, used to reduce anxiety and apparently they give that to every patient right before rolling back. Not one minute later, as we were rolling down the hall, swear to fuck my brain felt like the set of the fucking Teletubbies. Happy rays of happy happiness. So that was a trip.
Couple minutes later, I rolled into the OR. I awkwardly shimmy my ass from my gurney onto the operating table and get positioned. As I was hallucinating Tinky-Winky at the foot of the operating table, the anesthesiologist lays another drug into the line. At this point I was minimally verbal, but I asked what that was. Last thing I remember hearing was "oh it’s propofol, think happy thoughts”. Can’t remember if I made a Michael Jackson joke before zeroing out. Probably did.
After some time, PACU