Within six months of my first child’s birth, Facebook made the decision that I talked about my baby too much. I logged in one day to be faced with targeted adverts for ‘cheap vasectomies near Bradford’.
Undeterred, we had a second kid three years later before I finally decided to have the snip. Here’s my guide to the procedure, including the answer to the age-old question – does a vasectomy hurt?
First Step to Vasectomy
First things first, you need to go to the doctor. The fella I saw asked whether I’d discussed the snip with my wife before booking the appointment. I had – I figured that, as surprise presents go, “hey, hey, look who’s spermless” isn’t quite up there with diamonds from Tiffany’s.
I love my kids but, based on the evidence of our experiences, we create babies that are useless at sleeping. As I hurtle towards my 40th birthday, there is no way I’m going through that for a third time. Well aware that once they finally sleep through it’s easy to forget the long dark hours of the soul (or the night feeds as they are otherwise known), we agreed we’d make sure we wouldn’t get fooled again.
The doctor fiddles with your bits (genuine medical term) for a couple of minutes and tells you to expect a letter through the post with the details of the big day. Congratulations, you’re on the way to Vasectomy City, population: you. And thousands of other tired dads who don’t want to have to buy a people carrier just to visit the nearest soft play.
The Vasectomy Letter
The letter is a brilliant read, containing gems like this:
Dressing gown and slippers? Who do they think I am? Noel Coward? Why not ask me to bring a crystal decanter filled with brandy and a couple of Cuban cigars too?
This is the best bit though:
There you have it. In black and white. Official medical advice is to have more sex once the vasectomy is complete. It is literally on doctor’s orders. If you were looking for compelling reasons for having the snip, this is a good one.
The Vasectomy Appointment
I trudged to our local hospital one Friday afternoon. more than a little nervous about what was to come. They perform these operations on a Friday to give you the weekend to recover, saving you the embarrassment of calling work and excusing yourself due to “poorly knackers”.
The waiting room was full of similarly anxious-looking fellas, all intently glued to their phones. In the corner, a TV blared out some terrible daytime quiz show, presumably to prove that there are indeed worse things in life than a man taking a knife to your testicles.
Eventually, it was my turn to step through the double doors into the unknown, but away from the nasal drone of Matthew Wright. Small mercies.
The Vasectomy Procedure
Changed into a stylish hospital gown, I laid on a trolley behind a curtain, waiting to be wheeled into theatre. I realise that using a word like ‘theatre’ makes it sound like I was having a double heart bypass or something of similar magnitude, but I think I’m allowed a little drama, right?
In the operating theatre (yes, I’m sticking with it), there were five nurses and doctors milling about, which is a new record for the number of people I have exposed myself to in one go. One of the nurses’ jobs seemed to solely involve keeping me talking to distract me from the matter at hand, for which I was hugely grateful.
In actual fact, it wasn’t that bad. Bear in mind that I am a wuss with pain usually. I was told not to donate blood anymore, having fainted so often in the past. Once the doctor administered the local anaesthetic there was no pain, as such. The weird bit is that you can feel them pushing and pulling the tubes around and, whilst a little uncomfortable and disconcerting, it doesn’t really hurt. That said, it’s not how I’d choose to spend every Friday afternoon.
The After Effects of a Vasectomy
If the procedure was okay, the ten days after the vasectomy was not exactly pain-free. There’s a dull ache, some spectacular bruising and you tend to flinch whenever a toddler picks up any pace in your general vicinity. Having said that, I didn’t once have to take the super-strength painkillers I’d bought for the occasion.
So, Does a Vasectomy Hurt?
Does a vasectomy hurt? Well, ‘not really’ is the answer. Obviously, I only have my experience to go on, but I’m never going to win any pain-bearing championships. Not that there are any pain-bearing championships unless you count watching England at the World Cup.
Of course, you’ll be a little bit tender for the week or so after, but you get free tea and biscuits, you are medically compelled to have sex and you get to swan around in public in a dressing gown and slippers. Not bad, right?
Jim Coulson is a freelance content writer, blogger, video maker and radio presenter who lives in West Yorkshire. He runs a parenting blog called Bewildered Dad and a number of other projects that he doesn’t really have time to keep on top of.