Warning. If you’re considering a vasectomy and are doing some research to reassure yourself, read this with caution! You may not find the assurances you’re after here. Consider yourself warned.

vasec-2I became a father for the third time shortly after my 40th birthday. Enough was enough. It may be fine for other men to want to have babies long after 40 but for me, I was done.

We discussed our options. It basically came down to one of two things. Either I got the snip or Emma did. This is how I viewed that choice.

Emma had Jenny a year before she had Eve. Jenny came out back-to-back resulting in Emma requiring a double episiotomy. Ouch. Shortly after, Emma had a large abscess from a blocked duct in her breast which required surgical intervention. Ouch. Then, when Eve was born, she decided to come out back-to-back too. Ouch, again.

With that in mind, the choice was obvious. It was my turn. Emma had been through enough.

Clinic

I had a preliminary appointment at the clinic. A sexual health clinic is an odd place to walk into. I believe everyone else is thinking the same thing – “what are they in for?” Part of me wanted a sign over my head declaring me to be free of anything….questionable. Maybe even just a coloured wrist-band to certify that I didn’t have anything alien living in my undercarriage. But you don’t get that.

I got shown upstairs to a different part of the clinic. A nurse interviewed me to make sure I could go ahead. They actually vet you to make sure you’re psychologically in a place where you can get the op. I was asked if I was happy to never, ever father a child again? I nodded. I wouldn’t have chosen the word ‘happy’. How can someone who has experienced three births as a father say that such a thing could be thought of as making him unhappy? It was more that we were consciously making a choice that we were moving on from the idea of having any more little ones. Our clan was complete.

vasect-3The procedure itself would consist of making a small incision, pulling out a tube, snipping it, cauterising it and popping it back in. There were small risks of infection and of life-long debilitating pain but that shouldn’t be anything to concern me? But what happens to the wee guys that my body produces? Where do they go?

It seems that they continue to be produced and just get absorbed by my body. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Having rogue sperm just using my body as their personal swimming pool, going where they may. I’m reassured that it doesn’t work like that. They may crystallise but then my immune system will tidy them away and then they’ll stop being made.

It was recommended that, after I’d had the op, somebody drive me home afterwards. I should rest up for a couple of days and give my tackle a chance to heal before doing anything strenuous. All common sense stuff. I’d have to provide two ‘samples’ over the next six months to confirm that it had worked, then I would be certified as ‘neutered’.

All I had to do was make sure that the, um, area concerned, was suitably shorn. Short back and sides. Actually, more of a skinhead. I think you get the picture. I book a few days off work for the op and get busy with the disposable razors.

Emasculation

The day of reckoning fast approaches and I prepare for my imminent emasculation. It’s odd to wake up with the knowledge that some strangers are going to be prodding your bits that morning. Will they judge me? I don’t fair well in the cold, you know.

I bravely stride in and await my doom. As with all things medically related, there’s lots of sitting around, waiting. In time, though, I’m in a gown, and shown to a basement room. It’s a large room, and there’s a big chair at the back wall. Waiting for me is a doctor (male) and a nurse (female). I can’t be embarrassed to get my bits out. It’s what we’re all here for. I’m not exactly waving my junk at people in the waiting room but I’m equally not going to go red faced when the curtains open and the show begins.

The radio is playing. As the procedure begins, I’m focusing on the songs. I’m focusing on the décor. I’m focusing on anything that isn’t about to cut my scrotum.

The doctor and nurse are to my left. The first step is an injection next to where they’re going to make the incision and burn my tubes off. There’s some discomfort and I wince a little. My palms sweat and my heart is thumping. “You”, I think, “are a big yellow-belly. They are pros. Trust them”. I relax a little. I feel a little tugging, a little sharpness, but nothing too bad. We all chat amicably, as you would with people who aren’t neutering you.

Trident

vasect-4The move over to the other side and start to inject again. DAMN that hurt. That didn’t happen before. It’s an intense pain and they can see it. There is no numbing feeling like there was on the other side. The doctor apologises. Says he must have hit something and tries again.

SHIT – that’s sore. Is he injecting me with a rusty trident? I’m gripping the chair arms, and this is just the needle causing this. I give it a moment and wait for the injection to take affect and for the pain to subside. Does it? I think it does.

They start to make the incision and I can feel it. Something clearly isn’t right. Someone is slicing a hole in my scrotum and it’s bloody sore. I let them know and they look at each other. They don’t believe me that I can feel it! They tell me that I shouldn’t be able to feel it. REALLY? Shouldn’t I? That information doesn’t help me.

They inject again and again it’s agony. I take a deep breath and tell them to go ahead anyway. They tell me they will do no such thing! I’m sweating and my heart is beating out my chest. I question myself. Am I over-reacting? Is this something I can mentally get over? No, I conclude. The pain is intense and real. It’s generally a very sensitive part of the body. I have learned that this sensitivity is raised somewhat when sharp medical instruments are invited to attend.

A fourth injection finally, eventually, brings some numbness to the area. I’m feeling a bit dazed. After this, they finish doing their thing and pack me in padding. Not long after, I’m walking out the car where Emma meets me.

I’m not right. I’m pale and I’m in a bit of shock. Emma asks how it went and I tell her, quite emotional. “It was bloody agony. I don’t think it went right”. Again, I question if I’m at fault. It was painful, but the pain passed. It wasn’t anything like what Emma had been through. I rationalise myself into putting things in context. Doesn’t feel so bad.

Feet up

The recovery process is straightforward. I lie in bed for a day or two, stretching my legs occasionally. I bathe, carefully. Nothing untoward happens. No crystals form. No crippling pain. My right incision bleeds a little but not enough to cause concern. I’m brought home made soup in bed and I’m happy.

Soon enough, all is well and I go back to work.

The samples are sent and I am declared successfully speyed. I am now, to quote Only Fools and Horses, a ‘Jaffa’. Do I regret it? No. Would I have it again? No. That’s not how it works.

Would I recommend it? I actually would. In all seriousness, what happened to me was rare. Ultimately, the peace of mind we now have made it all worthwhile. It just would have been nice if it had been a little less…. stabby.