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Mythbusting: Will my Vasectomy be Painful?

One of the most common misconceptions for many men is that their vasectomy will be painful, when the truth is, often it isn’t. Almost every single man getting a vasectomy is pleasantly surprised when it comes to getting a vasectomy.

The human mind is hard-wired to overthink things and Brisbane men getting vasectomies are no exception. It is fair to say that although your vasectomy day probably won’t be the best day of your life, it will also not be the worst.  In fact, a vasectomy offers a lifetime of security around family planning for something that is a minor inconvenience. Most men compare the discomfort of a vasectomy somewhere in between getting a small mole removed and getting a dental filling.  Men generally describe a vasectomy as slightly uncomfortable rather than a vasectomy being painful.  

So when asked, is a vasectomy painful? A good response is; a vasectomy is not painful although it is, perhaps, a bit uncomfortable.

“Is that it?” is a phrase I hear multiple times a day, just as I let patients know that their vasectomy is over. Often men have spent weeks or months (in extreme cases even years) building a vasectomy up into something much more than it is.  As a result, their vasectomy is almost a non-event.  

Some men are so convinced that they will be in agony, that when they aren’t, they get a false sense of confidence and quickly go to the gym, mow the lawn, and sneak in a run before the anesthetic wears off.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  These men heal fine eventually although they may have some post-vasectomy discomfort requiring ibuprofen or paracetamol.  The men who watch some movies or work from a laptop usually report little to no vasectomy pain at all.  If you want the best vasectomy Brisbane has to offer, let your body heal and be gentle.  Although you will be fine eventually, you are better off just resting.  There is no need to go for a run the afternoon of your vasectomy.

It can be very hard to compare one man’s vasectomy pain (or discomfort) to another. It’s a lot like talking in public.  Very few people relish getting up in front of a crowd and giving a speech. Some freak out and find it the worst thing in the world, most get a little anxious but do fine, and others actually love the experience. A vasectomy is similar.  Occasionally we will have a person amazed and uber-interested in the novel experience.  A lot has to do with expectations and personality.  I think more than anything, whether a vasectomy is painful or not, has to do with breathing.  People are excellent at breathing in, but when they get a little adrenalin pumping some forget to breathe out.  Everyone’s a little different but if people remember to breathe, the 15 minutes or so passes quite quickly. Some men even get so good at deep breathing that their vasectomy almost becomes like a meditation.  Every few months we get someone who actually falls asleep!

The most scientific way of comparing the variety of experiences about whether a vasectomy is painful (discomfort) is in the use of medication.  About 25% of men take no medication at all.  About 50% take a single dose of the supplied paracetamol and anti-inflammatory. Around 20% of men take medication for a few days, and about 5% of men take tablets for a week or more. By this benchmark, the amount of medication men take for vasectomy pain is similar to what women may take for a bad period.  Most take some paracetamol and ibuprofen.  You don’t have to take tablets but if you are finding that the vasectomy is painful and annoying you, please do.  You may even heal a little faster after a few days of ibuprofen. When it comes to taking tablets, it’s a lot like asking if a headache is painful.  Some people have a headache and go about their business, others pop some paracetamol or ibuprofen at the first signs.  If you want the best vasectomy Brisbane possible, or minimize is a vasectomy painful, nothing beats a lazy day with an ice pack and giving your body a chance to rest.

Humans are interesting creatures. About 7% of men experience scrotal pain in the week prior to their appointment. These men haven’t even turned up yet but they subconsciously become hyper-vigilant and experience every movement or repositioning as a painful experience.  It’s a psychological phenomenon.  Rather than medication, there is good evidence that these men will benefit greatly from mindfulness, breathing and other techniques to reduce their underlying level of stress.  

There is nothing stopping all men from combining these techniques and others to minimize any vasectomy pain. If you are planning on a Brisbane Vasectomy,  take a few days off the gym, use some ice packs to reduce any inflammation, take some anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and most of all don’t forget to breathe. Try not to overthink it. If you can get a tattoo or go to the dentist, you will be 100% fine.

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