Friday, January 16, 2009

Notes on Vasectomy

Over on the Feminist Mormon Housewives blog, they've been talking about vasectomies, and I've been commenting:

I had my V at age 40, almost three years ago. Sex has been noticeably better for me since then, with no fertility/pregnancy anxieties. And my wife ASKED me to do it, so I felt no guilt about cutting off the sperm pipeline for selfish reasons. (I believe women call more shots in the procreation arena than men do.)

The procedure itself was not a big deal, and it was funny how the doctor was selling me on his reversal services even as he was snipping me. I used frozen peas too and only one Lortab. After one clean sperm-free checkup, my wife let me skip the subsequent follow-up checks. (It’s not that fun rubbing one out in the restroom.)

Thumbs up. And what’s been great is that my wife has never second-guessed the decision, even after holding someone’s newborn. She knew she was DONE. Of course, she was 41, probably close to being done naturally anyway–but we’d just had a surprise pregnancy only nine months after the previous one. We’d had a five-year dry spell after our first kid and did fertility treatments that didn’t work, but then a few years later things suddenly kicked back into gear for no apparent reason for numbers two and three, and it was like “Turn it off! Turn it off!”

Some months after my V, my wife had an IUD put in just to control periods, and those have pretty much dried up now, just a little spotting every few months. Woo hoo! We like married sex with no baggage.


Responding to #41: I served a mission in colorful-lingo Australia, so “rub one out” may have come from there, although I thought I’d heard it several times before here in the States too. I think the term is mostly used for pre-date masturbation when one wants to take the edge off so one can perform longer later on.

My other favorite Aussie sexual terms are “cracking a fat” for getting an erection and “rubbing uglies” for male-female genital intercourse.

Another favorite Aussie-ism I still use is “Who opened their lunch?” for when someone emits a silent odor in company.


I think there is now a home sperm testing kit available, or at least I read an article last year that said one was being planned. That would be convenient for post-V patients.

A couple of other notes about the actual process: I’ve had many moles removed, and I’d say the V was only slightly more involved than having two moles removed in one visit. There was a twinge of gut discomfort at one point, the same feeling as when one is bumped in the balls, but it was fleeting. I remember that when the doc cut the cord, it made a rather loud snip, as if it were made of firm stuff.

As far as after-effects, I remember feeling some lumps along the cord some weeks after the procedure, but I think they went away. (I don’t go looking for them anymore–I was told they’re normal.) I still don’t understand where the sperm goes now, but the ejaculate doesn’t look any less or different. But I also have to admit that I don’t understand why my water softener doesn’t make my water salty, even though it’s been explained to me several times.

I remember that after the procedure, I was expecting the nice young nurse to come back and give the area a sponge bath, but they sent me home pretty yucky down there, with disinfectant and blood and whatnot.

I’ve always said there’s a vas deferens between men and women…


Responding to #63: I was in Victoria too (1986-88), and I have heard the variations you mentioned. But I’ve also heard them the way I stated them.

I loved how Aussies said “damn” and “hell” even at church, even from the podium. I still do that too. And I always thought the word “stuffed” was funny, both as a replacement for the f-word and meaning you’re pregnant. You never sit back after a meal and say, “Well, I’m stuffed.”

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