Half a million men get a vasectomy in America each year. Maybe you are considering it right now. Chances are, you’ve heard that damming that most masculine of rivers is an outpatient snap. Spend a weekend on the couch with frozen peas down your shorts and before you know it, you’re back in business.
That’s almost always the case.
My own vasectomy didn’t go smoothly at all. After that same seven day stretch where most men are reenacting Basic Instinct (minus the ice pick murder) in the bedroom, I was still crab-walking around the house with a set of private parts so purple and swollen, it looked like they owed Floyd Mayweather money.
How did things go so horribly wrong? And could it ever happen to you?
The entire procedure takes about twenty minutes.
“Is there anything I should be looking for?” I say, gently pulling up my pants after it’s done.
“Not really,” the doctor says, the aroma of scorched flesh still in the air. “If your testicles swell larger than a grapefruit, call me. Just take it easy for a few days.”
My testicles look like Prince’s bedroom this morning. They are a dozen different shades of purple. I decide to sleep on the couch.
I am supposed to hit the gym today, but when my son throws a parking lot fit and needs to be carried into school, it feels like a hernia.
I call the doctor. A nurse asks whether my tag team are grapefruit-sized yet. Grapefruit seems to be the gold standard of panic in the vasectomy world.
“I’m not sure. I’d say about the size of my fist. What does that mean?”
“Well, let’s think,” the nurse says. “Your testicles are normally, what, the size of a pear?”
I develop a size complex immediately.
Interview with a Guy with a Micropenis
Four things that I don’t like today:
1. The shaved hair has started to sprout back up, which makes things itchy.
2. The constant sensation that my man parts are going to drop to the floor like a shorn tetherball.
3. I haven’t exercised in a week and feel pudgy.
4. Can’t stop thinking about pears.
It’s been a week and I am back at the scene of the crime.
“Let’s see what I did to you, dude,” my doctor says.
There are two emotions you never want to see from a urologist: surprise and disappointment. I get both in about 45 seconds.
“I haven’t seen something like this in eight years,” he says, inspecting the wreckage.
Like some hematoma poison ivy, the bruising has pushed its boundaries from down around the Liberty Bell, all the way up the clock tower and now across the great lawn of my abdomen.
He tells me that’s because testicles actually start around the abdomen. The bruising is because I have some non-life threatening internal bleeding.
Maybe I need a second opinion?
The Craziest Penis Injuries You Never Knew Existed
He tells me my condition happens to only one or two in every 100 vasectomy patients.
“The problem is,” Dr. Steixner tells me, “there are little veins and little arteries that run right next to the vas deferens. And if one of those little veins or arteries gets cut, there’s no risk of anything major happening. But your balls are hanging outside of your body and they can fill up like two balloons if one of those veins get cut.”
What, I ask, could I have done to prevent this?
“There’s nothing you can do. It happens to every doctor,” he tells me. “I did a vasectomy recently on one of my best friends and he called me with this same kind of swelling. I felt awful.”
All of my manly functions have been tested in the bedroom and nothing exploded or fell off or bruised again. It was a lot like Basic Instinct if the script were about the length of a Tweet.
The swelling has almost entirely gone back to normal, but my jealousy upon passing the anjous in the produce aisle is decidedly abnormal.
In another month or so, I must bring in a “sample” to my doctor. He says even though the waterslide has been snipped in half, a few swimmers might be lurking around from pre-vasectomy days. It can take up to 20 ejaculations to work them out of the system.
It feels like this ordeal will never end, but if a friend asks me whether he should go under the knife, I’ll still say yes.
And if he asks, I will certainly tell him my horror stories. But I’ll tell him chances are it’ll go smoother for him.
I’ll probably also ask something inappropriate about pears.