V is For Vasectomy

So, we have two kids. My husband was pretty clear when we had Bob that he thought two kids were the right number for him. I wasn’t sure I wanted more than one. As an only child and a new mother, I just could not picture having enough love for two children. And then we got pregnant again and I soon learned that what people say is true. Your love DOES multiply and not divide. Totally awesome. After Maggie was born people would ask me how many I thought we’d have and I would say twelve, we’ve got to try to keep up with our Amish neighbours. (Har, har). Or that Scott wants two and I want four, and we’re going to split it and have three.

But Scott still wanted just two. And I, having had a really hard time with my hips during my pregnancy with Maggie (I was unable to walk or lay down for a good chunk of my pregnancy) as a result of a Relaxin Overload felt that it would be selfish of me to go for more kids if it meant that I could be incapacitated for several months and unable to properly care for my two beauties.

We did a little bit of research and talked to a few people about vasectomies. It seemed like it would be a very easy procedure and that a lot of the people who had complications did things like move a piano or bone the day of the operation. You only have something like a 3% chance of having a rough go of it, or so the rumor went.

Well lucky us, as Scott got to be one of those lucky 3 in 100…..

After a lot of emotional discussion, Scott went in for his vasectomy on Monday, January 12th. He came home, and followed doctors orders and friends advice and took it easy. Laid on the couch all day, did not exert himself. He was feeling pretty sore by the end of the day and before bed he took a peek.

Not what he was expecting to see. His package was so badly bruised that it looked as though someone had coloured them in with a Sharpie. From abdomen to asshole, the bruising was solid black. And the swelling around his balls was… formidable. And there was a hard lump forming, not a small one either. And pain. Serious amounts of pain.

Scott got a post surgical hematoma. He had a little bleeder still drizzling when he was sewn up. Since the scrotum likes to stretch, it did just that and accommodated a fairly significant amount of blood before there was enough pressure for the bleeding to stop.

He still has this thing. A lump that stretches from his abdomen behind one testicle, giant, sore and VERY hard. Supposedly it was supposed to start softening up and getting reabsorbed by his body at day 10, but it is like day 17 now and it’s not budging yet.

Over two weeks off of work. Multiple doctors appointments, ultrasound appointment, trip to the specialist. Ice packs, Percocet, antibiotics and a lot of frustration, remorse and worry. Not exactly what we had planned or budgeted for.

Scott just went back to work today. If he worked a job that involved labour (like the guy doing our roof right now who had a similar problem with his vasectomy) we would have had to file for short term disability, no question. I know he’s having a rough go of it, as sitting forward in his chair puts a lot of pressure on the clot. Who knows when he’s going to feel up to having sex again, since any movement of his testicles makes him double over.

If we had known about the frequency with which complications like these can happen (it has got to be more than 3%, as once we started talking to friends about this experience, everyone seemed to know someone with a similar story) we would have looked into other options (like laser vasectomy) or simply decided to use natural family planning methods as long term birth control.


Here is a small, well cropped image of the bruising.

Big ow.

Please share this story.


  1. Kaela · May 31, 2009

    Twwly, how is Scott feeling now? Did this end up healing “properly”?

  2. Twwly · May 31, 2009

    Yes, thankfully he did. :)

  3. ansley · May 31, 2009

    OMG..that is crazy! my husband had the big V also and had slight bruising..nothing like that! he got it on friday and back to work monday and only had to take ibuprofen the very first day. i’m glad he healed okay. how icky!!!

  4. Holly · May 31, 2009

    The same thing happened to my husband (which is how I found your site). It’s been 2 weeks now and the doc says he’ll have to stay home for another 2 weeks.He didn’t get all that much bruising but a very large hematoma and TONS of pain! Glad to hear your husband healed okay. How long did it take for him to heal?

  5. Twwly · May 31, 2009

    He felt pretty terrible for four weeks, and it was about eight until things were feeling ‘normal’ and a few more after that for the clot to really be gone.

    The first few “times” weren’t very comfortable for him and he was really worried about there being a permanent effect on his orgasm. (A friend of ours had this happen). Thankfully there was not. So if things don’t feel quite right for your husband, know it may improve!

    I’m so sorry you are experiencing the same thing. It’s really terrible — can’t sit, can’t move. It’s the center of your being in a way.

    I hope he heals quickly, Holly!

    We used Traumeel (a homeopathic cream) to help with the bruising – I do recommend it. :)

  6. Pam · May 31, 2009

    whoa. i’m just reading this. my hub and i have been discussing going ahead with the big “V” for a month now. i think i’ll be looking into the laser option. thanks for the info. my husband’s junk thanks you too.

  7. B · May 31, 2009

    Sorry to hear about Scott’s V mishap ! I had a vasectomy a few years ago. A “new” method with only one small incision under the base of the penis just where both halves of the scrotum meet. Very little manipulation of the tubes, no swelling, no stitches ! I was bask to normal in 3 days.

  8. M · May 31, 2009

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had my V three days ago and am still suffering a fair amount of discomfort and considerable blackening of the scrotum very similar to the Scott’s picture. The swelling is equivalent to a large orange. Not knowing if this was a “normal” side effect or not, stumbling across your post was really useful. I’ll be off to the doctors on Monday! I just wish my wife was here to provide a little TLC, but the scheduled date for the V came up while she was away, back in two weeks. Hopefully things will have started to mend by then.

  9. Twwly · May 31, 2009

    M – I hope you have mended!

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  11. Just curious · May 31, 2009

    I understand this is a wee bit off topic but why weren’t you able to walk or lay down during most of your pregnancies? I apologize if this is an intrusive question, just delete it.

  12. Twwly · May 31, 2009

    Just Curious – the answer is right there.

    “having had a really hard time with my hips during my pregnancy with Maggie (I was unable to walk or lay down for a good chunk of my pregnancy) as a result of a Relaxin Overload”

    During my pregnancy with Maggie I was overrun with relaxin and my hips were falling apart, which made me unable to walk or lay down for considerable amounts of time. Therefore, I was stuck sitting UP, the only comfortable position.

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  14. Anonymous · May 31, 2009

    Sorry to see your hubby go through this I’ve just had mine done and mines is worse than this just been told to rest and take it easy
    I know how he feels as even the slightest wrong move I’m in pure agony with a bulge the size of 2 tennis balls glad he’s on the mend hopefully I will be soon aswell

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