Is a Vasectomy Painful? How Bad Does a Vasectomy Hurt?
January 14, 2023
If you are asking these questions then you are probably thinking about having a vasectomy. You are either doing your research or…. you are extremely ‘anxious’ about having surgery to your most sensitive parts. Perhaps you are doing research and also nervous!
Every guy who considers vasectomy…at some point in time will wonder is vasectomy painful, how bad is it going to hurt them, and how long will they be out of commission?
Old-school conventional scalpel vasectomy was painful (involved cutting and sutures). Many patients and had high complication rates.
The newer minimally invasive vasectomy techniques are easier on men. Most patients experience less pain and lower complications than those who have conventional, old-school incisional vasectomy.
If you have wondered is vasectomy painful and how bad does vasectomy hurt then this article is for you!
We may not be able to give you specific answers to your questions but we can provide some helpful guidelines to help you get a better idea of what to expect.
“Doc, how bad is it ‘gonna’ hurt?”
As a vasectomy provider, I get this question all the time. As an experienced, seasoned doctor, I have become smart enough not to provide a direct answer. Why don’t I give a solid answer?
If you give a patient a specific answer to their question then they will hold you to it! The problem with the pain question is that pain and the perception of pain is in the eye of the beholder… or in the scrotum of the patient!
Everyone experiences pain differently. We all know that guy who gets a splinter in his finger or slams his finger in the door and screams bloody murder! We also know guys who have the same thing happen to them and they barely say anything. Everyone perceives pain differently.
Most of my vasectomy patients do very well during a His Choice vasectomy procedures; however, everyone has a different experience.
I can do the first procedure of the day and when I am done the guy will ask, “Is that it? That’s all? That was nothing doc” and the very next guy will wiggle and scream just when I touch his skin!
Now what changed with this two very different guys? I am the same person, the same doctor, and used the same technique. The only thing that changed was the patient!
Pain and anxiety: A vicious cycle
I don’t like to answer pain questions with exact ‘this is what you are going to feel’ type answers because every person experiences pain differently.
If I tell a patient it is not going to hurt and they scream bloody murder then they usually walk away thinking I am both a liar and a bad doctor. So I generally provide them broad answers, such as ” Most people will say it is not painful.” or “Most people rate their pain a 2 on a 10 point scale the day after their vasectomy.” It took me awhile to learn this veteran doctor skill!
I have long been aware that patients who have anxiety report more pain. Not only do anxious patients report more pain, but patients who have report higher pain scores also report more symptoms of anxiety. There is a very close connections between pain and anxiety. Often a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.
One day I was reading a news article which described a woman who has a genetic condition in which she does not feel pain: Woman who feels no pain could help scientists develop new painkillers
I found myself fascinated by this simple article. A woman has a rare genetic condition that causes her to not feel pain. This same condition also confers a very low level of anxiety. The researchers discovered that this woman was an optimist, with the lowest score on a common anxiety scale. She reported never panicking even in dangerous situations such as a recent traffic incident.
So this woman could stick a knife in her leg and feel no pain at all!
This same women could also pick up a rattlesnake and would not experience anxiety or fear like a ‘normal’ person would feel.
It was fascinating to know a person who has a genetic condition and cannot feel pain also has almost no anxiety.
This is a genetic observation that helps to support a link between the perception of pain and anxiety.
Men who have anxiety often perceive more pain than those who not have anxiety. This is another reason I dont give concrete answers when guys ask me does vasectomy hurt? The anxious guy will report pain as a 8 out of 10 and the less anxious guy is going to say it was barely a 1!
How bad does vasectomy hurt?
Most guys who come into the office…whether they say it or not… think vasectomy is going to be as bad as getting kicked in the balls!
Let’s face it..we only feel three sensations ‘down there’ most of our lives. Most of the time we feel nothing…they (our balls) are just there hanging out doing their own thing. Other times they are feeling really good when you are getting sexually stimulated by whatever mechanism you choose to stimulate. A rare minority of the time they are causing you severe pain after some physical trauma like getting kicked, thumped, or whacked!
So understandably, most guys can only relate to getting kicked, thumped, or whacked. These are the only times they have felt pain and they are, appropriately, concerned that having a vasectomy will be just like getting kicked in the balls!
All guys know that sensation of getting kicked in the nuts…the visceral gut pain that makes you grab your stomach, fall to your knees, and takes away your ability to speak in an understandable fashion!
Although I usually avoid direct answers when trying to answer how bad does vasectomy hurt, I can tell you with supreme confidence it it nothing like getting kicked in the balls and going to your knees like a pagan scoundrel!
Vasectomy and pain: A typical experience
In my practice I offer single visit, no needle, no scalpel minimally invasive vasectomy. This is what I do to make vasectomy as painless as possible.
If you want to understand the reasons why you should consider traveling to us for vasectomy then you take a quick look at: 10 Great Reasons To Come to His Choice
Single visit appointments. I let men come and have vasectomy without a consultation and during a single office visit. Why? Multiple visits increase anxiety. Not only is it more convenient to have a single visit procedure but it also helps to minimize anxiety.
No needle vasectomy. I don’t use a needle to administer the local anesthetic. I use a hand held spray device that pushes the anesthetic through the skin. Many people have anxiety with needles. Avoiding a needle is helpful. Most men describe the spray anesthetic like getting tapped lightly on the skin with a rubber band.
No scalpel vasectomy. No cutting of the skin. Instead a small opening in the skin is spread. This does less damage to the skin. The skin opening will squeeze closed. No sutures are recovered.
Minimally invasive vasectomy. I dont remove anything from your body when performing a vasectomy. Removing large sections of your vas deferens increases the chance of a complication. Having a vasectomy complication will cause more pain. Avoiding complications is helpful in making vasectomy as painless as possible.
Long acting local anesthetic. I use Exparel at the end of the vasectomy procedure. This local anesthetic last for up to 72 hours.
If you want to understand more about how a His Choice Vasectomy is performed then visit: Videos on His Choice No Cut Vasectomy
Is Vasectomy Painful? How much does it hurt?
If you have been asking these questions you should be reassured that vasectomy does not have to be painful. Although you will have some discomfort/pain it does not have to be as bad as you imagine or may have been told.
Most of our patients rate their pain a 1 to 2 both during their vasectomy procedure and the day after their vasectomy procedure.
Most patients leave our office saying it was not as bad as they thought and they wish they had come to us sooner!