Ryan’s Story: Vasectomy
March 26, 2021
Ryan is 34-year-old employee at University Hospitals. In January 2021, he and his wife brought home their newborn son from the hospital to meet his two big sisters. Prior to their son’s birth, the couple decided that three children would be the perfect size for their family, considering their two young daughters (ages five and two) were already keeping them quite busy. As a result, Ryan chose to get a vasectomy.
Usually performed in a doctor’s office, a vasectomy is a simple, one-time, more than 99.99-percent effective sterilization procedure that involves cutting and sealing the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm away from the testicles, so that sperm can no longer reach a man’s semen and leave the body. Though other forms of permanent birth control were available to the couple, Ryan chose to get a vasectomy largely for his wife’s benefit.
“We reached a point,” Ryan says, “where my wife had been through three pregnancies and three deliveries, not to mention experiencing complications during her third delivery, so that I felt getting a vasectomy was a comparatively easy thing for me to do, and it would spare my wife from having to undergo yet another medical procedure.”
Ryan’s “man up and do your part” reasoning is shared by many men who opt to get a vasectomy. Among other benefits for women, once a man gets the procedure, his female partner is freed from the side effects, responsibility and inconvenience of having to take a hormonal contraceptive pill every day.
After his decision was made, Ryan made an appointment to talk to Dr. Aram Loeb, a fellowship-trained, board-certified urologist at University Hospitals’ UH Urology Institute. During their virtual appointment, Dr. Loeb asked Ryan questions about his family history and his decision to get a vasectomy. He also told Ryan exactly what to expect during and after the procedure, answering any questions he had. This one consultation was all that was required before Ryan could schedule his vasectomy.
“It was very quick,” Ryan said of his procedure, which Dr. Loeb performed at the UH Brainard Medical Building in Lyndhurst, Ohio just weeks after the birth of Ryan’s son. “I got to the hospital at eight in the morning, and I believe I was discharged by 8:30 am.”
Ryan was given a local anesthetic at the beginning of the procedure, which requires the doctor to make a small cut or puncture in the scrotum to gain access to the vas deferens. “I honestly thought the procedure would be far less comfortable than it was,” Ryan says. “But Dr. Loeb and the nurses were great and made me feel comfortable the entire time.”
Some swelling, bruising and mild pain are not uncommon in the days immediately following a vasectomy. As such, it’s said that frozen peas and ice packs are a man’s best friend after getting the procedure. In Ryan’s case, he experienced very minor post-procedure discomfort.
“I was surprised at how very little pain and discomfort I had after the procedure,” he says. “In fact, I believe I only had to use ice one time.”
Ryan found he was able to get back to most of his normal daily activities in less than 24 hours. For several days, he did experience some mild soreness when sitting in certain positions. However, he said wearing an athletic supporter and taking the anti-inflammatory medication prescribed to him by Dr. Loeb in advance of the procedure were enough to make the soreness nearly unnoticeable. Within ten days of having the procedure, which did not cause any scarring, the soreness went away completely.
Since Ryan had his vasectomy only about a month ago, his job isn’t quite over, because the contraceptive benefits of vasectomy are not immediate. After the procedure, men must return to their urologists in approximately three months (or after 20 ejaculations) for follow-up analysis to see if their semen contains any residual sperm. A vasectomized man is not considered infertile until he achieves sperm clearance through this testing.