TIP NUMBER #1:
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The Internet is great, isn't it? Funny cat videos, staying in touch with friends for next to nothing, online gaming, the Internet has revolutionised our lives in so many ways.
As fantastic as the online world is, it's also a toxic wasteland of misinformation, trolls and conspiracy theorists. Half the reason I wanted to write this blog was to give an honest account of a vasectomy rather than forcing people to wade through the sewer of Reddit posts filled with badly punctuated half-truths and flat-out lies.
Still, I suggest doing a bit of online research. However, make sure you stick to medical clinics that offer vasectomies rather than wasting time on disreputable websites.
Once you begin researching clinics in your local area, you'll probably be surprised by just how many businesses want to bring a blade to your balls.
One Google search brings up reams of clinics, hospitals, out-patients facilities and weirdos in white vans. Luckily, for me, I didn’t have to rely on the wild-west of algorithm-generated internet search results, I had a vasectomy guy.
SIDEBAR. I’m sure some of you younger men are smugly giggling at the thought of having a vasectomy guy. But let an almost 40-year-old give you whippersnappers some advice. Your concert ticket guy, your cheap holiday guy, your Cuban cigar guy, they’ll all eventually disappear to be replaced by your pension guy, your contents-insurance guy and yes, maybe even a vasectomy guy. It's called growing up, young fella, and it will happen to you too.
My vasectomy guy was my brother. That's ironic considering how many times my brother hit my nether regions while we were growing up and here he was recommending a third party to finish my balls off for good.
Still, as much as our childhood arguments ended with a brutally timed low-blow, my brother and I always agreed on one thing. We like our vasectomy doctors like we like our footballers. We like experienced ball handlers. And in Ireland, no other company has the ball chopping experience of Vasectomy.ie.
Tip Number #2:
Scheduling a Vasectomy is a momentous decision so don't forget about it, stupid
As momentous as the decision to get a vasectomy was in my head, actually signing up for the snip was ridiculously easy. Scheduling a vasectomy is as mundane as booking a dental check-up. You visit the website's scheduling page, fill in an online form, pay a deposit and Bob's your uncle.
I didn't think I'd have to make a blood oath with a testicle demon or anything but damn, it felt somewhat underwhelming to have the faith of my vas deferens sealed with a booking confirmation email. Still, my vasectomy was fully booked, and I could begin to prepare.
Except that within a few hours, I completely forgot I booked the damn thing. Maybe because Vasectomy.ie made the sign-up process so straightforward it was easy to lose the memory of the email confirmation in the ether of my mind.
Yep, this huge decision that I discussed with my wife in detail, that I stressed about for weeks and eventually worked up the – excuse the pun – balls to schedule, didn't re-enter my mind until I got a Google calendar notification reminding me that my balls had a date with destiny.
Tip Number #3:
Prep for the snip using quality grooming products
Again, hats off to Vasectomy.ie. They sent me a comprehensive document outlining exactly how I should prepare for my appointment. This document outlined everything I should from the type of clothes I should wear – loose-fitting – to the kind of underwear I should wear – a fetching pair of snug cotton briefs.
The notes were all straightforward except for point number seven which outlined in painfully clinical language that I would be required to shave my entire pubic region.
Now to some younger readers, taking a razor to your ball sack isn’t a big deal. Hell, it's just another Friday night to you young bucks.
However, I'm almost forty. I missed the manscaping revolution. I'm from a different generation. I didn't grow up with smartphones, Ariana Grande or Tiktok. I grew up with Oasis, Tamagotchis and unkempt pubic hair. Shaving my meat-and-two-veg was a whole new experience. Of course, as inexperienced as I was with pubic hair shaving, I had one thing going for me. I own a male grooming products company that makes some of the best shaving oil in the world.
This brings me to the most important tip to help reduce any undue vasectomy discomfort. When you're shaving your balls for god-sake use quality shaving products. Don't use cheap supermarket shaving creams and oils because they will irritate your skin, compounding the pain of a vasectomy.
I opted to use our organic pre-shave oil to prep my pubic hair and to protect the skin around my nads alongside a thin layer of quality shaving cream.
Considering I’d never given my public hair so much as a quick trim, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the Dublin Grooming Co’s organic shaving oil works just as well on the pubic region as it does on a chin. It only took 10 minutes to shave off 25 years’ worth of uncontrolled growth.
You don’t need me to tell you that the area underneath your underpants is sensitive. The skin of your scrotum is thin and can be easily irritated. So shaving your balls with quality shaving oil isn’t a suggestion, it's a must. I can only imagine how much more painful the post-procedure recovery would have been if my skin was raw and inflamed from sub-par grooming products.
Finally apply some moisturiser to the 2 to 3 times before the procedure. That’ll mean the alcohol spray they use at the start of the procedure won’t have you making the same face as Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.
Tip Number #4:
Before the Procedure, Distract Yourself
With my boxer shorts feeling less crowded, the day of the procedure rolled around. Looking back, I'm not sure what I expected the waiting room in a vasectomy clinic to look like. Was I expecting anatomically correct diagrams of male genitalia adorning the walls? Did I think they'd be medical sculptures with fully removed testes instead of magazines? Looking back, I really can't remember what I thought it would be like, but I do recall being slightly surprised at just how intensely normal the waiting room was.
The place looked like any other doctor's waiting room, right down to the out-of-date magazines splayed across an Ikea coffee table.
The only noticeable difference between this waiting room and any other medical waiting room was the clientele. The place was populated exclusively by sheepish looking men, who buried themselves in their smartphones as if they were terrified of making accidental eye contact.
If you're anything like me when you're bored your mind starts to wonder. And boy was I fed up in that waiting room. My unstimulated mind started to think about what my balls were about to go through. I wondered what would happen if the doctor's hand slipped. I wondered if I'd get an infection down there and I even wondered how I'd react if a nurse walked in mid-procedure and giggled.
Looking back, I was being ridiculous but that's what happens when you've got nothing to do but think. So, I'd suggest ensuring you have something to distract yourself in the vasectomy clinic waiting room. Bring a book, listen to a podcast, why not take a page out of Olympic diver Tom Daley's book and crochet.
Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself calm, cool and collected. Don't do what I did. Don’t sit there stewing in a carousel of anxiety. Because I'd had way too much time to think when the doctor finally called my name I was more nervous than I'd been when I'd first arrived.
Despite my racing heartbeat and sweaty palms, I got up and shuffled into the Doctor's surgery.
Tip Number #5:
These are your balls so don't be afraid to speak up.
“Now Mr Kirwan, take down your trousers and hop up on the bed.”
The doctor was tall, with short grey hair and an easy smile. He spoke in that doctorly tone of polite detachment that I'm sure all medical students are required to take a class in before being granted a medical license.
This familiar tone went a long way in easing my nerves.
"He’s done this thousands of times," I remember thinking. “Look at him, he doesn’t even think it’s weird that I’m sitting here with my trousers down. If anyone’s going to slit my vas deferens, it may as well be this guy."
The first part of the procedure is the alcohol spray. From talking to my brother, I knew that the sting from the alcohol spray hitting inflamed skin can be more painful than the actual snip. However, since I used the Dublin Grooming’s Co's organic shaving oil and moisturised, this wasn't a problem.
So far so good. However, I'd driven myself to the clinic and was determined to drive myself home, so I opted for local anaesthetic rather than being put to sleep.
Here’s the thing about choosing local anaesthetic for a vasectomy, you’d imagine having a syringe jammed directly into your testicles would be painful but you know what, you're right.
Getting the local anaesthetic was easily the most painful part of the actual procedure. The pain only lasts a few seconds and almost immediately your balls start getting numb. After about 10 minutes, you feel enough like a eunuch for the main event to begin.
Throughout this blog, I’ve made a few references to scalpels and knives and things being cut but modern vasectomies don’t use a scalpel. The procedure is completed using keyhole surgery.
A tiny hole is put in your scrotum, the doctor then uses a terrifyingly named device called a Haemostat to separate the vas deferens from the skin. From here, the Vas Defences is lifted through the scrotum hole, allowing the doctor to plug this tube before gently returning the vas deferens to its original spot.
For some men, the procedure can be completed through one single hole, for other men, it requires two.
While the first hole punched in my sack wasn't exactly painful, it was a little more uncomfortable than I would have liked. I considered closing my eyes and thinking of Ireland but this wasn't the time to tough it out. This was surgery on my ball-sack for goodness sake. Therefore I asked the doctor for a little more anaesthetic. He nodded and handed me a bite-mark riddled wooden spoon.
Only joking, he administered a little bit more anaesthetic and I didn't feel a thing during the second part of the surgery. That brings me to my penultimate vasectomy tip, speak up if you need a little bit more pain relief. Everyone's pain threshold is different, so if you need more anaesthetic ask for it.
After my procedure, the doctor handed me a few leaflets on post-procedure recovery. Recommend some over the counter anti-inflammatories and paracetamols for the recovery pain and then wished me a good day.
By the time I was back in the car park, I couldn’t help but scratch my head and wonder why I’d been so nervous about something so routine. The entire procedure only lasted about 25 minutes. And as I climbed into my car, I only felt the vaguest of pains in my nether regions. Little did I know this was the beginning of a hellacious drive home.
Tip Number #6:
Have someone drive you home post-procedure
If you scroll through Vasectomy.ie's website, you’ll notice they advise having someone drive you home post-procedure. If you opt for local anaesthetic, this isn’t a requirement, it’s a recommendation. A recommendation from medical experts. Here's a tip not just for vasectomies but a tip for life.
ALWAYS LISTEN TO MEDICAL EXPERTS!
Of course, I completely ignored this sound advice. It was a mistake that would make me wise and inspire me to write this blog.
Post-procedure, I was pulling out of the hospital car park just as the anaesthetic began to wear off. By the time I was driving down a busy Dublin street, my balls felt like they were on fire. The pain had a heartbeat, throbbing agony pulsated through my nether regions. Worst of all, every time I had to change a gear it felt like Mike Tyson was using my testicles like a fast bag. I’m sure my pained scowl freaked out more than a few Dublin motorists. And the language I used when the keys in my pocket brushed against my ball-sack would have made Gordan Ramsey blush.
Mercifully I got home in one piece, managed to hobble into my house and collapsed onto the couch.
My wife noticed the pain I was in and brought me some paracetamol. I'm pretty sure I proposed all over again.
Once the drugs kicked in I felt much better although the rest of that day was spent on that couch wallowing in self-pity and bingeing a Netflix true-crime documentary.
A Little On Post-Op Recovery
This is where the beard oil comes in. If you have ever grown out your beard for more than a few days you know the itch is a bitch. Same principles apply when your ball hair grows back. So feed that sensitive skin sack some quality oils to reduce the itch.
As minimally invasive as vasectomy surgery is, recovery still takes a few days. The first 5 days after my procedure, I shuffled around in a constant state of fear that I was going to walk crotch first into something hard and pointy. Much to my wife's amusement, I took to wearing a jockstrap -- a sports bra for balls -- which helped aid my recovery. The surgery keyhole healed nicely and now, two weeks later, I'm fully recovered and back to my old routine.
So what have we learned?
save yourself the embarrassment of scratching like a wild animal
To make sure you minimise the inevitable discomfort of a vasectomy, I highly recommend following the below tips.
When researching vasectomies online, only listen to credible medical sources. The Reddit user BIGGU$DICKU$ is not a credible source. Get offline and speak to something who's had a vasectomy IRL.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your surgery. Don't forget about it and be forced to prepare everything at the last minute.
Use a quality shaving product like our Dublin Grooming Co’s Shaving Oil to help minimise the irritation of shaving your pubic hair
Make sure you have something to distract yourself on the day of the surgery
Even if you opt for local anaesthetic, have someone drive you home or at least get a taxi or an Uber.
Have someone around that brings you painkillers.