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Important Quotes Regarding Vasectomy

Do you think there are only a few of us who are left holding the bag in this situation? In case you might doubt that this vasectomy stuff we've been discussing is a loaded gun with a hair trigger, just keep reading a little longer. In this section you will find the statements of the doctors and researchers on the subject. What's more, you'll find the statements and stories of those who have paid the price in enduring these conditions: the patients themselves.

From the doctors and researchers:

1. "Pathological findings revealed features of long-standing obstruction and insterstitial and perineural fibrosis [scarring and nerve entrapment] which may have accounted for the pain. It is important to recognize this late complication of vasectomy…."

Chen, et al, Epididymectomy for post-vasectomy pain: histological review., British Journal of Urology, October 1991, 407-413.

2. "Family physicians should be aware of the potential effects and complications of vasectomy so they can appropriately counsel patients seeking sterilization. Vasectomy produces anatomic hormonal and immunologic changes and…has been reputed to be associated with atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries], prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and urolithiasis [kidney stones]. Complications of vasectomy include overt failure, occasional sperm in the ejaculate, hematoma [bruising], bleeding, infection, sperm granuloma, congestive epididymitis [a synonym for post-vasectomy pain syndrome], antisperm antibody formation, and psychogenic impotence."

Raspa RF, Complications of vasectomy., American Family Physician, 48: 7 1264-8, Nov. 15, 1993.

3. "We have carried out a survey by postal questionnaire an telephone interview of 172 patients 4 years after vasectomy…Chronic testicular discomfort was present in 56 patients (33%)…. Prior to vasectomy, all patients should be counseled with regard to the risk of chronic testicular pain."

Mc Mahon, et al, 1992, Chronic testicular pain following vasectomy., British Journal of Urology, 69: 2, 188-91, February, 1992.

4. "Future studies should include evaluations of the long-term effectiveness of vasectomy, evaluating criteria for post-vasectomy discontinuation of alternative contraception for use in settings where semen analysis is not practical, and characterizing complications including chronic epididymal pain syndrome."

Schwingl PJ, Guess HA, Safety and effectiveness of vasectomy., Fertility and Sterility, 73: 5, 923-36, May, 2000.

5. "There is a small but significant incidence of CPTP [chronic post-vasectomy testicular pain] and patients should be warned of this possibility when counseled before operation."

Ahmed I, Rasheed S, White C, Shaikh NA, The incidence of post-vasectomy chronic testicular pain and the role of nerve stripping (denervation) of the spermatic cord in its management., British Journal of Urology, 79:2, 269-70, February, 1997.

6. "In our study chronic scrotal pain was the most frequently reported complication of vasectomy with an incidence of 18.7%. Pain adversely affected quality of life in 2.2% of our study population. A review of the literature would suggest that techniques in which the epididymal vas is not ligated can reduce the incidence of post-vasectomy scrotal pain. Regardless of the technique used, the high litigation potential of this procedure warrants thorough counseling of the factors that may affect quality of life."

Choe JM, Kirkemo AK, Questionnaire-based outcomes study of nononcological post-vasectomy complications., Journal of Urology, 155, 1284-86, April, 1996.

7. "Problems mentioned [by vasectomy patients] concerned sexual performance, long lasting pain, and wanting children in new relationships."

Ehn BE, Liljestrand J, A long-term follow-up of 108 vasectomized men. Good counseling routines are important., Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology, 29: 4, 477-81, December, 1995.

8. "Because of the frequency of chronic pain syndromes following vasectomy, concern regarding the long-term complications of this procedure has revived….

"The disorders that are now being linked with autoimmune reaction after vasectomy include unexplained thrombophlebitis, prolonged fever, generalized lymph node enlargement, recurrent infection, skin eruption, multiple sclerosis, liver dysfunction, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to these health problems, several studies have revealed a statistically significant association between the risk of prostate cancer and a history of vasectomy. The risk of prostate cancer in men who have had a vasectomy is more than three times that of those who were not vasectomized."

Dr. Anthony H. Horan, Are There Long-Term Consequences of Vasectomy?, [Online],

http://home.swbell.net/birons/vas.htm, downloaded March 5, 2000.

9. "Congestive epididymitis [a synonym for post-vasectomy pain syndrome] was diagnosed in 6% of [6220] cases utilizing closed-end vasectomy and 2% of cases where the open-end vasectomy was performed. Open-end vasectomy is recommended because the incidence of congestive epididymitis is reduced."

Moss WM, A comparison of open-end versus closed-end vasectomies: a report on 6220 cases.,
Contraception, 46: 6, 521-5, December, 1992.

10. "Chronic epididymal pain following vasectomy is a well recognized clinical entity…. The post-vasectomy pain syndrome is a well recognized complication of vasectomy…. Reports of pain involving the testis and epididymis after vasectomy range from 3 to 8%…. Most urologists will encounter a significant number of patients with the post-vasectomy pain syndrome during their career…. The post-vasectomy pain syndrome is a rare but serious complication of vasectomy."

Stanley A. Myers, Christopher E. Mershon and Eugene F. Fuchs, Vasectomy Reversal for Treatment of the Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome., Journal of Urology, 157, 518-520, February, 1997.

11. "Although vasectomy reversal is often successful, it cannot be guaranteed even in the best of circumstances, and when the vasectomy has caused epididymal obstruction, reversal is often unsuccessful."

Peterson HB, Huber DH, Belker AM, Vasectomy: an appraisal for the obstetrician-gynecologist., Obstetrics and Gynecology, 76: 3 Pt 2, 568-72, September, 1990.

12. "Spermatic granulomas are specialized abscesses which frequently occur at the site of vasectomy. Although some are often silent, others can be agonizingly painful. A series of 154 granulomas is presented. Of these, 83 were symptomatic and 63 required surgery for relief of pain."

Schmidt SS, Spermatic granuloma: an often painful lesion., Fertility and Sterility, 31:2, 178-81, February, 1979.

13. "A group…with a previously unappreciated syndrome of unremitting epididymal pain and induration 5 to 7 years after vasectomy was collected…. Recognition of this late post-vasectomy syndrome, which represents a major complication of vasectomy, might be expected to increase as cohorts of vasectomized individuals age…. Patient discomfort usually was constant, often disabling, exacerbated by sexual activity and, occasionally, radiating along the spermatic cord structures…. because the vasectomy procedure is so prone to medico-legal complications, we believe that the late post-vasectomy syndrome should be included in the informed consent form for vasectomy."

Stuart M. Selikowitz & Alan R. Schned, A Late Post-Vasectomy Syndrome., Journal of Urology, 134, 494-7, September, 1985.

14. "Several Studies report on the incidence of post-vasectomy scrotal pain and different names for these pain complaints were mentioned…. Dependent on the way of documentation and patient population, recurrence rates vary from 0.9% in a cohort of 10590 men studied by Massey et al (1984) within one year after vasectomy up to 54% in a group of patients with post-vasectomy scrotal granuloma…. Since the major reason for dissatisfaction after vasectomy was reported to be chronic pain, pre-vasectomy counseling of the patient on this problem should take place."

Van Der Poel, HG, Meuleman, EJ, Post-vasectomy pain, an underestimated side-effect.

15. Not exactly on chronic pain, but on the related chronic autoimmune response to vasectomy: "In more than 50% of men, vasectomy leads to auto-immune pathology. The auto-immune response to sperms following vasectomy is triggered by the phagocytosis of sperm in the epididymis. In the humoral immune response, sperm agglutinating, sperm immobilizing, and antibodies to sperm nuclear protamines occur, as early as 3-4 days after vasectomy. The incidence reaches 60-70% within 1 year and remains almost the same even after 20 years.

Shahani SK, Hattikudur NS, Immunological consequences of vasectomy., Archives of Andrology, 7: 2, 193-9, September, 1981.

16. "Any technique of vasectomy carries a very small risk of orchialgia [pain], whether due to the presence of a sperm granuloma at the vasectomy site or to increased epididymal pressure."

Shapiro, EI, Silber SJ, Open-ended vasectomy, sperm granuloma, and post-vasectomy orchialgia., Fertility and Sterility, 32: 5, 546-50, November 1979.

17. "Post vasectomy pain syndrome… can turn a previously fit man into a chronic invalid. Even if the operation was painless, and not accompanied by the bruising and immediate post-operative discomfort which is quite common, weeks, months or years after the operation, nagging pain begins at the site. Sometimes tender cysts, or lumps called granulomas, can arise around the cut ends of the vas, and even if further surgery is performed to cut them out, the pain persists. This can be one of the most difficult problems in andrology to treat, especially as the precise cause is usually unknown. More research is urgently needed to prevent and treat the condition…."

Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, MD, Vasectomy - The Unkindest Cut of All, [Online],
http://www.goldcrossmedical.com/, undated, downloaded August 5,2000.

18. "The vasectomy is not free. It can cause frightening and frustrating long-term effects which are about as permanent as the sterility that it was intended to produce.

"The numbers of dissatisfied vasectomized men are increasing, primarily with the affliction of post-vasectomy pain, (about 20%, but that number is adjusted upward every year). Once one finds out that there are others like him, he is more likely to drop stoic pretenses and admit that his balls hurt.

"A vasectomy is almost always referred to in terms of 'harmless,' no 'secondary long-term effects.' It's a good sell, but it is not the whole truth. Little or nothing is said about life after except for the benefits of sterility.

"In more true to life terms, a vasectomy is having your vas deferens cut in two, the ends are cauterized sutured, interrupting the flow of sperm from the testis, sterility is achieved. Unfortunately the testis aren't informed and continue to function normally, producing sperm

"With the holes on the tubes bunged up and the testis of a normal healthy man still dedicated to the production of sperm, something has to give… and it does. The sperm backs up and eventually forms a toothpaste -like sludge. As the sperm backs up so does the pressure and blowouts begin to occur along the epididymis. Because the body is not ordinarily exposed to sperm (with leakage after the blowouts) antibodies to the sperm are produced and the problems begin. The sperm cells are actually quite irritating and resistant, they have to be to withstand the hostile environment of someone else's body in a reproductive role. They were never meant to be out in the blood stream.

"Reports of secondary long-term effects are rising to the surface. I have collected a few assorted references to this 'politically incorrect' malady. They are fairly hard to find.

"Surgery has always meant the 'remedy' for a pathological condition. The truth is that a vasectomy is an attempt to use surgery to correct a social problem. Further, plugging up a healthy organ system and expecting 'no side effects' is just plain idiocy. Medically speaking, symptoms from an injury provoked on a healthy organ system could take years to manifest, and that manifestation could be almost anything.

"On the same tangent… Why would public health or other medical 'authorities' not raise questions about the procedure? We can't expect a cohesive group of professionals to be self-incriminating. Repercussions from iatrogenic illness (produced by the physician's activity) are always very damming and damaging. Medical authorities (public and private institutions responsible for public health) always provide a very quick response to negative news… and the answer is always the same… it's safe, don't' worry.

"Many vasectomized men find it hard to admit that they have problems. Most mention the 'it's all in you head response they get from the same MD's that did the procedure. There's a lot of frustration and anger and there is no place to take it to.

"Being responsible (in a reproductive sense) does not mean you have to sacrifice your health. Remember that the vasectomy is not the treatment of a pathological condition, it is the cutting into a healthy organ system with the deliberate intention of plugging it up.

"The vasectomy creates some real problems, post-vasectomy pain is too common and should be a sign to halt present policies. But we will see no restraint or real informed consent until the medical establishment is held accountable by legal action."

Hall, Michael, What You Never Heard About Vasectomy.

19. "Urolithiasis [kidney stones] causes substantial morbidity among otherwise healthy, middle-aged men who account for two thirds to three quarters of cases. This is precisely the population that is most likely to undergo vasectomy. Nonetheless, we were surprised to find a previously unreported, statistical relationship between vasectomy and urolithiasis in an epidemiological study….

"Even though the association between vasectomy and urolithiasis is unexplained, it is important. Confirmation of the finding that vasectomy substantially enhanced the risk for urolithiasis suggests that patients be informed about this risk before vasectomy…. The increased risk for urolithiasis associated with vasectomy may indicate a need to reevaluate the risk-benefit ratio of vasectomy compared with other methods for contraception."

Kronmal et al, Vasectomy Is Associated With an Increased Risk for Urolithiasis. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 29:2, February, 1997, pp 207 - 213.

20. "Chronic intrascrotal pain may occur in up to a third of patients after vasectomy and in approximately half the pain is considered troublesome."

Padmore et al., Analyses of indications for and outcomes of epididymectomy. The Journal of Urology; 156: 95-96, July 1996.

21. "Vasectomy is a common operation and even if short-term complications only occur in a small proportion of people, or it has just a slight influence on the long-term chances of developing a serious illness such as prostate cancer, this makes it important that we learn much more about it, and that people who have it done, or are considering it, are better informed…. There is, however, one consideration which might give American doctors in particular cause for thought before they continue to recommend and perform vasectomies. If convincing evidence were produced that serious damage might result from either the antibody formation or hormonal changes which many studies have already shown to occur after the operation, it would open the floodgates for a torrent of highly emotive litigation cases. Even now, drug companies are having to defend some very large-scale group actions for everything from breast implants to drugs such as Thalidomide and Norplant."

Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, Maximizing Manhood: Beating the Male Menopause (see bibliography for complete reference).

22. "When a patient elects to have a vasectomy, he must understand that pressure build-up proximal to the vasectomy site, congestion of the epididymis, and, indeed, epididymal blowouts are inevitable consequences of this surgical procedure. In more than 800 vasovasostomy patients whom we have seen, there is always some degree of epididymal engorgement and congestion. Indeed, after one explores these postvasectomy patients microsurgically, it becomes difficult to understand why the vast majority of such patients have no pain or discomfort."

EI Shapiro and SJ Silber, Open-ended vasectomy, sperm granuloma, and postvasectomy orchialgia., Fertility and Sterility, 32: 5, 546-550, November, 1979.

23. "The greatest anatomic effects of vasectomy occur in the rete testis, epididymis and vas deferens. The rete testis and epididymis frequently sustain damage induced by back-up pressure. Blow-outs and secondary sperm extravasation commonly occur at the body and tail of the epididymis. Vasectomy usually causes loss of tone and luminal dilation of the testicular end of the cut vas deferens….

"Antisperm antibodies can be measured in the serum of up to 70 percent of men after

Robert F. Raspa, Complications of Vasectomy, Journal of the American Family Physician, 1993.

24. "Men with antisperm antibodies may be at risk for the development of immunologically mediated diseases. Furthermore, immune complex orchitis, glomerulonephritis, and exacerbated atherosclerosis have been demonstrated in vasectomized animals…. It was reasoned that such antibodies, or possibly immune complexes containing such antibodies and sperm antigens, might cause disease, either locally in the testis or epididymis, or in the organs remote from the operative site…. As expected there was a notable excess of epididymitis-orchitis in the vasectomized men…."

Massey et al, Vasectomy and Health: Results From a Large Cohort Study., JAMA, 252: 8, 1023-1029, August, 1984.

From the patients:

1. "I had my vasectomy 10 years ago now and I haven't had a happy, pain-free day since. It's been nightmare from the beginning to the end and it's not over yet.

"After seven years on the pill, my wife was advised to stop taking it and so I decided I'd have a vasectomy. On the day of the operation at our local hospital I had no second thoughts at all because I had heard that the procedure was quite straightforward. I was surprised therefore to wake from the general anesthetic with a tremendous pain in my stomach…. for the next few weeks I was only comfortable when I was lying down. Walking or lifting things
was impossible and there was no question of being able to work. I was getting increasingly anxious as I had never really been ill before, but since both the hospital and my doctor were adamant there was nothing to worry about, I was prepared to give it time.

"Then two months after the operation I found two small painful lumps in each testicle…and they, together with the continuing ache in my stomach region, were causing me such discomfort that it was interfering with my whole life. The new consultant [doctor] performed an operation to remove the lumps. Afterwards he told me he believed too much of the vas had been cut away during the vasectomy, which explained the painful pulling sensation in my stomach, and I felt very angry. The lumps kept recurring and this was complicated by bouts of urinary infection that caused a painful inflammation in both testicles. To help this the surgeon finally had to remove the inflamed outer casing of the left testicle, the epididymis. Even this went wrong. Five months later, the testis on that side began to shrink, and I had to have it removed and a plastic prosthesis put in…. Last year I had to have the same series of operations on my right testicle, with removal of granuloma, and then the epididymis, and now the testicle gets inflamed and is shrinking, so I may have to have even that removed. It's been such a terrible time since the first operation. My job as a fork-lift truck driver, which I'd had for 18 years before the vasectomy, is gone, and my wife left me because it all got too much and we weren't having any fun or any sex. There have been times over the last few
years when the pain and worry have made me think of ending it all, but things are slightly better now. All this has been a result of a vasectomy gone wrong, probably because it was performed in a hurry by someone inexperienced, though I'm told it sometimes happens in the best of hands. This surgery sentenced me to 10 years' pain and misery."

"Harry" as quoted from "Maximizing Manhood: Beating the Male Menopause" by Dr. Malcolm Carruthers (see bibliography for complete reference).

2. I received the following letter from a college friend of mine. At the time of his writing this, it had been two and a half years since his vasectomy and he was still in pain consistently. He had experienced a real peak pain sensation during is procedure, and then "…the day after my vasectomy I was following my doctor's instructions which were not to do anything different. The process was "so simple" that it wouldn't have ANY impact on my life, even the day after surgery. So the next day I was out working in the garden when all of a sudden I almost passed out from what felt like a horse kicking me in the groin. I went into the house, told my wife to get me ice (and quickly) as I crawled to get to the couch. After pumping down three or four Advils and securely placing several pounds of ice on my sack I began to feel somewhat human… at least the spinning feeling and the nausea were subsiding. However, I still had "discomfort." Much to my chagrin, I did the proverbial sack check and "the boys" were completely black and the bruise continued up the shaft of the mother ship, if you know what I mean. Basically, the next 2-3 days I sat on my butt with ice as my newest best friend.

"I went to the doctor on Monday or Tuesday and after telling me he had never seen such a thing (actually he told me that I was one in a thousand; sound familiar?), he prescribed massive pain medication and antibiotics. Eventually the black and blueness (mostly black) went away. The pain, however, did not. Let me describe it. It could be anything from a dull and minor pain/discomfort throbbing sensation to an incredible sensation of a very sharp, intense and hot (yes, hot) shooting pain - somewhat similar to an ice pick in the nuts - that would start at the bottom area or side area of BOTH testicles and go all the way to my stomach. I would learn later that there was this wonderful nerve that "somehow" got impacted during the surgery that goes up through the stomach area. My doctor advised me to wear tight whites [briefs] to keep the boys snug at all times and gave me more prescriptions of a HIGHER dose of pain medication and more STRONGER antibiotics. Of course, it is very important to note here that neither medications even dented the pain at all. This went on for months (10+) and the good doctor all along couldn't fathom that this could ever occur… one in a thousand? Eventually, I asked my doctor the question: "If I was to have a vasectomy reversal, wouldn't it stop all the pain and problems since we would simply be taking my gear back to its original condition?" His response was interesting. Something along the lines that "No, once you have a vasectomy, we have found that the reversal process never helps to alleviate pain and problems, it is a waste of time." What I heard, of course, was nope, I was screwed at this point and that maybe I wasn't one in a thousand since this question had obviously been asked before!!!

"At this point I internally decided that I had to go this on my own. By then it had been more than one year of various types of pain and frustrations…. I need to tell you that I am not completely pain free more than two years after this "simple procedure." In fact, today I have pain and discomfort in both testicles that although not overwhelming, it is distressing.

"In closing, would I have had a vasectomy if I knew what the true percentages were of complications and/or problems? Not a chance in hell! I suppose I can't complain, however, because the pain and discomfort I experience has become manageable and I can live with it. Begrudgingly, but I can live with it. Should I try a reversal? I don't think I will as I am afraid that the cycle of pain will begin anew or become worse than it ever was.

"…This seems to me to be information that MUST be put into circulation so that more men don't go through the horrors that other men and ourselves have gone through. Thank you for all of your hard work and especially during what must be an extremely difficult period of your life. Good luck to you and your family. I pray that you soon have all of these troubles behind you."

Name withheld by request.

3. "I had my vasectomy 18 months ago. 'A simple plumbing job' the surgeon said. I have had pain in both testicles every day since. The first two months were the worst; after that the aching has been 'cycling'… a day or two of pain followed by two to fourteen days of mild aching. I have been to 72 doctor's appointments since this merry-go-round ride started and there has been no improvement…. Some days are so bad that I have seriously though about having both of my testicles removed…. Guys, DON'T mess with Mother Nature."

"Dave" as quoted from the Urology Forum, posted March 7, 2000.

4. "…I thought it was time to have a vasectomy. There was a little counseling beforehand, but no medical checks, as I looked and felt completely fit, and was only 34…. "The operation went fine and within a week I was back to my old sexy self, or even better.

"Ten months later, though, I didn't feel nearly so good…. I started getting really bad cramps in first my right calf and then my left…. I told my GP about this and he said these symptoms sounded like not enough blood was getting to the leg muscles, but he had never seen this in anyone so young before….

"…I went back in the hospital having a whole series of complicated plumbing operations, trying to bypass the blockages with plastic tubes. None of these operations lasted more than a month or two…. It got to the point of getting cramps in my right leg at night in bed and the surgeons started talking about amputation.

"I was desperate and would rather have committed suicide than live life as a legless cripple. Still, I'm a philosophical sort of man who meditates and I still believed something would happen to save my legs….

"A few days after I started on the twice weekly [testosterone] injections, my legs seemed to come alive again…. It's now six years since I started the testosterone treatment and I work out in a gym for an hour most days, swim twice a week, enjoy a great sex life and, having given up the stressful job of being a milkman, I am much happier teaching Tai Chi…."

"The funny thing is, though, none of the surgeons I used to consult seemed interested in why things went wrong so soon after the vasectomy or why I'm not in a wheelchair now, six years after they said that amputation was the only option left."

"James" as quoted from Maximizing Manhood: Beating the Male Menopause by Dr. Malcolm Carruthers (see bibliography for complete reference).

5. "I had a vasectomy about three years ago. Afterwards, I had constant pain in my right testicle. After seeing a urologist for about a year and trying different options, he performed an epididymectomy on the right testicle. The pain has been worse than before. The testicle frequently gets swollen and then returns to its normal size, which is about 3 times as large as before the epididymectomy. Sometimes the pain is just there as pain, you can feel it but you're use to it. And sometimes the pain is very intense. This type of pain occurs at least twice a month and lasts for 3-4 days. I started keeping a daily journal so I can show it to my urologist and hopefully get some more help. But I would definitely not recommend an epididymectomy."

"Paul" as quoted from the Urology Forum online, posted on March 19, 2000.

6. "I've been suffering with pain and a 'non-bacterial' prostatitis diagnosis for 5 years now, following a painful vasectomy."

Posted anonymously on the Prostatitis Website, January 3, 1998.

7. "You guys know as well or better than I that the complications of a vasectomy are understated. I had my vasectomy more than 4 years ago…definitely not enough anesthesia (certainly a more effective form of torture than pulling out fingernails). Chronic pain, and the urologists telling me to see a psychiatrist…psychiatrists telling me to find a better urologist. I began to feel like people with our problem are just 'collateral damage' like the people in a residential neighborhood in Iraq killed by an errant bomb.

"I underwent a vasovasostomy in February 2000 to put thing back together. I figured out that HMO's do not like to do this procedure for pain relief. They don't get paid the $4500 'elective surgery' payment from someone that wants to have children again. My surgeon believed that I was a good candidate for this procedure to help me, after measuring the size of y testicles with a set of templates. Although there were no baseline measurements taken prior to my vasectomy, he believed that my size 10 and size 12 testicles were the result of being swollen and distended. He believes that the surgery will help me, based upon what he saw, but the jury is still out. He told me he has done several hundred of these operations to restore fertility, and a half dozen for pain relief with no complaints.

"I'm still waiting for the pain and swelling from the surgery to quit. I should know if it helped me in a couple more weeks. Friends, there is still hope for you pain problems. I pray the Lord helps you find peace and relief from all of your pain."

"Joe A" as quoted from the Urology Forum online, posted March 23, 2000.

8. "I too, have experienced the pain of epididymitis. A funny way to build character. It all started three months after my vasectomy in 1995. From that time till July 1998, I saw numerous doctors who treated me with every form of meds you can think of. Nothing worked. I convinced the doc to do a vasovasostomy (reversal) in July of 1998 and thank God, the pain has not been back since then. The problem was found that they had used clamps during my vasectomy and clamped too close to my testicle causing enormous amounts of pain.

"I recently experienced a case of epididymitis, (the first in nearly two years!) but seems to be curing up with meds (I guess, once you have it, you're prone to get it again). Hope you guys recover from your pain.

"Mike" as quoted from the Urology Forum, posted April 12, 2000.

9. "I'm in my late 20's, and had a vasectomy a few years ago (had 2 children and that's it!). A few months after the vasectomy, I began to have pain in my left sack, if you know what I mean. I went to the urologist who did the vasectomy, and he told me I had an enlarged prostate…. He did the usual exams and thought that I should take a medicine also given for blood pressure - Cardura. Well, I've been on that for a while now, and I thought that maybe things should be better, right? They were until I tried to lower the dosage (with his approval). Now I'm getting pain again. Sometimes very sharp. But it is only on the left side. I want to get off of this Cardura, but I can't stand the pain either."

Posted anonymously on the Prostatitis Website on July 14, 1998.

10. "I had a vasectomy done in Dec 99. I had right side pain from day one (when could distinguish from post vas pain). My doctor under-did the local injections and I suffered excruciating pain during the surgery. I thought this was normal until some time after the operation. The pain shot up through my groin to my tummy while the doctor cut and prodded. I thought I had nerve damage.

"I have since seen specialists who have diagnosed 'epididymitis post vas' i.e. a likely blockage - the doctor who operated, uses an open ended cut to reduce the incidence of this but it didn't seem to help me.

"I am amazed at how many people told me that there are no complications (the literature indicates 2%). Suddenly I have encountered all the 2% and I think there is more than 2%.

"I have been told to give it another four weeks [May 2000]. My options (while not guaranteed) are reversal, removal of the epididymis, removal of the testicle; respectively. After all this I am advised that I may still experience phantom pain…. The other victim, my wife, feels guilty, but it's not her fault."

"Peter" as quoted from the Urology Forum, posted April 23, 2000.

11. "I am a 47 year old male who had a vasectomy in 1980. About 7 years ago started to have prostatitis symptoms. These included nocturnia, pain in the right testicle during ejaculation, and stiffness of the right testicle."

Posted by "Dave" on the Prostatitis Website on February 26, 1998.

12. "My husband had a vasectomy 15 years ago. There was a problem and they had to remove a testicle. In the last year he has been experiencing pain and his doctor has recommended another surgery to take out a tube (cannot remember name)."

Posted on MEDWEB by Thomas Stellato, MD.

13. "I am an active duty officer in the USAF and currently in training. I have finally convinced my docs here to take me out of training so I can deal with my pain…. Tomorrow I go to see a pain management Doc and I am hoping that he will be able to assist me in some way…. I had my vasectomy at 23 (!) and believe me, if I had known even ½ of what I know now, I may have not gone for the surgery. A condom works! If my story can help others decide against a vasectomy, I am all for that….

"Doing this alone really takes a toll on you psychologically. How do you explain to other guys that your balls hurt so bad and have them understand? You can't do it. All you get is 'you have to learn how to live with the pain." I am 28 and this is not how I want to live my life."

Sent to the author personally by another vasectomy patient (name withheld).

14. "This is a BIG problem and if I knew about any of this before the vasectomy I would have never, never had it. Thing only seem to get worse instead of better. Having constant unrelenting phantom testicular, vas deferens, prostate, seminal vesicle, pain down the legs, etc. plus being disabled from it having to close my private practice physical therapy office and then getting CASTRATED on top of all of it. Then all the pain clinic stuff (which is still going on). All of this is something the next unsuspecting man needs to hear about before he has a vasectomy. Also the whole attitude of the medical profession and their lack of investigative fervor and analytic sense and their fear of medico-legal issues all cause the problems to worsen and last longer and longer. They are too busy protecting themselves or too unwilling to say they don't know to aggressively address the problem early on. I have been told 10 times by various docs 'We don't do surgery for pain.' Yet all the articles from the journals around the world advise to do revisions as soon as possible. Let's band together and get this information out there in the hands of men and their wives to help prevent them from going through what we have. I'm researching journals and getting information from patients (you) to put together an expose on this horrible problem…. -Still hopping mad after 9 years.

"Charlie" as quoted from the Urology Forum, posted May 16, 2000.

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