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She Wants You To Cut WHAT?

Everything you need to know about getting snipped … down there

A satirical book cover depicting a man holding his midsection appearing to be in pan
The Arrow/Nigel Buchanan/Shutterstock

So you’ve decided to get a vasectomy? Good for you! Now that you’re one of the half a million guys in the U.S. getting snipped this year (that’s about one per minute), here are a few helpful tips on how to prepare for your special day. 

Google is not your friend

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let curiosity get the best of you and start Googling vasectomies. You will end up down a rabbit hole that you may never recover from.

Plotting the perfect day

Some of the most popular times to get vasectomies revolve around major sporting events, says Puneet Masson, M.D., associate professor of clinical urology and director of Male Reproductive Medicine & Surgery at Penn Medicine. March Madness, for instance, or during the summer when the afternoons are filled with baseball games. If you’re going to be on the couch anyway, might as well do it with frozen peas on your giblets.

Important note: During this time, you will have perhaps the highest level of wifely empathy of your entire marriage, so plan accordingly.

The day before: Deforestation

In every sitcom vasectomy episode I've ever seen, the shaving is always performed by a buxom candy striper. All I got was a poorly photocopied set of instructions on shaving the “scrotal area,” which sounds more like a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike. 

Shaving is actually one of the most anxiety-provoking parts of the procedure, Masson says. Probably because it’s not a very accessible region for most of us. For my shaving, I assumed I’d need a dentist’s chair, a tailor’s three-way mirror and one of those reflective things on a stick that they use to check under cars at terrorist checkpoints. But I did the job with nothing more than a hot shower — to open up the pores — and a shaky hand. 

My editor insists that the key is dry-shaving. “No fluids or creams needed,” he said. “Don’t ask me how I know this.” This scares me but, hey, it worked for him. And, yes, you have now entered a world where it’s considered perfectly normal for adult men to share ball-shaving techniques with the same casualness we discussed sports as kids.

The big day

Much like roller coasters, the anxiety is worse than the big show. You’ll get placed on a table with your feet up and legs spread for easy access. They’ll spray some numbing agent down there, followed by a shot or two. And that’s all you’ll really feel. If you’re overly squeamish, some doctors offer a Valium drip option to calm turbulent waters. Definitely take that if offered.

The most awkward moment, at least for me, was when the very nice prep nurse, an older woman who reminded me of the librarian at my grade school, explained that she’d be taping my penis to my belly to get it out of the way. (Definitely not a sentence ever uttered by that librarian.) 

I also didn’t expect the amount of small talk during the procedure. The conversation will most likely devolve into everyday conversation. “That’s called ‘talk-asthesia,’” Masson says. “It really relaxes people.”

Don’t be alarmed by your swollen balls

I expected cartoon levels of pain, but mild discomfort was really the extent of it. You won’t be recovering for weeks like our fathers’ generation did. With no-scalpel vasectomies, which are the norm, it takes just a few days of rest, and you’ll be back on your feet. Some men — (cough, cough, points to self) — might have a little testicular swelling. And by “little,” I mean their ball sacks inflate to the size of beanbag chairs. But don’t worry, the swelling goes down after two or three days.

Draining the system

Much like winterizing your sprinkler system before a cold snap, you need to clear out any residual semen from your vas deferens. This can be done with your partner’s help, or you can take matters into your own hands, but either way, it takes a few weeks of ejaculation to make sure there’s no longer any active swimmers in your wave pool. 

Masson recommends at least 20 ejaculations or two months, whichever comes first. Your doctor may ask for a sample or two to make sure you’re properly drained.

Welcome to the rest of your life

A few weeks after your procedure, you’ll never think of it again. You’ll see no change to your sex drive. Your output will be exactly the same. And you’ll never have to worry about putting one past the goalie ever again.

Follow Article Topics: Sex-&-Relationships