Vasectomy Pain

EB FAQs, Myths, Pain

It’s not a hit to the balls

Most men have, at some point in their lives, experienced an impact or blow to their testicles. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of having them located where they are. For many men, just the recollection of such an event is enough to bring tears to our eyes. And this memory is often one of the factors that deters men from committing to a vasectomy.

Man experiencing fear of vasectomy pain

However, the vasectomy procedure itself is actually close to painless. The majority of the time your vasectomist won’t be touching your testicles at all, their attention will be on a small amount of scrotal skin that will be pinched open and through which they will work on your vas deferens.

The first part of the vasectomy procedure involves the application of a local anaesthetic to your scrotum. This ensures that throughout the procedure you won’t feel anything, except some distant tugging and, at worst, a mild ache.

The application of the local anaesthetic is done via a needle – this might seem daunting, given its destination, however our National Director of Vasectomy Services, Dr Justin Low, has pioneered a way to make it as painless as possible.

To determine that this was the case, we surveyed a number of men after their procedure to establish how effective the method was across a broad cross-section.

115 vasectomy patients responded to our survey. Half had received their anaesthetic via the new technique, and the other half received it via the traditional technique. The results confirmed what we knew to be a significant advancement in vasectomy techniques.

Vasectomy pain, anaesthetic needle pain survey results graph 2018

Both sets of patients were asked to register one answer (multiple choice) to the same question.

The question was: "during a vasectomy procedure many patients experience some minor aching, pulling and stretching feelings during the procedure. However, specifically in relation to the needle used to deliver the local anaesthetic, we would like to know if you felt: A) A sharp pain worse than expected B) A sharp pain similar to what was expected C) A sharp pain but less than expected D) No sharp pain."

We think the results speak for themselves.

Survey AnswerTraditional techniqueTraditional techniquePainless techniquePainless Technique
A sharp pain worse than expected1119%23%
A sharp pain similar to what was expected1933%1017%
A sharp pain but less than expected1832%2136%
No sharp pain916%2543%
5758
N=115

Results may vary. Click here for more on the survey methodology.

19% of men who had the traditional method of anaesthetic delivery reported feeling “a sharp pain, worse than expected.” By contrast 79% of men who received anaesthetic through Dr Low’s method reported that it was “a sharp pain, but less than expected” (36%) or “no sharp pain" at all (43%).

So if you were holding off on having a vasectomy done because you were worried about the pain of the procedure, that’s one less reason to worry!

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Survey Method. In February 2018, an email survey invitation was sent to 309 patients who had vasectomy with Marie Stopes up to three months prior.

115 responded representing a 37.22% response rate. 57 (traditional LA technique) and 58 (painless LA technique) patients responded.

The survey question was multiple choice and asked:

During a vasectomy procedure many patients experience some minor aching, pulling and stretching feelings during the procedure. However, specifically in relation to the needle used to deliver the local anaesthetic, we would like to know if you felt:

A) A sharp pain worse than expected

B) A sharp pain similar to what was expected

C) A sharp pain but less than expected

D) No sharp pain