“Overall, it was a blast.” Jordan says. “The doc gave me one Valium to take beforehand.” In an effort to further de-stigmatize the procedure, Jordan live streamed his entire experience on Facebook. “One viewer described it as ‘simultaneously the most boring and horrifying thing’ he’d ever seen,” he says.
And while general recovery guidelines are to take it very easy for 24 hours and slowly get back to activities in the next two or three days, after his vasectomy, Nathan says he simply walked—”albeit carefully”—from the urology clinic back to his wing of the hospital and got back to work. Los Angeles-based video editor Kyle, 36, got his snip in March 2017 and met friends for $1 oysters right after.
In recovery, Lee experienced soreness, but seems to more vividly recall the luxury of a pain medication bubble during which he housed Thai takeout and the first four seasons of “The Wire.”
Pettis was a student at the time, and scheduled his vasectomy at the start Thanksgiving break in case he needed the time off to recover. He spent three days in bed watching movies and, by Thanksgiving Day, he was “back up and walking.” Since getting the surgery and when jumping back into the dating pool, Pettis says his snip won him points with women. “I think [unplanned pregnancy] was just one less thing they have to worry about,” he adds.
Kid-free Kyle encountered similar delight. “My current girlfriend is thrilled that [contraception] is not even a concern and that she didn’t have to do anything when we got into the relationship.” He adds that he spent his recovery stoned and reclined.
No one GQ spoke to for this piece got their vasectomy reversed, but James has since had kids in Brooklyn, where he now lives. He didn’t get a botched job almost 22 years ago: James got a microscopic testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE), during which a doctor retrieves sperm from testicles with a syringe. It’s an expensive procedure (James says his cost around $7000) that takes about 15 minutes. From there, doctors used Seth’s retrieved sperm to get his wife pregnant via IVF—twice.
“[We] got pregnant on our first try, and actually are pregnant again on our second try,” James says.
He and his wife didn’t seriously consider attempting vasectomy reversal. After all, the Mayo Clinic says “the longer it has been, the less likely it is that the reversal will work,” noting, too, that although nearly all vasectomies can be undone, it’s impossible to guarantee conception in the aftermath. Because of this—as well as the price of a micro-TESE in addition to IVF costs—doctors urge men considering getting a vasectomy to think of it as permanent.
Thinking about getting a vasectomy yourself?
Kevin, a real estate developer in the American South, says he’s always open about his vasectomy, “partially because other men were very open and candid about it with me,” adding that he’s surprised the topic still doesn’t come up organically very often. “My advice to anyone considering doing it is that if you’re in a long-term relationship, not only can it be the responsible thing—but it can be an act of love, for your partner and the children that you may have now.”
Rick, a researcher in his mid-30s in New York City agrees. “Frankly, I think men should discuss it more, and understand that they also have a role to play in family planning, and a vasectomy is a valid option,” Rick says. “As for advice for anyone who’s curious about getting a vasectomy, I’d say to really think it through. People always say it’s reversible, but [there’s] no guarantee. … Also, if you currently have a long-term partner, make sure you’re on the same page, or be prepared to end the relationship so you don’t deprive your partner of something profoundly significant like having a child.”
Pettis stresses how the temporary discomfort is worth the long-term results. “I think a lot of guys worry about the pain, and the pain was nothing,” he says. “I’ve stubbed my toe and it felt worse than any of the pain I felt in the vasectomy.”
*Some names have been changed.