I really didn’t know if I wanted to share and write about this publicly. I’ve kept it fairly quiet for some time, but I decided to share the whole story with you.
Starting the process
Initially, I was going to review Maze as a place where I was going to have my hormones checked and the sort. But the truth of the matter is that I reached out to them because I wanted to get a vasectomy. This is something that I have been looking at for quite a few years now, but I have been terrified of it. This for obvious reasons.
The reason I wanted a vasectomy in the first place is that I am old, my son is grown, and my wife and I have agreed that we will not have children at this late stage in life. So, it is in our best interest to take precautions to prevent that from happening. I think that it is easier for a man to undergo this procedure, than any of the birth control procedures a woman can undergo. So, here we are. Snip, snip!
First contact and the amazing Shantel
The first time I called them up, that interaction felt kind of rushed. I will admit this left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but that’s just the scared, arrogant, spoiled, egotistical part of me who wants to be catered to. Who do I think I am? Really, WTF? You aren’t the center of the world, Angel! F*ck off. But it’s our balls dude, our f*cking balls!
Oh, sorry about that, self talk. In any case, I called them back some weeks later, once I was brave enough to resume this journey, and the second interaction was much gentler. I spoke with a woman named Shantel, (I hope I remember right) and her gentle manner was key in my deciding to proceed further with this process. Like I said before, I was terrified of doing this so I needed a very gentle touch. I mean, we are about to slice my balls, cut me some slack here! So we spent so much time going over everything that I felt compelled to see it through in order to make her efforts worthwhile. I don’t know that Maze needs my business, but Shantel was key to getting me in there. Otherwise, I would have likely continued to procrastinate.
Shantel was key in my proceeding with this, 100%. Also, I should state that every interaction I have had since that first one has been unrushed. I might have just caught them during a busy time that first call, it’s all good.
Insurance and payment
One very important detail that we need to know is that Maze doesn’t accept insurance. They will take down your insurance information, and they will try to get some money if you have out of network services, but if you don’t, then it is all out of pocket. For me, it is all out of pocket. The reason I chose these guys over an in network doctor is that they do a vasectomy that is called the no scalpel no needle method. Apparently, it is a better, safer, faster, less painful method of vasectomy. You can read the details here if you like. I found another doctor who does this method, but the vibe there was all wrong. These guys have a nice website and they have Shantel. Lol.
Before you show up, you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork, and you better do it or you will get a stern reminder that they wont’ see you without it.
When I arrived for my first in person visit, I got there for my 3pm and I wasn’t brought back until about 3:20pm as Dr. Werner was slightly held up. As I was waiting Doctor Werner saw me doing my neck pain exercises and since I looked kind of tense he thought that I was mad. I informed him that I was not and that I was just doing my exercises as I was idle.
Doctor Werner gave me good vibes right out the gate. He took me to a back room and said “Drop your pants and underwear.” For a moment, I was caught off guard and I was going to reply, “The hell you mean drop my pants?” Then I remembered I was there for a pre-vasectomy checkup so it made sense that he’d need to see my testes and my penis. As he checked my testicles he said, “You have one really good size testicle. The other one is slightly smaller than this one, have you noticed?” This made me laugh, and yes I have noticed.
After that quick checkup, and going over my medical history and all that, we made all of the follow up appointments. This included the bloodwork, EKG, mental, and a whole bunch of other stuff. They are fairly thorough here.
My next appointment was a video session with Paul Nelson. He is their counselor who talks to you about all kinds of stuff. In his own words, “As long as it is not in anyway illegal, I am here to make sure you have the best sex ever.” I really enjoyed talking with him, he’s a vibe and really cool. If they took my insurance, I’d definitely see him regularly.
The next session was for my blood work, the ekg, and just some overall health checks. That was not fun because I freaking hate needles, and the day before I had about 7 vials of blood drawn! These guys took another 4. Ouch. All things considered, the poking wasn’t that terrible, the team did their best to calm this nervous boy. LOL.
Prior to the actual vasectomy, and as I had several weeks to wait, it occurred to me that I should have a backup plan. So I decided to bank some sperm just in case. Maybe I get hit by a truck and wifey decides to have a kid to keep my blood line going. Lol. Seriously though, when “I don’t want something” becomes “I can’t have something,” people are a trip. We can get really weird about life when we completely lose an option. So I decided to give myself a backup plan because I am human. I know where I stand today, right now, but again, humans are fickle so best keep those options open. It’s really not that expensive and its totally worth the effort for the peace of mind.
So I made 3 trips for the banking efforts. The first trip, we were able to save 4 vials of sperm. The second two trips, we only got 2 vials, cause I didn’t abstain. LOL. Oh yeah, and they needed another blood test before I could bank my sperm. One that wasn’t included in the pre-vasectomy test. So yeah, as much as I hate needles, I got stuck again. The tech felt bad about it, but it was necessary.
So they do the actual vasectomy in a larger office up in Westchester NY. Initially, this was a big concern for me, and to be honest, it was almost a deal breaker. But Shantel, she kept me interested. To be honest, the commute really wasn’t that bad. I had Christine drive me out there and it was a fairly easy ride. Though, to be fair, I did take to xanax and some codeine prior to leaving. That may have factored into it, though at the time I felt perfectly normal.
So let’s talk about the vasectomy itself. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but the anesthesia process was not too bad. Doctor Werner says it’s like getting hit with a rubber band. I guess that could work to describe the sensation. I’d describe it as 7 very quick, small pinches. It’s not a great feeling, but its not unbearable. Just kind of like an “ouch” that sucks. I think that drawing blood has hurt me more at times.
As Doctor Werner worked, he asked me if I wanted to see what he was doing. I opted for a hard pass on that one. Let’s not mess around while you are working on my balls. In hindsight, I feel like I should have looked for my writing purposes. But again, I didn’t want any deviation or side quests while a part of my balls were outside of my body being worked on. Let’s just finish this thing and put that vas deferens back in my scrotum. Lol.
I don’t know all that was done, but I saw some snipping, some sort of catharizing or something, and I just wanted it to be over and done with. It was over fairly quickly. He said about 20 minutes, but again, I was high on xanax so my perception of time cannot be trusted. I can only say it felt fairly fast. “One down and one more to go.”
After the procedure
After all the work was done, I was not really in any great pain. Just a dull aching soreness, like I got kicked in the nuts and the pain lingered. That’s kind of how it feels now too, like you got kicked in the nuts. It is one week later now, and I still have some bruising, swelling, and a little hole in the scrotum that is slowly healing. The pain is not fun, but again, it is not excruciating. Also, I ice my nuts a few times a day.
I don’t have a base of experience on vasectomy’s, but based on this experience, I feel like this doctor is on point with what he does. He’s told me on several occasions, this is what I do, and I am very good at what I do. I’m inclined to agree based on my experience so far. Now for all I know, this dude could cook my balls and feed them to me, and I wouldn’t know. I have no way of looking inside my ball sack and verifying he did everything perfectly. But I’m choosing to trust that he did what he said he did, and that he did a good job. LOL. I mean, what choice do we have? We have to trust our doctors.
On a side note, and completely unrelated, there is a small Cafe at their office location called “Yesenia’s Cafe,” and the food was really freaking good. We ate there, and then I took some to go and ate it over the next few days. They have really good food in that cafeteria.
I think as some point during the process, I asked Doctor Werner, so how am I looking down there? Just a few days before my friends and I were talking about penises and male insecurity around size. So he tells me that my penis is just above average length on stretch and average girth. He said you are not huge, but you are not small. I’ve seen a lot of penises so trust me. It’s funny how men, even horse penises can think that they are not big enough. Interestingly, this is a very American thing. I remember once a Japanese girl telling me that “Japanese girls don’t care, Japanese men and women don’t worry about size like this.”
Back to life
They say that you can return to normal life fairly quickly, but I suppose that depends what normal means for you. For me, it would mean taking yoga, doing cardio, lifting weights, doing jujitsu, teaching Zumba and much more. Can I return to normal life quickly? No freaking way. It’s been about a week, and I’m still sore!
First of all, my balls are swollen and they hurt. It’s not excruciating, but it’s sore and movement especially hurts. In addition to that, I know that inside I have some tubes that were cut. So that area is healing too. Finally, I have an open wound on my ball sack that is still exposed and hasn’t fully scabbed over yet. I can’t imagine that anyone would go back into any form of activity that has your balls rubbing up against your underwear, grinding, sweating, when they hurt and you have a freaking hole there. Now, if normal means sitting at a desk, then sure, you can probably do that in a day or so.
At first I was a bit worried once I took off the gauze, I could see the damn hole and I thought this was meant to be nearly invisible. But he is pulling out and cutting some tubes, so it makes sense that it has to be a proper hole. I’m subbing out my classes and not doing any form of training until the cut heals, at least. Then we’ll go from there once the pain and swelling subsides. No rush, no pressure.
The process was kind of weird, you know, cutting up your balls and all. But overall, I have to say, it really wasn’t that bad. I mean, who doesn’t regularly have their penis and scrotum handled by several men, then covered in iodine, and their balls cut open to snip some tubes? That’s an average Friday night!
I’m also considering doing testosterone replacement therapy with these guys, but we’ll see on that. I have to consider my options there as I don’t know if I want to start taking this just yet.
As far as the operation recovery, it’s been about 7 days now, I’m still wearing a jock strap, icing, and being very careful about the wound. Thankfully the pain is manageable all things considered. If you are considering getting a vasectomy, and you’d like to try the state of the art approach, consider giving Dr Werner a call. I think that their professionalism and good work has made a scary experience, not that scary and not that painful.
Thanks to the whole team and staff at at Maze Men’s Health!
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.