My husband and I have been married for ten years and have two amazing daughters. There was a time when we imagined more children, but we’ve now reached a point where we’re undoubtedly certain that our family is complete. After weighing the options, our discussion eventually led to him getting a vasectomy and closing the door on any possibility of expanding our family.
Why We Made the Decision
My husband and I are in our late thirties, both of our kids are happily occupied with school and activities, and we’re content with the amount of energy and attention we’re able to devote to each member of our home. I struggle with anxiety, and life as it is feels manageable. I worry that being responsible for any additional humans, especially tiny, helpless ones, would disrupt our current lifestyle, marriage, and the peaceful way we’re able to parent.
Aside from the emotional and logistical aspects of a growing family, I’m not prepared for the physical undertaking again. I’ve dealt with loss, severe morning sickness, facial paralysis (called Bell’s Palsy), and postpartum depression. And now that I’m slightly older, the risk of complications is even higher. Call me selfish, but I simply can’t imagine putting my body through another pregnancy when we already have two wonderful, healthy children.
My husband agreed with my concerns about having an unplanned pregnancy and initiated the vasectomy conversation himself. The same guy who gets squeamish watching Grey’s Anatomy and once passed out donating blood, volunteered to have life-altering surgery on the most sensitive part of his body. The weight of birth control has always fallen on my shoulders, so to say I was both shocked and grateful for his sacrifice was an understatement.
How it Went
My husband isn’t usually the planning type, but he took it upon himself to contact a urologist and schedule both the consultation and procedure. It was a relief to be on the same page and to see that he was committed to a future that reflected both of our desires.
From this experience, I learned that a vasectomy basically involves cutting into the scrotum and snipping the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm. It’s known for being a speedy surgery with a relatively short healing and recovery time. While it’s super effective at preventing pregnancy, it shouldn’t permanently change the look or feel of your partner’s penis.
On the morning of his appointment, my husband was confident and relaxed. At the medical office, they took him back to get started and I pulled out a book to read while he was gone. I only finished a couple of chapters before he reappeared in the waiting room with a drowsy smile. Just like that, it was done. I was fully expecting to push him out in a wheelchair, but he insisted on limping all the way to our car. He was instructed to wear snug underwear, apply some ice, and take it easy.
In terms of pain management, he took valium an hour before his appointment and was under local anesthesia during the procedure. He was prescribed a painkiller afterward, but he never felt enough discomfort to take it. The topic he actually talked about most was that he had to shave his entire pubic area and it was irritating as the hair grew back.
I had mentally prepared to wait on him hand and foot for several days, so you can imagine my bewilderment the next morning when he woke up and went to work. Fortunately, he has an office job that requires mostly sitting, but I still shook my head. This was the one time he had a free pass to lounge and play video games all day and he refused the opportunity. I tried to persuade him to rest, but he behaved like the vasectomy wasn’t even a big deal to him.
Just a couple of days later, the incision was hardly noticeable, and the bleeding had stopped completely. We don’t personally know anyone who has had a vasectomy so I’m not sure if his recovery is normal, but he very quickly returned to his usual self. I suppose we owe a lot of that to his excellent medical providers. The only thing left is a six-week follow-up to examine a semen sample and be positive the procedure was effective.
If you’ve reached a point where a vasectomy enters the conversation, I encourage you to view it as something serious and permanent. Both people in the partnership must decide together that it’s the best decision for your family and support one another wholeheartedly. It’s impossible to predict how your experience will compare to ours, but we have zero regrets. We are so thankful that our family can move forward with one less uncertainty in our lives.