Here’s a birth control dilemma: a woman posted on a website that while she would be happy to go ahead and have a third child, her husband was adamant that he did not. The woman says she has come to peace with her hubby’s decision.
So what’s the problem? It’s that the husband was also very clear that—while he didn’t want another baby—he also didn’t want to get a vasectomy to prevent it.
Then the internet blew up.
“You’re hubby is being daft,” one commenter wrote.
Another asked, “Was he there when you laboured to give him his children?”
One of the biggest issues the original poster shared was that, due to a chronic medical condition, she was unable to take birth control pills and instead had an IUD, which she said was painful.
“After 8 years of contraception being my job…I can’t help but think that if he is so adamant that he didn’t want to have more children, then he should be the one to ensure it didn’t happen,” wrote the wife.
Apparently, she continued, her husband was afraid it would hurt.
The truth is though, this scaredy-cat husband is not alone, and many men balk at the idea of someone going after their junk with a scalpel (SPOILER ALERT: you can have a no-scalpel procedure, but more on that in a bit). Only about 1 in 10 men in the U.S. undergo the quick outpatient procedure, which is a far lower number compared to guys in the U.K. and Canada.
Dr. Jesse Mills, the urologist and director of the men’s clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), told Healthline that while vasectomies are extremely popular in other countries, it’s just not a part of U.S. culture.
“In other countries, it’s just such a part of the norm,” he said.
What’s so great about vasectomies?
In a way, the vasectomy is almost the perfect form of birth control (Wait! Hear us out!). There are many reasons why, but here are 5:
- They’re fairly quick and easy: Okay, not that vasectomies come without any risk— there’s a low chance of infection, bleeding, or pain)—but they’re still a lot easier than tubal ligation (the fancy way of saying “getting your tubes tied”). During the approximately 10-minute procedure, your urologist makes two incisions in your scrotum, snips the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm from the testicles) and stitches everything shut
- Worry-free sex: If you’re in a committed relationship and past the point of worrying about STIs, you’ve pretty much hit the birth control jackpot because vasectomies are almost 100 percent effective. This means stressing about an unplanned pregnancy—like your old flip phone—becomes a thing of the past
- Sex is your homework: The downside of a vasectomy is that they’re not immediately effective, so you’ve got to wait about three months or 20 ejaculations to flush all the errant sperm out of your system. Time to get to work (but make sure you’re using back- up protection)! SpermCheck is an over-the-counter kit that lets you monitor your sperm count quickly and easily from home, to avoid letting any of your guys get past the goalie and make a baby
- You get to show you’re a team player: Let’s face it, if you and your partner have already had a baby or two, you know that—thanks to nature—she’s had to do a lot of the work. She’s the one who carried the baby around for nine months and got poked and prodded along the way making sure everything was okay. And then— well, you were there—pushing that baby out (or however your newborn made her entrance) was no picnic. Getting a vasectomy means you’re willing to take one for the team
- It’s an excuse to hang out in your sweats: Although recovery from a vasectomy is pretty fast—experts recommend you give yourself 6-10 days to heal completely—most dudes just take it easy and use plenty of ice packs for a day or two. Some guys even plan it around must-see events—like March Madness, The Masters golf tournament, or big video-game releases. Some guys even schedule back-to-back appointments with friends to hang out and recover together. Some people can turn anything into a party
Why do some men avoid vasectomies?
While some guys feel like their ability to procreate is an essential part of their manhood and feel threatened by the thought of a vasectomy, other guys are just basing their ill-gotten fear on misinformation.
“I think men who are a bit squeamish about the idea probably haven’t done the research and understood how the operation works,” one man told Metro News.
Some major misconceptions include:
- “I’m afraid I won’t be able to orgasm after a vasectomy.” Not true. Sex will be just like it was before
- “What if nothing comes out when I orgasm?” Although sperm will be prevented from leaving the testicles after a vasectomy, they’re only a small part of what makes up the ejaculate
- “I don’t want anybody coming after my junk with a scalpel.” Good news! It’s 2018 and you now have options about what type of vasectomy you would like to get. The no-scalpel procedure uses a tool to make an incision so small in the scrotum, so there’s no need to even stitch it up
At the end of the day, despite its amazing success rate and minimal recovery period, a vasectomy is an invasive procedure and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any couple considering this permanent form of birth control needs to do the research and decide what’s best—and fair—for both of them. Or else they just might get made fun of on the internet.