They say it’s a man’s world, but when it comes to family planning, it’s usually the ladies who rule. For women, there are just more forms of contraception to choose from and, honestly, since they’re the ones getting pregnant, ladies literally have all the more skin in the game.
But a global movement is underway — called World Vasectomy Day — to turn that conversation around and let men take the reins on family planning.
Making family planning a family affair
The two-week WVD celebration begins November 14: It’s a male-oriented family planning movement to raise awareness of vasectomies and educate men about their choices and encourage them to get engaged in the process. Launched in 2012, World Vasectomy Day is a way to pull guys into the family-planning loop and give them the lowdown on vasectomies if they’ve decided with their partners that their families are complete.
Think of it as a vasectomy-thon.
Organizers have been working with providers in over 50 countries for the past four years; in 2018, they are expanding their efforts to include Rwanda. Working hand in hand with local NGOs and their Ministry of Health, the objective is not only to organize a successful week of innovative and exciting activities, but to create a blueprint for a sustainable vasectomy program in the future.
What is a vasectomy and what are the benefits?
Even though a vasectomy is 20-times safer, much cheaper, and way easier to recover from than a female tubal ligation, women get their tubes tied twice as often as guys get snipped in the U.S. Ouch. And while a failed vasectomy might end up with an unwanted pregnancy, when a tubal ligation fails, there’s the very dangerous threat of an ectopic pregnancy.
World Vasectomy Day highlights for men that if they are looking for a more permanent solution, getting a vasectomy (which is just about 100 percent effective) might be the best option for them and their families.
In this country, vasectomies are performed right in the doctor’s office, and if you opt for the no-scalpel procedure—widely-available in the U.S.—you’re walking out the door in about 15 minutes. During the vasectomy, the doctor snips a tube in the testes, which essentially prevents sperm from leaving the testicles and letting any of those little suckers fertilize an egg. You’ll still ejaculate though because your body is continues to produce semen (phew). So it’s pretty much business as usual—minus the looming threat of an unplanned pregnancy— nce you’ve healed down there.
How do you know your vasectomy worked?
Once you’re feeling ready for intimacy once again, you’ve still got to be careful for about three months (or 20 ejaculations) to make sure all the sperm have been flushed out of your system. SpermCheck is a quick and easy kit that lets you ditch a trip to your doctor’s office and monitor your sperm count at home. It’s also wise to keep testing periodically, to ensure your vasectomy is still keeping the boys at bay over time.
World Vasectomy Day is a great opportunity to show your family you are doing your part by taking contraception by the balls.