It seems that many men think that vasectomy is scary, painful, inconvenient, detrimental to sexual enjoyment and testosterone levels, and wouldn’t want to discuss it with their partner let alone their GP. In light of this, I feel quite lucky.
Just after Xavier was born on one of the visits from the community nurse, our discussion turned to contraception post baby (as it does) and I told her I didn’t want to go back on the pill and didn’t like the idea of implanting a slow release hormone in my arm but knew my OB would ask me about it at my 6 week check up.
She asked me how my husband would feel about a vasectomy. To be honest I had never discussed it with him so really had no idea what he would say. Knowing him, I thought that if any guy would be open to it, it would be him. He does not hold too many macho male qualities, and I know he believes (in theory) in equality and would be open to a discussion about it at the very least.
When I did ask him, he immediately said he had no problem with it. I was actually a little surprised. Since making the decision, it became quite the topic of conversation at work. I was surprised to hear that several 30 something males had been turned down or discouraged by their GPs. “What if one of your children died?” or “What if you split from your wife/your wife died and you met a younger childless woman?” I couldn’t help but notice that both of these GPs were men. Our OB and GP are both women and neither of them had any hesitation in referring us for a vasectomy. We have two children, are in a long term, stable relationship and definitely do not want any more children – the same situation for both other males I spoke to.
I can certainly see these doctors’ point of view, although did they stop to consider the woman involved in this decision? Should she have to take hormones for the rest of her reproductive life? If she split up with her husband or he died, would he be terribly concerned that as a single mother she would probably find it hard to get a date let alone a long term partner who wants her to have more children? I guess I kind of find it offensive.
So eighteen months after we made the decision, it’s done (my husband is not the most organised person). I was surprised that even the nurse prepping my husband at the hospital, was asking him how I convinced him to go through with it because her husband of a similar age wouldn’t even discuss it.
I didn’t need to convince him at all – although apparently we are going to be having a lot more sex from now on…