Deciding to have a vasectomy is a decision to consider as a couple. It’s a permanent method of birth control and you need to know what to expect with a vasectomy before committing to it!
It’s important that both husband and wife are fully on board in being done having babies. This is a very personal decision and may be made based on many factors.
Before you schedule an appointment to “get Daddy snipped” make sure you are ready.
Talk it over. Not just once. Not just casually. But multiple times.
Picture your family. Is that picture complete? Is it whole? Or is someone missing from the portrait?
Listen to each other. Hash out pros and cons. Pray.
Make that decision and then vow to be content in it.
Originally published September 27, 2018
How to know you’re done having babies
Considering whether or not you’re really done. Like done done with babies? Here are some excellent posts to help guide you in this important decision:
Currently pregnant and debating if this is your last pregnancy? You aren’t alone! Many mamas decide “this is it” while pregnant.
Feeling like you can’t handle more kids, but not sure if you’re really done with the baby stage forever?
Then do not make the decision to end the opportunity to expand your family if it may be something you want to do in the future. It’s OKAY to WAIT.
The decision to be done adding to your family doesn’t have to be made now. There is no rush.
For myself personally four was always my “number” and when we added our fourth baby (via domestic adoption) I knew he was what made our family complete. It felt incredible the first time all of our kids met and we were whole. Forever.
Once you decide that the babies days are over it’s also important to discuss how they are over.
Many couples feel it’s best to not intervene or make any long-lasting, possibly permanent decisions regarding birth control/pregnancy prevention.
Everyone has their own beliefs on this topic and, again, it’s important that both spouses agree on what’s the best route to take.
Decided vasectomy is the way to go?
Here is what to expect with a vasectomy:
Preparing for a Vasectomy
Men tend to get a little freaked out by the whole concept of a vasectomy. It’s a very common procedure with very low failure rates and low risk but it doesn’t make it any less scary.
Oh, they are on board for the end results of it. But the actual procedure can be intimating and make a grown man spooked.
It’s important to support those fears and concerns, no matter how irrational they may be.
Remind him that it won’t make him any less of a man. Focus on the benefits of having it done. Remind him that it’s extremely common and effective.
In fact, more than 500,000 men in North America alone choose to have a vasectomy each year. It is 99.8% effective.
Prior to the appointment make sure to plan on BOTH spouses attending. It is common healthcare provider practice for the wife to sign a consent form before the husband is able to have the procedure.
It is also common to be giving a valium prescription or some other sort of similar medication to be taken prior to the appointment. Often, a local anesthesia is used.
Make sure your husband drinks plenty of fluids all day and that you stay at the full appointment to be able to drive him home.
It is also advised for him to shave both his scrotum and the base of his penis prior to the procedure.
Be sure this is a thorough shave as if it isn’t a nurse will have to be called in.
It is also advised to throughly bathe both areas the day before and morning of the surgery to reduce any risk of infection.
He will want to wear loose-fitting sweatpants to the appointment but have tighter fitting underwear or a clean athletic supporter.
Also pre-purchase a frozen bag of veggies to have on hand for any icing he may want to do at home.
The Vasectomy Procedure
Often the doctor likes to meet with both the husband and wife on the day of the procedure.
He will walk through exactly what the procedure entails (surprisingly much simpler than one would think!) and ask multiple times if both spouses are sure they are done having babies.
Even if you walk in being super, super sure it can be jarring to sign a paper agreeing to it.
It can also put a little lump in your throat in realizing that this is really it.
If it feels emotional, that’s okay.
Even if you’re confident in the decision it’s natural to be a bit sad about a phase of life coming to an end.
Remind yourself of the positive things you both agreed on in the decision to be complete. Focus on those positives.
Remind yourself that everyone has to stop having babies at some point (I mean we can’t be having babies when we’re 100!).
Bring plenty of things to distract yourself during the procedure.
Your husband will be nice and relaxed on that pain medicine and local anesthetic and really won’t remember anything. You will be sitting and waiting and possibly feeling all the feels.
So have a good book. Have a fully charged phone. Maybe even pick up a little treat for yourself while you wait.
The procedure will take longer than either of you may anticipate it taking.
That’s a good thing! It means the doctor is being careful and mindful. You do not want nerve damage, or damage of any kind.
Our doctor explained that blood vessels in the area make it more time consuming to perform.
If your husband is very athletic he will most likely have more blood vessels which will make it a little more “labor intensive” for the doctor. But doesn’t alter the outcome or procedure itself in anyway.
Again, your husband will be nice and relaxed. My husband is 6’6″ and 235 lbs. He had one valium prior to the procedure and was SO LOOPY.
The doctor will most likely send your husband home with an ice pack already placed where it needs to be.
He will need to relax the rest of the evening and leave the ice on as much as possible. The bag of frozen vegetables comes in handy when the ice pack needs to be refrozen.
Plan to keep the evening simple. He will be tired after the meds and it’s normal to be a little tender but nothing more than that.
Some soreness is to be expected for a couple of days but my husband was able to return to work the next day with no issues or other side effects.
In rare cases, there may be some bleeding in the scrotum. If your husband notices his scrotum getting bigger or there’s chronic pain, call your urologist right away!
It’s also normal for some scar tissue to form
It’s best to spend two to three days resting and avoiding strenuous physical activity, such as heavy lifting. No trampolines for awhile either 😉
Most likely there will be an antibiotic to take so be sure to follow the instructions regarding that.
It will also be likely that he won’t be able to shower that evening or take baths until the stitches fall out / dissolve.
If your husband gets the “man cold” be ready for the “snipped sulk.”
They didn’t get to experience childbirth so they simply can’t relate to what we deal with down there for weeks following delivery…so let them have their few days of needing some comfort and reminder that they are still just as much of a man.
How long to wait after a vasectomy to not get pregnant
Sexual intercourse can resume pretty quickly, depending on how much their sex drive is affected by the procedure. Our doctor said it was fine after 24 hours but many say to wait a week of recovery time before sexual activity. However…
It’s extremely important to use birth control.
You know how you know someone who got pregnant after their husband had a vasectomy? Well it’s probably because they had unprotected sex before he got clearance.
At 3 months your husband will take a semen sample to the doctor to be tested for sperm.
They will do a semen analysis and let him know how many remaining sperm he still has. 6 months is the typical length of time post-procedure that he will be fully cleared. The only way he is considered fully cleared is when the semen tests come back 100% free of any sperm.
Our doctor allows for endless sample checks, for free, for life. Anytime, even after being cleared, we can get things checked just to make sure there’s no risk of pregnancy!
I have a friend whose husband goes yearly for a check just to have that peace of mind in their sex life!
Overall a vasectomy is an extremely simple procedure. It’s one of the safest and most effective permanent forms of birth control. It’s also much safer and much less expensive than tubal ligation. And let’s be real…we birthed the babies it’s their turn to help prevent more of them 😉
Deciding to have a vasectomy is a decision to be made together as a couple and is the end of one era but also the beginning of another.
Being content in your family being complete is one of the greatest feelings in adult life and knowing that it’s a permanent decision can allow so much freedom for the future!
Looking for more information on vasectomies? More info can be found here, from Urology Care Foundation.