General/Women's Health

Vasectomy : The reproductive version of a footballer diving?

My husband and I decided we were done with filling our nest while I was pregnant with my son. We are incredibly fortunate to have two healthy, happy children. We have a good sex life (on hold for a bit but not for long). And we had the conversation about ‘what would happen if we had a little accident’. And I decided I didn’t want to even go there. So he went for the snip.

Looks painful….

I am done. Finished. I spent a year in the murky depths of infertility, 6 months pregnant and miscarrying, 9 more months growing a baby past 7 weeks after a clomid round, had two more years sleep deprived, another miscarriage, another round of clomid with 9 miserable lock down, anaemic and pain filled months of my second full term pregnancy. Through all this I also enjoyed 6 months shoving progesterone pessaries up my arse hole (greasy) and here we are. End of the road. Shop closed. No more watering this garden.

My husband’s father had a vasectomy and so he was more than happy to go ahead with having one as a tubal was frankly far more invasive for me to have. We went through all the negatives (he decided he didn’t want any more children if something happened to me and he remarried as he had his two, and if tragedy struck us we have said we will accept another child is not an option) and then the positives (no more invasive contraception for me! Hurah!) and there we were.

I always said if I got accidentally pregnant again, the more the merrier but..I do not think it would be now. I respect the choice to have an abortion as you know. But I don’t want to have to be in a position to have to make that choice if I can help it. So. Snippity snip!

Privately it would have cost from £500-1000 but the wonderful people at Marie Stopes were just starting up NHS referrals. The procedure makes a small incision in the scrotum, then cuts the tubes leading from the testes to the Penis resulting in jizz with no sperm. It will take three months for all the sperm to disappear from his semen. More info here on what is involved.

The op itself took 20 minutes (talk about conveyor belt; the surgeon was doing 19 other men that day) and he was out, walking gingerly after an hour. He was told to get 24-48 hours of rest. His parents were absorbed into our childcare bubble so he could really put his feet up. He was to be very, very careful, the surgeon said. Take it easy. Rest up.

And here is where I get less informative and more pissed off. One things about all this is now abundantly clear. Men get to rest up for 2 days. Do you know how long I got after birthing both children?

F*CK ALL TIME.

While the decision to have a vasectomy was a noble (ish) one, having gone through years of hormonal upheaval followed by two pregnancies and births, all without “very very careful” rest, I felt pretty unsympathetic toward him for a few days. Actually, I wasn’t mad at him really. I was mad at the patriarchy, at a society who valued a man resting his bollocks over a person who has just given birth.

And it doesn’t end with birth. Do you know what I did after my root canal? I came home and looked after a 4 month baby and a tantruming 2 year old. Then did the whole night with the baby on my own. What did I do with pelvic girdle pain so bad it made me cry? I got on with it as someone had to feed the toddler and keep her happy.

I am not saying my husband shouldn’t have had rest. It makes sense not to bodge things up so he was worse. But as I sat, exhausted in my room rocking a baby who would not sleep after two terrible nights at 10pm alone because .y husband ‘wasn’t supposed to lift things’ and ‘his balls were twingeing’, I will confess to crying angry, angry tears.at the unfairness of it.

The double standards are so blatant aren’t they? I remember when I had my HycoSe to see if my tubes were blocked and they stuck a balloon in my cervix and poured dye up my chuff hile everything cramped up and I tried not to cry with the pain, thinking, “F*ck me, my husband just had to wank into a cup”. Then I got up and went back to work.

I am angry for us all. All those women sticking needles into themselves to stimulate their ovaries or having eggs removed under general anaesthetic for IVF. All those women having surgery for endometriosis. How many of them get 48 hours uninterrupted rest if they have kids or if they have a challenging job? I mean, I had my fanny cut and sewn up after having my son and was hobbling around my hospital room looking after him 7 hours after he arrived as you just had to. Where was my f*cking 48 hours rest?!

This podcast made me equally laugh and cry….

EPISODE #195: Vasectomies! Get Nuts! Go Nads!

Excuse this informative piece turning into a rant. I can hugely recommend this for those whose journey with children is done or for those couples who do not want to take this journey at all. My husband has provided a small quote to end this piece on why he went ahead with it.

“It is one of many options available for men these days. It’s meant I don’t need to rely on my wife taking chemicals to prevent another baby. It was not scary and didn’t hurt. Do it lads!”

There you go.

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