Real Men falter at no intersection. However, can male vasectomy be viewed as a clinical form of psychological castration? Could the Woman in fact be initiating the vasectomy as an act of dis-empowerment? A symbolic neutering of potency and sex drive? These are all fascinating questions that press for answers from the male species both young and old.
It is not unusual that some couples fight over the vasectomy decision? In some instances, a woman may not want to use birth control for many years after she has completed childbearing and may look to her husband for a more permanent solution. And sometimes, the man may not want this solution. When it comes to having a vasectomy, couples may not always agree because the man could worry about his fertility future. Some men may secretly think about what would happen if their current marriage/relationship didn’t work out and they wanted to have a child with another woman. Women may sense this fear even if it is not spoken aloud and it can totally trigger them. She may see his lack of desire for a vasectomy as a comment on the state of their union.
More than 65,000 men make the vasectomy decision each year with the majority of the men being in their late 30s or early 40s. The 15-minute procedure, severing and then tying or sealing the tubes of the vas deferens to prevent sperm from being ejaculated is the most effective form of male contraception, with a success rate of 99%. In regard to the pros and cons of the vasectomy decision, a decision over whether or not to have the snip equals much debate between couples. For many women, the idea of staying on the pill or other birth control for as long as 20 years after family building is complete can feel daunting so it’s usually the woman who brings up the idea of a vasectomy. This can be hard since contraception has traditionally been a woman’s issue in the relationship and it may seem like she is now asking her partner to step up his game. But in having a vasectomy, a man is making a permanent decision to give up his fertility. And when a couple engages in the “vasectomy” conversation it’s good for the woman to come to the table with an understanding that her man’s reluctance may have nothing to do with the state of the marriage – but more to do with linking masculinity to virility and fertility.
Sometimes, seeking counseling when making this big life decision can be very helpful. Often we say things that we really want to say when there is a facilitator there to help us draw it out. If you are thinking about a vasectomy and find that your conversation feels more like an emotional battleground than a simple conversation about birth control – know that you are not alone and the reasons can have nothing to do with your relationship. Seek out support – and work together to make the best choice for your marriage.
Un-beknown to most it takes about 15 ejaculations for sperm to be cleared from the tubes beyond the vasectomy site. Hence, you will not be sterile immediately after treatment. An alternative form of contraception should be used until your surgeon tells you that a semen sample assessed by a pathologist is clear of sperm. Both conventional vasectomy and No-Scalpel vasectomy can fail; though the incidence is very low, about the same as for female sterilization. There is little discomfort from the procedure. You may need a mild pain killer on the night of the operation. Some men do experience intermittent aching for a considerable time after vasectomy. Commonly both ends are sealed; however, Dr Snowball performs “open-ended” vasectomy where the testicular end is left open. This has been shown to significantly reduce the occurrence of post-operative and long term discomfort.
American researchers have concluded that the ideal vasectomy method is Open-Ended and No-Scalpel. A number of studies have examined the long term health effects of vasectomy and the body of evidence indicates that men who have undergone vasectomy do not have an increased risk of any disease. There is no effect on sexual function other than a very small (about 5-7%) reduction in the volume of ejaculated fluid. Significantly the testosterone (male hormone) travels from the testicles via the bloodstream and not through the vas deferens as is often thought.
A typical vasectomy will take 15-20 minutes once the anaesthetic has taken effect. Usually men can return to work after 48 hours rest. If your work is very physical you may need to allow up to a week off work. Recreational sports may need to be avoided for 7 to 10 days. Good advice is to resume sexual activity after about 7 days (but continue to take precautions).