When my husband and I got married, naturally we discussed our plans for kids. We agreed that after we were “done”, he would have a vasectomy. Our research told us that was the best option for us – and trust me, I’m a research-a-holic – before anything major, especially medical procedures.
Fast forward 12 years and we had 2 beautiful children and years of heartache in the form of many, many unexplained miscarriages. We decided to ease our hearts, minds, and my body by preventing further pregnancies. The safest, permanent option for us was (still) for him to have a vasectomy.
He went to his GP to get a physical and referral to the surgeon. At the surgery consultation, which included no exam and was all of 10 minutes, we scheduled surgery for a Friday morning, (we both had to sign off on the procedure, as a married couple) and were sent home with a prescription for Valium (a calming drug).
The big day came and I drove so he could take his Valium on the way to the appointment. When we got there, he signed in. I actually had trouble at that point. I didn’t want “those people” touching my guy. I was chickening out. But it was too late, so with the nurse, he went.
According to him, here’s what happened next: (In his words)
I changed into a gown and once ready, went to a small operating room where it was actually pretty cold! I laid down on a table/bed next to an uncovered tray with all the surgical tools, and that had a lot of things running through my head (i.e. what in the world are they going to use that for?) After a few minutes of being alone in the room, a couple nurses came in to prepare me. They shaved around my member, taped it to my stomach and cleaned the surgery area. Immediately after they finished, the doctor came in, talked over a few things and then stuck a needle in, to numb the area (that hurt a little). After letting the anesthetic work for a few minutes (not quite long enough in my book) the doctor began. He took the scalpel and made a single incision, which didn’t hurt, but I was uncomfortable because I was able to “feel” it. After the initial incision, I felt nothing except for a few tugs and a tight feeling in that area, and my lower abdomen. It almost reminded me of being at the dentist when he’s drilling close to a nerve and you’re a bit nervous, but it’s not quite painful. After the cutting and tugging, the doctor cauterized the tube. I could smell the tissue “burning”. Done with side one. Side two had no pain, still just the uncomfortable tightness and tugging feeling as on the other side, and the same cauterization. Done with side two. Next, he spent a few minutes stitching me up, discussed expectations for the next couple days, and then I was allowed to get up and get dressed- which I did very slowly. Then I went out to the waiting room where my beautiful wife was waiting for me…..
And… finally after waiting for an hour, he came out to me! We were given prescriptions for pain meds (literally the same ones I was given after my c-sections) and 2 containers to bring semen samples back to check his fertility at a later time. We slowly walked back to the car. Once inside, we just looked at each other and both held up shaking hands. His exact words were “well that kind of sucked.” We both burst out laughing. He then said it really wasn’t that big of a deal once he got past the thought of what would happen – and his naked bits being exposed. (What Mom can’t relate to naked bits being exposed? Ha…) And if you’re wondering, the number one question he got from other men was, if he had an erection since he had nurses fondling his goods. Big N-O. He says arousal is not a problem when you’re staring at a tray of sharp instruments, just moments from meeting your nether region…
Over the next 2 days, he rested on the couch and I took care of him/spoiled him. I had bought several small freezer gel packs, which he went through frequently. I had also stocked up on his favorite snacks and movies and bought the softest pajama pants you’ve ever felt. I gave him his meds and kept an eye on the incision site, which was a single cut, about ¾ inch right down the center of the scrotum. I constantly had to tell him to take it easy though because he actually felt pretty good and wanted to get stuff done since he was off work anyway!
I will be honest, I went into this process expecting to feel like he owed me because of all I had gone through having our babies. But the strangest thing happened instead: I felt a little guilty that he would go through pain to save me from it, but mostly I felt thankful. I think I finally understood how he felt each time I had surgery: He felt helpless to ease my pain and tried his best to help my recovery. He felt like he was trying to keep everything else in our lives balanced so that I didn’t have to. He was recovering from my surgery each time, just as I was.
Like the amazing partner he has always been to me, he constantly reassured me that it was no big deal and he loved me so much that he didn’t care if it changed sex for him forever; it was worth it to protect me from further miscarriages – which had taken a huge toll on me mentally and physically.
Now to answer the big question: DID it change sex for him and for us?
We have always had a very… ahem… prolific sex life. It was torture waiting for everything to heal after babies and it was torture waiting after the vasectomy too. Finally, after about 2 weeks, he gave the green light that the incision was fully healed and he was confident in having no pain. I was anxious and I wondered if he would resent me if the surgery “ruined” it for him. It really was a huge weight on my shoulders at that point!
The night came and we were both nervous. And…..absolutely nothing had changed for him! It was such a relief!
We had “survived” a vasectomy together!
Two years later, we are both sure it was the best decision for us. I have read some “horror” stories, as will always happen with surgery, but we would both- more importantly, HE – would recommend it to any man who is considering it. We get to enjoy each other without ever worrying about contraception and the very stressful roller coaster that pregnancy and multiple miscarriages added to our lives… It’s very freeing!