What I DIDN’T Expect When my Husband had a Vasectomy!

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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!

 

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Hey Ya'll! I’m Audrey, a middle of nowhere, East Tennessee transplant. My husband (and forever crush) Andy and I were born and raised in Ohio State Buckeye territory, where we met in junior high school and married halfway through college. We have 2 tweens here on Earth: Lucas-the sweetest jokester boy you will ever meet, and Alaina-a charismatic and responsible redhead. We were hoping for a bigger family, but it wasn’t in the cards for us. For years we vacationed here in and around Knoxville, and so when the opportunity came to move here, we took it! Prior to moving here, I was first and foremost a Wife and Mother, but filled my days at a special needs preschool, title company, and as a FT volunteer-a-holic. In my spare time, I love diy, crafting, reading and writing. And I will always be a barefoot farm girl at heart. We raise/grow our own food- and I occasionally even make dinner out of our homegrown goodness- but I hate cooking! I can’t wait to immerse myself in this sweet, southern community!

12 COMMENTS

  1. My hubby and I laugh because he had this done years ago…after we were married and even though I had never been pregnant… we (like the doctors) just assumed he was fertile. He went through the very simple procedure (he has two very tiny scars- one stitch each I believe- and he returned a couple weeks later to be tested and reveal a zero sperm count. Then it hit us…what if it had been zero all along? Eek… poor guy sat with frozen peas on his lap for two days, and we had never even thought to check!!! Ha! We still laugh about it to this day! The fact remains the procedure itself was a blessing to our sex life…more spontaneous fun without the worry about “What if our precautions fail?”!

    • Carrie-
      He has a Dad and 2 brothers with a combined total of 25 pregnancies “caused”, so I’d say you were safe to assume he was fertile!

    • Thank you Leslie!
      I tried to read up on the subject a lot before we made a decision and I found there weren’t many real life stories to help us. Hopefully this “tell all” version helps others 🙂

  2. Thanks for writing this article. We are currently trying for our 6th child(yes we have 5 already)and we’ve talked about him getting a vasectomy which he volunteered to do once we were completely done having kids. We are both VERY fertile lol but I’m also traditional and a little old school and honestly dont know that i like the idea of him doing it. I feel like it would for real mean we are REALLY done having kids and i dont know how i would feel about that realization plus we have an amazing sex life(obviously, hence the reason we have so many kids)so how do i know it wouldnt affect that or his guy part?? Oh well..sigh…

    Anyways, thank yoi for being so candid and informative. I enjoyed reading!

    • Brandy, thanks for reading!
      Good luck on your baby #6 quest! I grew up in a large family (5 kids and 5 neighbor kids who practically lived at our house) and I have so many great memories from that- your kids are lucky 🙂
      I have been pregnant 18 times, if that tells you how much we “like” each other. We have 2 living children. It was a really hard decision to say yes to the vasectomy and no to “trying just one more time”, but in the end our hearts couldn’t take another miscarriage, so vasectomy it was.
      I researched it A LOT beforehand and what I found was this: biologically, there is NO reason a vasectomy should cause erectile disfunction. There are actually a lot of studies that suggest it’s more of a psychological problem. And it seems that it makes a difference if he feels like it was his choice or he was pushed to do it. The fact that we chose a well-known doctor, in conjunction with doing our research and talking through our options beforehand, made us very comfortable choosing to go this route. And we are SO glad we did!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story!
    I’m curious about if you considered having a tubal ligation after your last c-section? I’m asking because I’m pregnant with my second and know I don’t want any more children. I too have had enough miscarriages to know I don’t want to experience pregnancy again, and the “efficient” part of my brain wants to just get it done when I have my c-section. Just curious what your research showed, want to take advantage of your skills!

    • Thanks for reading Katie!
      Originally we planned for the vasectomy because we assumed I’d have natural births. I did end up having 2 c-sections, but we planned on having more kids too, which then didn’t happen for us. So when we decided to stop getting pregnant, it was either a vasectomy for him, or something much more invasive for me.
      I have not done research on tubal ligation, but I’m all for a “getting it done while they’re already in there” approach 😉

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