More and more married couples are deciding that kids just aren’t for them. The percentage of married women ages 40-44 without children is 6%, a jump from 4.5% in 1988. Though it’s still a small percentage, and some of that group is unable to have children, it represents a growing trend of couples saying no to parenthood.
While society still pressures couples to start a family, an American Sociological Association study found that parents are more likely to be depressed than childfree couples. Also, people without kids were happier than any other group, according to the study.
So if you’re on #TeamNoKids and looking forward to life less the stress of childrearing, then you’re not alone. But what about birth control? Do you really want to be on the pill all the time?
The good news is you don’t have to be. You can shift the birth-control burden to your husband.
A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of contraception. It’s more effective than female sterilization and is less expensive over the years than other forms of birth control, including the pill, IUD, and condoms.
It’s considered a common procedure—about half a million men have one each year—and most health plans cover it (without insurance it can range from $350-$2,000)
So what physical price does your man have to pay for the sake of child-free living?
Well, the procedure only takes about 20 minutes, and it can be performed at the doctor’s office. The physician makes a small incision in the scrotum and severs tubes called the vas deferens, which prevents sperm from mixing with semen for ejaculation.
Vasectomy options include a no-scalpel method in which the physician makes a tiny puncture in the scrotum to reach vas deferens instead of an incision. This method doesn’t require stitches and is less invasive.
After your guy gets snipped, there are a few vasectomy side effects he may experience, namely swelling, minor bruising, scrotal pain, and internal bleeding for a short period. If he gets a no-scalpel vasectomy, side effects are less common.
Vasectomy recovery involves just a few days of icing the groin area and resting, then he’ll be back on his feet.
So how can you be sure the procedure worked and there will be no surprise babies? Well, vasectomies only have a 0.4% failure rate. But the biggest pregnancy risk is from not properly following the post-vasectomy procedures.
Sperm can live in the vas deferens for several months after a vasectomy, so couples must use another form of contraception for a few months. It takes about 20 ejaculations (or three months) to fully flush live sperm out the system.
Doctors recommend men have their sperm checked twice after the three-month period to ensure they are sterile. But let’s face it, most guys aren’t eager to give sperm samples at a doctor’s visit. They can avoid the awkward in-office sperm test by using SpermCheck, an FDA-approved home test that measures a guy’s sterility status.
If the test shows he’s all clear, you can dump the pills and enjoy life as a family of two.