The Vasectomy Decision for Couples

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A Couple’s Vasectomy Decision

Did you know 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%.

Pros and Cons of the Vasectomy Decision

The decision over whether or not to have the snip can be filled with pros and cons – and 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.

Seek Support for the Vasectomy Decision

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.

Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen - Fertility Advocate Pamela Madsen was the first Executive Director of RESOLVE NYC and is the Founder of The American Fertility Association. Pamela is an internationally known fertility advocate who has appeared on Oprah and countless other major media outlets. Currently, Pamela is a fertility coach and publisher of The Fertility Advocate. She is also a blogger for Psychology Today and SpermCheck® Fertility.