You’ve probably been invited to plenty of baby showers, gender-reveal parties, and Christenings over the years. But you probably haven’t been to a vasectomy party, have you? Well, get ready, that invite might be in the mail. While the baby product industry is booming—worth around $23 billion in the U.S. alone—and couples celebrate a visit from the stork with baby showers, couples who decide not to have children are a bit fed up with the brouhaha and silly shower games.
So, there’s a new trend of couples throwing vasectomy parties to celebrate a life a sterility. After all, why should parents have all the fun?
“Our society is all about celebrating traditional milestones. You graduate, you get married, you have a child. But that’s a very narrow path and isn’t indicative of many people’s experiences,” said Amy Blackstone, a sociology professor who blogs at WereNotHavingABaby.com. “So why not decide to celebrate your choice to not have a child?”
The childless and proud are going all out with these celebrations, including elaborate invitations, fancy dinners, vasectomy-themed cakes (there’s plenty of them on Pinterest), and some are even throwing car and boat showers to celebrate the luxury vehicles they purchased with the money saved by not having kids.
It may seem a bit overboard, but it speaks of a growing trend of couples OK with not having children.
The Childfree Trend in America
Marriage and birth trends are changing in America. Only about half of American adults are married today, compared to about 70 percent in 1960. Millennials are reproducing at the slowest rate of any generation in U.S. history.
The younger generation is also less interested in having kids. According to a University of Pennsylvania study, only 42 percent of students plan on having children, compared to 78 percent a generation ago.
Many couples aren’t just talking the talk; they’re walking the walk…all the way to the urologist’s office. About 500,000 men have a vasectomy each year in the U.S.—61 percent are under age 40, and 29 percent are under 35.
A vasectomy is considered one of the safest forms of birth control, so it’s a good option for those done with having kids—or those who never wanted any in the first place. Depending on insurance, it can cost $350 to $1,000, considerably less than the $235,340 it takes to raise a child.
But before you buy the invitations and bottles of Champagne for your vasectomy shower, you want to make sure the vasectomy actually worked.
Not to scare you or rain on your shower (get it?), but you’ve probably heard stories of guys who’ve gotten their wife pregnant after having a vasectomy. That would be pretty embarrassing if it happened to you after making a hoopla about your sterility.
The procedure is rarely to blame for slip-ups like that, but rather the guy fails to follow the proper post-vasectomy process. Even after getting snipped, sperm can remain in a guy’s vas deferens for months. That’s why doctors recommend couples use another form of birth control for a few months to clear sperm out of the system.
But if you just follow the process for a few months without checking if you’re all clear, you’re still at risk for a surprise pregnancy. Don’t be so eager to throw the party, be sure you’re sterile.
One of the simplest and most private ways to do so is using a home sperm test, like SpermCheck. It’s an FDA-approved, over-the-counter test that gives guys results in minutes. If the test shows you’re clear, then go ahead with your vasectomy party plans.
Whether you’re celebrating never having kids or not having any more, do it with style. It’s a milestone for you as a couple. Just make sure your celebration isn’t premature.