Menu

Permanent birth control: whose responsibility is it?

By Victoria Fryer 

Recently, I’ve written about making it permanent—birth control, that is. There are several different options for women, and as I think I mentioned, I don’t find any of them particularly appealing, for various reasons.

As you know, men have an option as well. The vasectomy is an in-office procedure requiring only a local anaesthetic and minimal recovery time. Overall, the vasectomy is cheaper, more effective, and risks fewer side effects than does the comparable women’s surgery of a tubal ligation.

But the million dollar question is: whose responsibility is it to make it permanent?

It may already be obvious which side I’m on. But my husband and I have had several conversations about our options in this arena, and still we’ve taken no action steps toward actually completing any of the possible procedures.

I think both of us have fears. There is always some kind of risk associated with medical procedures, no matter how common or minimal. And there are personal hang-ups as well. I, for one, hate the idea of anaesthesia. (And I’ve written before how I feel about foreign objects being placed permanently in my body.) For him, he sees the prospect of a painful snipping in a–ahem–very sensitive part of the body.

And I wonder too: what are the associations for men between masculinity and fertility?

For women who want to have children, I know that some feel as if their ability to be a woman–their very femininity–is in question when they are unable. But, in my experience, this is less true for women who don’t want children anyway.

As a woman myself, I would never venture to guess what the male experience is like. Is there a feeling that men will be less, I don’t know, themselves after a procedure like the vasectomy?

Obviously, I’m biased toward myself here. When I think about the options, to me it’s clear which one of us should go under the knife. But I’m trying to understand the opposite perspective. I want to understand the fears, the drawbacks, and the hesitancy from the male perspective.

For couples who have made the decision to make birth control a permanent measure, I’m curious to know: what were the conversations like in making that decision? Was it a measured, intellectual discussion or did one of you just decide: this is what I want to do? And how do you, as a couple, feel about your decision now?

Victoria Fryer is a 31-year-old writer and content strategist. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two pit bulls. You can find her on Twitter @extoria.

Coming to terms with infertility

Speak Your Mind

Privacy Preference Center

Strictly Necessary

Cookies that are necessary for the site to function properly.

gdpr

Performance

These are used to track user information and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga, _gid, _gat
c_user

Advertising

These cookies are used to provide you with useful information based on recent browser data.

IDE
IDE

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap