Deciding whether or not it's time to stop having children is a very personal choice. It's hard to make a collective decision when it's someone else's body; especially your partner's. Whether they are sure they want to go forward with a medical procedure such as a vasectomy or not, this conversation is important to have together.
But sometimes it can be such a big, confusing decision for a couple to make. That's where we come in: We have collected 10 questions to ask yourself before your partner gets a vasectomy. This way we can help solidify your decision whether to proceed with the (very minimally invasive) surgery.
10 AM I 100% ON BOARD?
It's ok to feel or actually be influenced by your partner to choose whether or not he/they should be getting a vasectomy. To be frank, it is their body. Not yours. And they should be able to do what they like with it at their leisure; however, this is a very big and semi-permanent choice to make. It's also not cheap. Asking yourself if you're 100% on board is common and absolutely reasonable. Whether you ask yourself this to yourself or with your partner, you should always communicate your feelings.
9 AM I INFLUENCING HIM/THEM TO DO THIS?
As their partner, it's important to be supportive of their decision. Especially when it's a procedure that they're going to endure on their own body. If you are a parent who has carried children yourself, you may know that you're done carrying and delivering children.
You may have the answer and won't want to budge. If this is the case, you could very well be influencing your partner to get a vasectomy when he/they are not ready to. Always consider your partner's feelings and when it doubt- communicate.
8 IN FIVE YEARS COULD I CHANGE MY MIND?
There is a chance that you could reverse the vasectomy. Only 85 in 100 men will be successful in a vasovasostomy, writes this article from Urology Health. This means that though reversals are available to healthy men/people willing to go under the knife, again, it wouldn't be successful each time. It's important to go into the procedure thinking it's a done deal, rather than going through the struggle if you change your mind in a few years. Consider how quickly life changes. If you're sure, then you're sure! But consider the statistics, risks, and all considerations.
7 IS THERE ANY OTHER BIRTH CONTROL I'D RATHER CONSIDER?
Now, this is not to influence the female/menstruating partner to go on another birth control pill. Or put another hormonal IUD inside of their bodies. Women go through enough hormonal imbalance naturally as it is. Sadly, men only truly have two options: condoms or to "pull it out". If you've gone through the extensive lists and you've realized that there's no other option to make you comfortable, then it may be time for your partner to get the snip-snip.
6 IS A REVERSAL SOMETHING HE/THEY ARE OPEN TO IF NEEDED?
Touching back on what we've learned about reversals, they are never 100% effective. Just as is a vasectomy itself! Your doctor, when you go in for the referral, will inform you of everything you need to know; however, keeping in mind that a reversal may not be an option needs to be considered.
Regardless, this should be a topic you discuss with your partner. Perhaps they're going into this knowing they won't want to go back once it's done. That's perfectly ok! Every relationship is different.
5 WHEN IS THE BEST TIME?
When you go into your GP's office and request a referral for a vasectomy, there may be only a few, if more than one, doctors offered in your area who perform the procedure. Though the procedure itself only takes 5-10 minutes, doctors can get booked up pretty quickly. It's a good idea to discuss with your partner how fast you want this procedure to be done. Do you have a timeline? Do they have an important business trip coming up they can't miss? Is cousin Lisa's wedding that week? Because you'd like to dance... wouldn't you?
4 ARE THEY ABLE TO TAKE A WEEK OR TWO OFF AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Everybody is different. Every procedure is different. Though a vasectomy does not take much time, it can take a few days up to a few weeks to feel completely back to normal. It's important to speak with your partner to ensure they have enough paid leave time, or if they must accumulate their sick days and vacation days to take the amount of time off to rest after the procedure.
Yes, this is a very important decision to make, but you also must be able to manage your time well after it's done.
3 WAS THIS DOCTOR REFERRED?
It's a good idea to have a referral to a doctor that has done the procedure on someone you know or know of. Even if you speak with your GP and they know they have a good history, it's reassuring for you and your partner. Some doctors even have different ways of successfully doing the procedure. Some perform vasectomies without incisions. Some, with. There are options. It's a good idea to look and speak around.
2 HAVE WE TALKED TO ANYONE WHO'S GONE THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE?
In order to comfort both you and your partner, it's nice to hear reassuring stories from people you know. Many don't like to 'air their dirty laundry', but it's actually refreshing to speak with someone you know well about this experience. They too may have gone through it. It's nice to validate your feelings and your concerns with someone like-minded. Someone you can simply laugh about it with.
1 WHAT'S HOLDING US BACK?
If you've gotten this far in the article, there must be something in the pit of your stomach holding you back. And that's perfectly ok. Your concerns, worries, and thoughts are valid. But it's important to discuss these worries with your partner. It is admirable to be vulnerable, and both you and your partner will be at this stage of your relationship. So, what's holding you back? You wanna talk about it? Because it's probably a good time.