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The V Word
Written by | Darren Zygadlo
If you’re reading this, then you have probably just had THE conversation. A bombshell has been dropped and you are now basking in the nuclear fallout. No, it is not the “I cheated on you” conversation or the” I’m pregnant conversation”….it is worse. Much worse! Your partner wants you to get the “chop”, the old snip and tie, successfully slicing your manhood in half with the precision of a scalpel and retiring your swimmers from active duty. It’s the word every man doesn’t want to hear V-A-S-E-C-T-O-M-Y.
If you’re like me, the thought of anyone poking around and slicing around down there is probably not an idea you would ever entertain. You may even recall, as I do, the pain from getting your little guy caught in your zipper perhaps when you were young and how you vowed never to let that happen again. Well, this time, with surgical precision, a trained doctor (hopefully) is going to cut off the main supply line. In fact, in a conventional vasectomy, 1-2 small cuts are made under local anaesthetic and the vas deferens are cut. The doctor then ties or clips the ends and sews up the scrotal incision, then repeats on the other side. While all that sounds very clinical, this is still an operation and one that cannot be considered lightly.
Before, I get too ahead of myself let me first preface this by identifying some of the reasons why my wife of ten years approached this subject. It wasn’t the horrible first child, the sleepless nights or terrible two’s that brought this on, although a great reason for contraception, for her it was the risk of getting pregnant during one of those “accidents” and the impact that would have on our lives, both mentally and financially. We both love our son dearly, but being a parent is hard….it’s the hardest job you will ever have and the thought of an unexpected life changing accident restarting the game in a lot of ways is scary to a lot of parents, especially us.
So, I made an appointment with my G.P and said to him, “I need you to refer me for a vasectomy”, now it always scares me when the doctor asks “are you sure?”, of course I’m effin’ not sure, I don’t want anything sharp ever near my balls (was what my brain was saying) “Ummm yeah” I replied. He then said something that threw me “But you’re so young, don’t you want more children?”….now this part actually hit me….hard! It was the first crystallising moment of this major decision. Something that had to be thought about and considered. Getting a vasectomy meant, my son Noah would be an only child, no brothers or sisters to support him as both my wife and I both had growing up. As I fell into my thoughts, my doctor could see I needed to think, so he referred me and said “they will call you, you won’t get an appointment for about 6 months, so take some time and think about it” and I left lost in my own world.
A few days later, my vasectomy was booked for December and I have had quite some time to consider my decision. I did my research and wanted to know what some of the benefits of getting a vasectomy were?
- It is the most dependable form of birth control – Save money on condoms, check. We all like to save a little more money no?
- Freedom from hassle and worry of contraception – No more fumbling in the dark, check.
- Inexpensive and covered by most insurance plans – Cost effective, check. I was starting to see why my wife had suggested it.
However, this just didn’t sell me. I needed to know the risks and according to recent statistics there can be complications for every 1 in 1000 men and to my luck I knew someone who had a bad experience. I remember him announcing to his work colleagues he was going under the knife and all the women in my office reassuring him it would be fine, “it’s the best thing for your family”. Then I saw him limping into work Monday morning and I gulped. He was in immense pain, agony even. He eventually had to return to his doctor for a much needed follow up to address the complications he was having. So, I did my due diligence and went home that night and looked into what exactly are the risks involved in this operation?
- Bleeding, bruising, swelling and infection – I couldn’t spin this into anything positive, although my wife very cavalier-like made the joke that a little swelling in my area couldn’t hurt.
- Vasectomy failure – What? She could still get pregnant!!! I know nothing is 100% for sure but geez, I’m getting cut man.
- Sperm Granuloma and congestion – although usually resolved in time, the thought of sperm leaking from one cut end into a pea shaped nodule and a sense of pressure in the scrotum, that sounds just lovely.
It should also be noted it generally takes 8 weeks and 20 ejaculations to completely clear out the sperm in the reproductive system after the operation before you start shooting blanks.
So, as I sit here writing this with just 3 short months to go, I have to say that I am still very much on the fence. I do feel the burdening obligation to do what is best for my relationship, my family and our collective sanity but part of me also feels apprehensive. Am I just a wimp when it comes to the thought of pain? However, I’m also led to wonder – Will sex feel the same? Would it be better? Many men report that sex is more spontaneous because there is no inconvenience or concerns about contraceptives. That has to be a good thing right? I think for any man that is considering getting a vasectomy, it is always something that needs to be discussed with your partner as they are not easily reversible.
Feel free to comment below or share your vasectomy thoughts or experiences. Also don’t forget to like the post and follow @darrenzygadlo and @egomagonline.
Featured Image: Dan Reynolds (cartoonist) – http://reynoldsunwrapped.weebly.com/