...to think it's not such a big deal that DH has had the snip?

(193 Posts)
HowlerMonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 20:28:05

We've got 2 DC and are pretty confident we don't want anymore, so he's just had it done. Yet when I mention it to people (family/friends) they seem horrified. And it's not just because I am daring to discuss it!

Our reasoning follows thusly:

1) We don't want any more kids, so a long-term no-fertilisation solution is required.
2) Our choices seem to be: a) no sex ever ugh b) condoms every time c) I stay on hormonal contraception for 15-20 years d) I get tubal ligation e) he gets the snip.
3) Of all those options, the snip seems to be the least risky and most effective.

So what's the problem with these people?!

If it upsets you too, please come and explain to me why. If you've been in my position, please tell me your best ripostes grin

TheFuzz Tue 30-Jul-13 09:03:59

Meditrina,

I'm currently awaiting surgery and taking a gamble. The easy option is life long medication, the gamble is surgery. Hopefully they can sort my worse one out, and if lucky I'll still have it at the end.

Then comes the wait to see if it cures the pain. If it does I can gamble again on the second. If it fails to relieve the pain then I don't really know what will be done. They won't operate on both as the risk of losing two is high, I wouldn't mind, but they produce testosterone which is an essential hormone in a man and plumbs will only be removed as a last resort in cancer cases (i.e. life saving)

Unfortunately there isn't much else we can do if we are to have a "fulfilling sex life" as the PVPS has ruined that.

As said, I've never not recommended it, 90% of the procedures go fine, just be aware that 1 in 10 have some nasty problems.

HowlerMonkey Mon 29-Jul-13 21:41:48

I think there is a bit of a sexist slant though - my DH commented on it. He asked why it should generally fall to the woman to sort out long-term contraception (filling body with hormones/devices) when the man could take care of it too. It does lend itself to the whole 'mother is primary parent, father is secondary' argument as well, which is unfair on men.

Basically the whole thing's contentious, IMO.

Get over, not get other.

Fair enough. I'm speaking more in general terms than TheFuzz himself, though I appreciate that my post didn't read that way. Apologies for dismissing your experience, TheFuzz.

But I'm afraid I'm still going to have little respect or sympathy for any man who refuses to be snipped just because he's frightened of the pain or being touched in his privates. Women with similar fears are expected to just get other these things wrt giving birth, to the point of being told to get therapy for phobias, because it's expected for a woman to do her duty and procreate.

There are many legitimate reasons I can think of for a man to decide not to get a vasectomy. Being a bit 'fraidy doesn't fall into that category, IMO.

MrsKoala Mon 29-Jul-13 19:50:44

I don't think it has anything to do the person being a 'man, therefore needing a plan b' or anything of the sort. I think the reaction would be exactly the same if a woman was sterilised. I know a woman of my age who was and everyones reaction was identical. I think some people are seeing sexism where there is none.

Personally I do make all my decisions based on what ifs. That's just the type of person i am. I cannot imagine ever being so secure in any decision that i couldn't comprehend a different situation or the possibility of a change of heart. I would never limit myself in any way. I like to keep as many options open to me at all times. And the fact there is a waiting list for reversals proves a change of heart is a possibility for those who never thought it would be.

However, i do agree it is no one elses business. And i must also agree with Annie - the it hurts argument doesn't quite fly, contraception is never without risks and side effects and sadly it is usually the women who bear this. As well as those from having your children. It is a decision you need to make as a couple and the discomfort seen as the price of a fulfilling sex life. If your wife has paid her fair share and you are sure it's what you both want isn't it your turn?

meditrina Mon 29-Jul-13 19:37:51

I think you need to read TheFuzz's posts about how badly his vasectomy went before dismissing what he went through as crass and insensitive, especially as he still says that vasectomy is a generally Good Thing, despite his terrible experience.

TheFuzz: have they done the latest thing they were going to try? And is orchidectomy still on the cards?

TheFuzz Mon 29-Jul-13 19:29:22

What I am hinting at, is most men don't go through the thought of not having the procedure because they may or may not want to be able to father more children. That never enters a blokes head, but does enter some women's head, whilst I thought I would add a blokes point of view.

I know a lot of blokes that wouldn't do it as they are too chicken. As a married bloke I've peen through the problems birth caused my wife, but you bet there are plenty of blokes that wouldn't go for the snip because they can't bear the thought of having the pipes chopped.

I am not being insensitive, just adding what some blokes may think. I went through with it as I'd like to think I am a considerate partner, and my wife went through enough at birth x 2.

I have a relative where the bloke point blank refused to get the snip and his wife had it done instead after a number of kids.

Just trying to add a balanced view as blokes and women think very differently. No offence intended

well to be fair, TheFuzz, I'd have liked to have a general while I squeezed a new human being out of my most sensitive parts. I'm afraid your "pain and suffering" angle is going to get little sympathy from women who have given birth, along with all the myriad and devastating things that can and do often end up going wrong with their nethers as a consequence. Double incontinence anyone?

I realise it's not a competition, but I think you're being a little crass and insensitive with your "but it huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurts and is scary" angle, considering what women have to go through.

TheFuzz Mon 29-Jul-13 16:23:27

Even my own partner said at one point - 'it's as though you want more children' - that thought had never crossed my mind and I was:-

1) Shit scared of the operation (it's not pleasant being fully consious, especially when you have to remain still when it starts to go wrong)

and

2) Trying to fit it in around a 'less busy' part of my year - just in case.

The thought of staying 'fertile' never came into my mind - most blokes are more likely not to want to sit there whilst a doctor sticks numerous needles in to your very sensitive bits whilst you have to sit still. It's also the unknown - I've had real surgery, but not minor stuff like this on such a sensitive body part - that's the bit that freaks men out and why they are reluctant. TBH it wasn't that bad, would have been a doddle if the anaesthetic had worked properly.

I've never met any bloke who has said that they want to remain fertile, most don't fancy a local down there. TBH I'd recommend general to anyone having it done.

TheFuzz - thanks for confirming my suspicion! When people go "what if" about a man getting a vasectomy, it's his potential future partner who they are worrying about, not him.

It's very sad that men's opinions are given so little regard when it comes to their own children and their own fertility. People are always so shocked that men can often walk away from their children when a relationship breaks down, but to some extent, if they've always been seen as the "secondary" parent, it becomes more understandable.

TheFuzz Mon 29-Jul-13 14:48:40

MiaowTheCat,

You'll find that most men don't think like that, and it's more the women.

Why the hell would a bloke want more kids, never mind another woman ?

All men don't think like that, but I've yet to meet another fella that wouldn't go through the snip 'just in case'. The reason is they are either scared (and who could blame them). Not one has said, 'if something happened to my wife'.

Most I know have either had it done, or are hanging on for dear life awaiting the missus 'telling them' to get it done.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 29-Jul-13 14:34:39

I'm with MARYZ on this one.

It hadn't crossed my mind until the doctor asked how DH would feel if we split and he couldn't have children with anyone else. He thought a bit and then said he didn't want any more, full stop.

I just sat there thinking - too feckin right, focus on the ones you've got. I had never considered the idea of ours being some kind of 'starter' marriage with a Plan B.shock I know it happens but I never thought about it happening to us and my very first and basic instinct was to protect the interests of our real life, existing children.

To be fair, we were both approaching 40 and the snip was his idea in the first place.

Nomoredramaplease Mon 29-Jul-13 14:25:42

Especially when it's a voluntary infertility because at that time the person had decided they didn't want anymore children. Best wishes to your DSis and DBil.

Nomoredramaplease Mon 29-Jul-13 14:23:33

Lightshow I have every sympathy for your DSis. I think it's one thing for a couple to have fertility problems, which is obviously an incredibly difficult situation, but at least both partners are goin through the same struggle with primary infertility. I think it's different if one member of the couple already has children and the other is broody and childless. That would break the strongest couple.

meditrina Mon 29-Jul-13 14:18:22

Part of our thinking wasn't about split up and new partner and her wants. It was about say a crash when I was driving the DC and DH being left totally alone.

He does need to be sure, totally sure that, whatever life throws at him, he will not want more children.

lightshow Mon 29-Jul-13 14:11:27

I would probably have felt the same as those who don't want their DH's to have more dc in a future relationship, if it wasn't for DSis's experience of ttc with her DH who has had the snip. Nomoredramaplease it may well be a deal breaker in the end, they are devoted to each other but she's incredibly broody and is not keen on donor sperm. I think it's a horrible situation for a woman to be in and wouldn't want to put anyone else in that situation. You can't help who you fall for, and her DH is perfect for her in every other way.

I do have a colleague who encouraged her DH to have the snip when they had quite a rocky relationship (he actually already had an OW) because she felt there was no way she wanted her dc to get less maintenance/time in the case of him having a new family. But he got it reversed successfully, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for DSis that it will work for her and BIL.

Nomoredramaplease Mon 29-Jul-13 13:01:38

If my DH had had a vasectomy before we met, as his ex wife had wanted him to, we wouldn't have been together. It would've been a deal breaker for me.

SelectAUserName Mon 29-Jul-13 12:53:20

My DH had the snip when I was comparatively young - late 20s maybe? He is much older and had teenage children from his first marriage when we met. He was adamant that for a number of reasons, including serious health issues, he didn't want more children which was fine by me as I have never wanted them. I spent the first few years we were together on the Pill until I started to develop vascular migraine which was a contra-indication so we had to consider our other options. I can't remember how the subject of him having a vasectomy was first raised, but I think it was initially his suggestion. I would have happily considered sterilisation but at the age I was at then with no biological children, my GP refused to refer me.

I'm now in my 40s, still with him, still perfectly happy with my stepchildren, have no regrets about not having given birth and am grateful to him for sparing me the hassle of having to think about contraception.

Ironically, given that he had been in a serious relationship before me, the one thing we didn't discuss was the prospect of either of us wanting children from a future relationship, partly and most importantly I think because we were both 100% certain we didn't want children (or more children, in his case) and partly because we were both equally convinced that our relationship would last. Actuarially speaking, I am likely to be a comparatively young-ish widow given the age gap and his health problems (although it goes without saying I hope that doesn't become the case!) but the thought of some hypothetical future relationship didn't enter into the equation when we made the decision about our joint fertility based on our situation at that time.

Miaow - like I said in my post, I think the discrepancy we get isn't really about thinking men might need to have more children, but that their new partner might want children and need him to provide the sperm.

It's a weird kind of thinking - that all women have the absolute right to be mothers and all men must be able to provide the sperm if they so desire. If a woman finds a new partner and he's been sterilised, either deal with it or break up before it gets serious - no-one is obligated to impregnate you.

It really all comes back to the idea that children are primarily the domain of women, and men are just there to create them. Men apparently are allowed to have babies with every partner because it doesn't matter if they have lots. While women should be responsible and prevent themselves from having more children than they can deal with.

There are endless threads about women who have had children with men who have multiple children, all with different women, and don't provide for any of them adequately. Yet it's the women who are blamed for letting these men get them pregnant, and a collective gasp of horror is issued (as the OP has experienced) if a man actually takes responsibility and makes sure he doesn't leave a trail of babies behind him.

MiaowTheCat Mon 29-Jul-13 12:30:57

It's this whole mentality that blokes should keep their nuts intact so they've got a "plan B" that I really don't get. You don't get this about women - that THEY need a backup plan in case they split, get a new partner and might want kids with them... it's just this whole deal that blokes need to hang onto their nadgers "just in case" that boggles my mind slightly.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 29-Jul-13 12:24:13

Annie - quite. How many children do most people want anyway? 2-3 is generally enough for most people, so why do you need to have more just because a new partner is on the scene? Especially when considering a lot of the drama that comes with second families.

Yeah, I saw you'd posted similar upthread after I posted mine... there's me not reading everything properly again!!! grin

expatinscotland Mon 29-Jul-13 11:34:29

You are not alone in your thinking, Annie, I feel the same.

Everyone's situation is different, and if you and your DH/DP decide that long-term sterilisation isn't for you, that's fine. Don't do it then. But why express any horror or surprise or disapproval when someone else decides differently to you?

I'm always slightly puzzled by the general assumption, which seems very prevalent in the UK, that you need to procreate with every long-ish term partner you have. Why is that?

And I have to say, the whole idea behind "but what if you split and he wants to have a child with his new partner?" always seems to have undertones of "well, he doesn't want any more children but his new partner might talk him into it, and ^it would be unfair to deprive another woman of motherhood^".

Perhaps I'm off the mark. But why on earth can't we trust that men know what they're doing and allow them control over their own fertility without any shock or horror or "but what if" or worrying about some hypothetical future wife/partner?

catpark Mon 29-Jul-13 11:22:15

Dh is getting the snip soon, for us it was the best decision.

Pill and pregnancy hormones disrupt the medication i'm now on, it stops it bonding to my blood and getting to my organs. Without my medication I would die. I don't react well to general anaesthetic so sterilisation is out as I would need one to do it.

I did try a low dose pill and I felt really ill, after DH saw the state I ended up in he went to see his GP about getting the snip. It means we can continue having a sex life without the worry. He is doing it to protect me.

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