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Who gets the snip?

(518 Posts)
feministwithtitsin Thu 09-Jul-15 15:11:43

Hi ladies (and gents)

Me and my DH have just had our 2 DC. We are both still relatively young (I am 30, DH is 29). We have both decided that 2 children is enough for us, our family is complete. I want to retrain and focus on my career in a year or so, and, although my DH probably would like more children, we have decided that 2 is enough as we would be better financially, and I would keep my sanity!

I have had 2 caesareans, the first was a nightmare as I had an infection and the recovery time was a nightmare (5 days in hospital, alot of pain etc) the second was textbook.

As we are both young, neither of us would be looking to get the snip for at least another 5 years, just to be 100% sure, as by that time out fertility would have dropped and I think it would be too disruptive to my career, and life in general, to be having a newborn after that.

So for the next 5 years, I will be on some kind of hormone contraceptive, as condoms are too much of a pain.

The question is who should get the snip? I think my DH should as I have had 2 caseareans already and the op itself is easier, he thinks I should because the risks of vascetomies scare him (long term ball pain etc)

So, mumsnet jury! What is your verdict grin

foxinsocks Thu 09-Jul-15 15:14:22

if it's a decision to think about in more than 5 years time, I wouldn't worry about it for more than 5 years tbh

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Thu 09-Jul-15 15:17:05

I'm afraid no one gets to dictate to someone else.

Here we looked at the risks and benefits of both. Vasectomy is more effective and has fewer risks of side effects. Dh offered to have a vasectomy. We were both really sure that one of us needed to do it. We didn't gloss over the risks to that person, and even on the morning dh went in, I told him that he could back out and I would have it done.

It's tricky, because I do see the "I had all the babies, I dealt with all the contraception, now it's your turn" argument. But you can't tell someone what to do with their own body.

But I was very proud of dh for stepping up and taking responsibility. He admitted that before he looked into it, he thought everything would be replumbed and different. Education was key grin

But as with everything, there are risks.

scaevola Thu 09-Jul-15 15:18:00

This isn't about previous medical history.

Neither of you have been sterilised to date. So no-one is taking turns if you are comparing like for like.

Your DH is right about the 10% risk of the serious complications, and PVPS can be untreatable (I hope he won't mind me saying this, but search for posts by TheFuzz if you need to learn more about this). Even though NHS has updated its website to show this rate of the serious complications, I think people do tend to underestimate the risks of vasectomy, whilst underestimating the risks of female sterilisation (and for newer Essure procedure, GA is not required).

It's his body his choice. Every bit as much as your body, your choice.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Thu 09-Jul-15 15:18:08

Obviously, when I say "I would have it done" I mean sterilisation grin

SayThisOnlyOnce Thu 09-Jul-15 15:21:17

I have been sterilised. DH had a shitty medical time and had had enough of hospitals for the time being. I really didn't want any more pregnancies. And I didn't mind. Plus I have a job with sick pay and DC at school so I could have time to recover easily.

It sounds a bit trite but I like knowing I will never be pg again even if I was raped, not that I am expecting to be, but I love my body being MINE and I like being in control of my own fertility iyswim.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 09-Jul-15 15:27:23

Neither, unless they want it (almost) 100% themselves.

KatieScarlettreregged Thu 09-Jul-15 15:30:49

I had an implant (very similar situation) until I became too old to continue with it.
Then DH got the snip. Uncomplainingly.

feministwithtitsin Thu 09-Jul-15 15:34:19

Obviously no-one is forcing anyone. If he says no, thats final of course, just like me saying no. Its true that its a long way in the future, no decisions need to be made right now.

Just curious on peoples thoughts grin

Thurlow Thu 09-Jul-15 15:36:00

I do appreciate why people feel like it's sort of the man's job to get this done after a woman has been through pregnancies and births. But that's still not right unless the man is happy to do so.

For example, OH and I talked about this. I said after 2 I know for certain that I won't want any more children, as I wouldn't ever want to go through another pregnancy. He says he is more than happy to just have 2 children with me. But if, god forbid, anything happened to me, he couldn't say for certain that he wouldn't want more children with another person. It is not that he thinks he will split up or anything, but sterilisation is almost certainly permanent so it is a big decision to make.

I think the person who is 100% certain should have the snip.

ltk Thu 09-Jul-15 15:43:15

You should look at the benefits to yourself. You no longer need to worry about unplanned pregnancy. You no longer need hormone based contraception. You take that protection with you even if you and dh split and you have another relationship.

I totally get what you are saying, and you are right it is not fair. He should 'take one for the team'. I would have thought a lot less of dh if he had not volunteered, and I may even have questioned his commitment to our family (is part of his refusal that he may want to hang onto his fertility for another woman if we ever split up?). But you cannot force anyone to undergo surgery. It is his choice. He is not making his choice in a vacuum though and he is essentially forcing you to take the risk in his place, which by the way you are already doing with the pill.

Personally, in your situation where a pregnancy would mess up your career, I would carry on with the pill and insist on condoms as well. It well nigh eliminates risk, and it forces him to be responsible for his own fertility.

Munchkin08 Thu 09-Jul-15 15:48:42

When I spoke to my doctor she said the man as its a much easy operation and quicker recovery - and you've done your bit giving birth ��

Northumberlandlass Thu 09-Jul-15 15:52:18

I didn't want anymore kids so I was sterilised (obviously discussed with DH (ex now))
I took the responsibility & control. I wouldn't ask DH to do it.
These conversations baffle me.

Byebutterfly Thu 09-Jul-15 16:03:28

I'm in a similar place in my life as you, we had our 2nd DC in December and we both don't want any more children as we are happy with what we have. DH offered to get the snip however I feel this too final, as if anything was to happen, he wouldn't be able to have more children with someone else. I however would happily go for sterilisation but as I'm a healthy 27yo they won't do that here.

feministwithtitsin Thu 09-Jul-15 16:07:59

I dont think that two caesareans count simply as 'medical history' in this case. They were necesary procedures for us to have a family, like sterilisation or a vascetomy would be surgery to ensure er have no more children. All procedures would be a part of is planning our family, its not like im saying i had my appendix out, you get the snip.

And of course neither of is have been sterilised before, thats kind of the point of the thread!

UncertainSmile Thu 09-Jul-15 16:13:35

Problems post vasectomy are not uncommon; I've had some pain myself, I still do 4 months on. It's not quite as quick and straightforward as people think.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 09-Jul-15 16:14:13

I know with absoloute certainty that I will not put my body or my mental health through another pregnancy. Therefore, because of this, I would happily be sterilised tomorrow.

DH is not as certain as me. I would never ever ask him to be sterilised. It is a decision only he can make. Therefore he would probably choose not to be sterilised.

It comes down to that at the end of the day. He doesnt want to be done. You cant seem to decide either. He cant make you and you cant make him. Until one of you decides yourself this is what you want then stalemate.

DrSethHazlittMD Thu 09-Jul-15 16:22:03

As a man who knows someone who has had really severe problems since getting the snip, which in turn made me read up about it, there is no way I would take the risk

TokenGinger Thu 09-Jul-15 16:36:36

Although you don't have to think about this for a very long time, I would say you get it.

You've stated your DH would want more kids. You definitely don't. Therefore if you separate for any reason, he may potentially have kids in a future relationship. He shouldn't take that away from himself when he actually would have more. If you definitely don't, then you should probably go through with it.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 09-Jul-15 16:38:03

Previously I would have erred on the side of the man getting the snip as female sterilisation was a bigger op and I also went along with the whole "I've done my bit for our family by having the DCs" argument.

However, my current DP is not my DCs' dad (divorced 3 years ago) so that argument doesn't really wash, as I've done nothing for him child-wise! My body has been through it's fair share, but not to benefit him in any way.

I have also read about the complications of vasectomy, the long term pain and risk to a man's sexual enjoyment/performance.

As sex is a much bigger deal with DP than it ever was with XH I'd hate anything to potentially compromise that, especially given that it's the exact purpose of the operation! Having the snip to allow risk free and enjoyable sex would be a cruel irony if it caused impotence or pain.

I also hadn't realised quite how long it takes to get the all clear - some people are still testing positive for sperm after a year/18 months.

I haven't read much about Essure sterilisation for women, but have heard that it is keyhole surgery, in and out of hospital in one day and more reliable/less risky than vasectomy.

For those reasons I would choose that myself and keep DP's bits and bobs in full working order for our mutual pleasure grin

Elvish Thu 09-Jul-15 16:39:41

My standpoint on it was that both DH and I agreed that our family was complete.

I didn't want to be on hormonal contraception for the rest of my fertile years, and I felt that the 10 years we'd been together before TTC when I'd had the primary responsibility for contraception meant it was his turn.

If he had hated the idea and refused to do it I would probably have had a coil fitted - 10 year life span and not hormonal.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 09-Jul-15 16:41:02

I also agree that generally the partner who is ADAMANT they don't want more DCs should be the one who gets the op.

However, with 5 DCs between us we both know it's a bad idea, so although I wouldn't be as anti having another child as DP, at 41 it's a luxury I can't afford and don't need, so I'd still have the op.

upaladderagain Thu 09-Jul-15 16:48:42

I agree that the one who's absolutely certain they don't want any more kids should be the one. The whole tit-for-tat argument seems a bit childish to me: you didn't have your children as a favour to your husband (I hope!). I was sterilised 25 years ago: a light general anaesthetic, keyhole surgery, home 3 hours later, never looked back. It's MY body, and it's been fine. Although I do acknowledge that not 100% of procedures go as well as mine. I wouldn't expect anyone, especially my nearest and dearest, to go through risky surgery which can have some unpleasant side-effects, for my sake.

upaladderagain Thu 09-Jul-15 16:49:31

..... although he did offer.

hulksmum Thu 09-Jul-15 16:49:32

Questions to ask yourself and each other..

If anything was to happen in the future to your children would you want more?

If you and partner was to split/widow would you want another child with a future partner?

If you have always sorted the contraception side of things and think it's his turn, are you both open to using condoms instead?

I was adamant that no matter what live swung at me, I would never want anymore children and on that basis I got sterilised. It would be me who was pregnant, so in my eyes it's me who stops getting pregnant.

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