Vasectomy ? Really ?
April 7, 2005 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Is vasectomy the new craze for some men ?

While clicking around following some recent tech-news-april-fools, I stumbled upon this post, where the author says he doesn't want more kids, and is getting vasectomy.
Okay. Why not. But then I read the comment, and many in there are saying the did it too or are planning to do it or something.
So, I'm just posting here asking : WTF ? Is vasectomy seen as the only way to not have kids ? What's the point about willingly getting one's nuts ? Are there some datas around here showing if vasectomy is as popular as these comments tend to show ?
Or is it another April Fools from this man ?
posted by XiBe to Health & Fitness (81 answers total)
 
Most likely because the only comparable female option for permanent birth control is getting your tubes tied, a highly invasive, painful procedure involving a brief stay in a hospital. In comparison vasectomy is about as involved as a dental visit.
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:21 AM on April 7, 2005


Yes, "some men" get vasectomys. If you can't accept the fact that this is a valid, perfectly normal method of birth control, grow up and move on.
posted by skwm at 7:21 AM on April 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


Er, a vasectomy doesn't involve cutting your nuts off you know. It's a little incision done under local anaesthetic. About 18% of men in the UK have had it done. Being female, I have to say it's my preferred method of contraception.
posted by handee at 7:23 AM on April 7, 2005


According to Planned Parenthood, About 500,000 men in the US choose vasectomy every year
posted by willnot at 7:24 AM on April 7, 2005


what's so odd about it? it only affects the capability to reproduce (not "anything else"). and it seems fairer than asking your partner to continue taking contraceptives for years. what's the big deal?
posted by andrew cooke at 7:25 AM on April 7, 2005


are you confusing vasectomy with castration?!?!
posted by andrew cooke at 7:27 AM on April 7, 2005


Yeah, researching what the medical procedure actually was might have prevented this question.
posted by agregoli at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


I like this thread. It's silly.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2005


Yeah man! Vasectomy! It's The Hot New Craze! Everybody's Doin' It! Hula Hoops, Yo-Yos, Vasectomies!

But Seriously: this is a perfectly valid form of birth control. It does seem as though you've gotten your facts slightly scrambled.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:35 AM on April 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


Most likely because the only comparable female option for permanent birth control is getting your tubes tied, a highly invasive, painful procedure involving a brief stay in a hospital.

Not to mention that a lot of women who would like to get this done without having any children often have a difficult time finding a doctor willing to do it. Finding someone to do it on someone under 25 is virtually impossible, and even those who do find someone willing sometimes only get it approved after psych evaluations.

That said, I'd love for my husband to get his snipped as much as I'd love to get mine tied, and it's something we've discussed. Neither of us wants kids, and it's just less hoops to jump through to achieve that goal.
posted by chickygrrl at 7:35 AM on April 7, 2005


That's really annoying too - guys wouldn't get a pysch evaluation for wanting a vasectomy.
posted by agregoli at 7:43 AM on April 7, 2005


Many years ago, on one of those future-today type shows where they show the latest technological developements, I saw a vasectomy proceedure that was reversable without surgery. That is, the tubes were sealed by injecting a big lump of something into them. If at a later date, the person wanted to be un-vasectomised, there was a chemical they could take (I can't remember if it was a pill, or local injection) that would cause the lump to dissolve.

Has anything become of that proceedure? Is it (or something like it) commonly availible today, or is it yet another of those things that seem promising but nevr come to pass?
posted by -harlequin- at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2005


My husband got snipped about 13 years ago. It took about 15 minutes, and he said the humiliation was a lot worse than the pain.

And since then, no pills, no condoms, no messes....just lots of worry-free sex. Vive la V!
posted by iconomy at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2005


Yeah, it's pretty unfair, agregoli. Granted, tubal ligations are not nearly so easy to reverse as vasectomies, although the latter can also leave you permanently sterile. However, I've never heard of doctors feeding the paternalistic "oh, you'll change your mind in a few years" line to men.
posted by ubersturm at 8:07 AM on April 7, 2005


My father had a vasectomy. My step-father had one. My father-in-law had one. My husband has promised to have one. I just think it's par for the course.

My girlfriend recently had the Essure procedure done instead of having a tubal ligation done. I think she's approaching her one year mark and has had no problems that I know of other than cramping as an initial result of the procedure.
posted by onhazier at 8:11 AM on April 7, 2005


Actually, I read an article a while back (unable to dig it up now though, maybe New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly?) about the rising popularity of vasectomies and they talk quite a bit about the difficultly younger men (and those w/o kids) have getting snipped. "Oh, you'll change you mind" was often the exact reason given.
posted by rschroed at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2005


That's really annoying too - guys wouldn't get a pysch evaluation for wanting a vasectomy.

That isn't true. Plenty of folks think young guys wanting a vasectomy are crazy. You can listen to this show to hear more. Or read the emails it generated.
posted by dame at 8:29 AM on April 7, 2005


Ok great.
posted by agregoli at 8:31 AM on April 7, 2005


Vasectomy is a permanent birth control method. So once you're sure you don't want kids (or more kids) it's better than a pill or patch or diaphram or condom because there is nothing to forget or break, you don't have to make sure it automatically is everywhere with you, and it doesn't have to mess with either partner's hormones (being on the pill, patch, Depo, etc can increase risks for certain diseases).

The other permanent birth control method is tubal ligation (a woman having her tubes tied). It's more expensive and it's invasive abdominal surgery - so it carries all the risks of being under anesthetic, and it's got a longer recovery time.

I really don't understand some men's objection to the surgery. Usually, their wives have been taking care of birth control for years and years, the women give birth, the women breastfeed, the least a man can do is sit through a 15 minute procedure and a couple of days of soreness.

To repeat what's been said by other:
Vasectomy does not remove a man's testes. It's a small incision into the scrotum and they sever (often with laser) the tube that connects the testes to the penis.
posted by raedyn at 8:31 AM on April 7, 2005


Good luck finding a doctor who'll give a vasectomy to young people. 25 in three months over here. Counting down the days (or rather, the ovulations).
posted by Ryvar at 8:32 AM on April 7, 2005


Twenty five is a tender age at which to decide you will never want kids, or more kids. It might seem like you are sure about the rest of your life at this point, but I can assure you that life is far more complicated than most people can imagine at that young age.
posted by caddis at 8:43 AM on April 7, 2005


Hello. Yes I understood it's not about litterally having your balls taken off, but I just can't wrap my mind about people being so sex-crazed as to do it.

I understand it's a pretty valid way to avoid unwanted birth, but to me taken a medical approach to prevent such thing is a bit too far. I never thought so many people did it. Perfectly normal, well, chacun voit midi à sa porte.
Guess I'll understand when I have kids. Bah.
rschroed : thanks for the info.

Oh well, silly thread, I agree, let it die... Man, I burnt my weekly AskMe slot on an impulse thought :)
posted by XiBe at 8:47 AM on April 7, 2005


give me a world in which people who want kids have to take a psych evaluation and caddis lectures them on how life is complicated and such a decision much too difficult for them to take alone.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:58 AM on April 7, 2005 [3 favorites]


Twenty five is a tender age at which to decide you will never want kids, or more kids. It might seem like you are sure about the rest of your life at this point, but I can assure you that life is far more complicated than most people can imagine at that young age.

Or if he wants kids eventually, he could adopt. I dare you to give me a compelling argument why having a biological kid is logically better than adopting.
posted by angry modem at 9:00 AM on April 7, 2005


I understand it's a pretty valid way to avoid unwanted birth, but to me taken a medical approach to prevent such thing is a bit too far.

Uh, if you don't want kids, and use any birth control method besides condoms, it's a medical approach, isn't it? I can't think of any others that are effective and non-medical. What's weird or "sex-crazed" about people who want this?
posted by agregoli at 9:02 AM on April 7, 2005


34 here and getting the big V tomorrow afternoon, in fact. Interesting synchronicity.
posted by dragstroke at 9:10 AM on April 7, 2005


In comparison vasectomy is about as involved as a dental visit.

I would look into getting a new dentist. I've had a vasectomy. It wasn't awful but it wasn't like having my teeth cleaned.
posted by Carbolic at 9:15 AM on April 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


XiBe, it has nothing to do with being "sex-crazed"...what a bizarre thing to say. It has to do with peace of mind, and consideration for your partner.

My husband will so enjoy being called sex-crazed, though.
posted by iconomy at 9:20 AM on April 7, 2005


But then I read the comment, and many in there are saying the did it too or are planning to do it or something.

This is the Internet. Put a post up about anything and you'll get a page full of posts from people who have done it or are planning to do it or something.

So this "craze" might not be as new or as widespread as it seems.
posted by PlusDistance at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2005


Twenty five is a tender age at which to decide you will never want kids, or more kids. It might seem like you are sure about the rest of your life at this point, but I can assure you that life is far more complicated than most people can imagine at that young age.

A back and forth between us regarding my choices concerning my life isn't really germane to AskMetafilter. That said, in my case there are some extenuating circumstances that might be pertinent and help further answer XiBe's original question as to why this is becoming increasingly popular amongst men. Furthermore, listing some points as regards what constitutes good reasons to forever reject the possibility of procreation may help XiBe. To that end . . .

My wife is thirty-three years old. She is no longer at that tender age. If she were going to ever want children, she would've felt some hint of her biological clock ticking by now as it usually happens in a woman's early thirties. The simple fact is that she, like myself, reviles all children and would never consider putting herself through the hell and monstrous expense of raising a second-rate attempt at immortality who will spend most of its time creating more work for you and distracting you from more important matters when it isn't busy insulting you outright or in some other way being obnoxious. Yes, we both feel that way about children.

So, there's one reason why it's so popular, XiBe - some couples contain at least one partner, preferrably female, who has reached the age where they can make such decisions about their life's direction with some degree of finality, and the other partner respects those wishes and that decision.

Another point, caddis, is that I am a severe type I rapid-cycling bipolar. I am never going to stop being bipolar. My wife is also never going to stop being bipolar. Between our genetics, we stand a 66% chance of having a bipolar child. Even if we were inclined to have a child - which is totally and completely not the case nor has ever been - neither of us is so cruel as to inflict a life of complete inability to control one's emotions upon another person.

So, XiBe, there's another reason why this is so popular - with the increased recognition of the role genetics plays in the determination of who and what a person becomes in life, there is an increased desire amongst some couples to avoid procreation due to their poor genetics as evidenced by their current states.

Caddis, while I understand that you meant well, I would urge you to reconsider your position as to what age is 'old enough', or at the very least greatly increase your range. For some people twenty-five may indeed not be old enough, but for a significant portion of men - perhaps a much larger fraction than you might think - even twenty is far too long to wait.
posted by Ryvar at 9:36 AM on April 7, 2005 [3 favorites]


I have heard more young men talking about vasectomies (purely anecdotal), and it does bother me to hear it. If you're single and you get a vasectomy I have to think that you are much less likely to use appropriate protection when having sex. It isn't impossible that these young men would continue to be responsible, but it just seems as if part of the point of a young single man getting a vasectomy would be to limit having to be careful to use a condom. That seems like a public health nightmare. But then, I work in an STD clinic with HIV patients.

For married men it seems like a better choice.
posted by OmieWise at 9:39 AM on April 7, 2005


no pills, no condoms, no messes..

no messes?
pardon my ignorance, but I thought that after a vasectomy you ejaculate just like you used to, only there's no sperm in your seminal fluid. so I thought that the mess part didn't go away after the surgery
posted by matteo at 9:44 AM on April 7, 2005


After I have my second child someday, I'll be doing it too. It's not that big of a deal and pretty much every older male friend I have has done it.

There are a ton of good reasons for it: It means no surprise children 10 years after your last one (I know a lot of "kid brothers" that were the result of this), you never have to worry about birth control again, it's done in a few minutes on a Friday, you rest all weekend, then return to work on Monday. In a week, you'll probably feel fine. Female tube tying procedures are fairly major invasive surgery, men have their dangly bits on the outside -- much easier. If, for some crazy reason you must have a kid 5-10 years later, it's quite possible to reverse it.
posted by mathowie at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2005


That's really annoying too - guys wouldn't get a pysch evaluation for wanting a vasectomy.

a) giving a young guy a vasectomy surely gets its share of double takes;
b) tube tying is much more invasive surgery;
c)like it or not, young people often change their minds as they get older.
You may be one of those stable, fully realized individuals by the age of 24, but you're part of the human race, and the human race is not dependable as such. I don't think you need to be indignant that doctors want to make sure that people opting for invasive surgery know what they're getting into. Even if you're sure you don't want kids, it's not as if having your tubes tied is some magic solution. It can fuck with your body chemistry in all sorts of fun ways, so shouldn't be undertaken lightly (I don't know if that's true of vasectomies - seems to generally be agreed to be less problematic).
posted by mdn at 9:49 AM on April 7, 2005


Ryvar, you really didn't have to justify it. I mean no disrespect to anyone 25 who contemplates this except that most people at that age really are not settled into life enough to know what might be around the corner. That is a good thing, but probably not the best place to make a serious and likely irreversible decision. I know someone right now facing that prospect. For a rather fat fee they can attempt to reverse his vasectomy with no guarantees of success.
posted by caddis at 9:54 AM on April 7, 2005


What about concerns that link vasectomy to increased cancer risk? I realize that the evidence is inconsistent, but that seems different than saying that there is no relationship.
posted by jasper411 at 10:11 AM on April 7, 2005


I had mine done at 24. The worst part was the embarassment. My doc made certain that this was indeed what both my wife and I wanted. We had to go through an interview together and it was explained, over and over, that it was an irreversible procedure. The actual procedure took maybe half an hour. Best money my insurance company ever spent.
posted by cosmicbandito at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2005


mdn, thanks, but I already got yelled at.
posted by agregoli at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2005


You weren't yelled at, agregoli; you were corrected. We're all wrong sometimes, often for very good reasons. Don't worry about it.
posted by dame at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2005


The article rschroed was referring to ran in Salon.

Is it hip to snip?
Most men who have vasectomies are middle-aged, married, with children. But some are young men who have simply decided they don't want children -- ever. Is society ready for them?
posted by scazza at 10:31 AM on April 7, 2005


Matteo, I was thinking more of the k-y type jellies and diaphrams kinds of messes. You're right, you would continue to ejaculate. Shooting blanks, as it were.
posted by iconomy at 10:33 AM on April 7, 2005


Ryvar, I've considered having the procedure for similar reasons to your own...My girlfriend and I are bipolar (we are 25 as well) and fairly sure that our children would be hellbeasts based on our own childhood (our poor insane parents.)

Still haven't made that big decision yet though...
posted by schyler523 at 10:35 AM on April 7, 2005


give me a world in which people who want kids have to take a psych evaluation and caddis lectures them on how life is complicated and such a decision much too difficult for them to take alone.

I definitely do agree that this would be a better world.
posted by scazza at 10:38 AM on April 7, 2005


You weren't yelled at, agregoli; you were corrected. We're all wrong sometimes, often for very good reasons. Don't worry about it.

I don't mind being corrected, it's when you get corrected three times with the same information that it gets tiresome.
posted by agregoli at 10:40 AM on April 7, 2005


anytime.

sorry, it's a little pet peeve of mine. Docs perform surgery and prescribe meds for problems really easily these days, without making it clear what kinds of side effects these things can have. hormonal & neurological chemicals are quite entwined, and attempts to control those chemicals via pills or knives should never be imagined to be without side effects. They will always have side effects. Don't take meds because 'eh, what's the harm.' Take meds because you're sure the benefit is worth the loss.

I've been on neuro meds for over 15 years now. I am only now discovering some of the side effects that may be the result of this. I'm on these drugs for inescapably medical issues (seizures) but some people take them for problems which are more blurry - depression, anxiety, etc - what the industry literally refers to as "lifestyle medications", and which the industry literally intentionally markets, ie, they openly propose to get as many people as they can onto these drugs... (I worked as a designer for a medical website for a while and saw a lot of this.) I am certainly not saying no one should take these drugs, or have these procedures done, but I think it is extremely important that doctors act as at least a minimal barrier between underinformed individuals and serious medical decisions. Yes, everyone should be able to make their own choices. No, one need not be irritated that their medical professional does their job and makes sure you fully understand the consequences of the choice.
posted by mdn at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


would never consider putting herself through the hell and monstrous expense of raising a second-rate attempt at immortality

LOL, cheers. Good on you, Ryvar. Were that more people didn't have kids.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on April 7, 2005


Hula Hoops, Yo-Yos, Vasectomies!

Actually, they do the vasectomy with a sharpened hula hoop, then make yo-yo's out of your nuts.
posted by jonmc at 10:45 AM on April 7, 2005


I think I bristled because your tone was abrasive to me but that's nothing new.

I AM irritated because I personally have heard more than a few stories of women being completely unable to find a doctor that will perform a tubal ligation under any circumstances, even if she's willing to sign something, because she will "change her mind" later. I concede that men may have this problem too, but that was why I said that. I don't see why I can't be indignant about that.
posted by agregoli at 10:46 AM on April 7, 2005


agregoli: Didn't you get the memo about the TPS reports? Yeah, were putting cover sheets on all our TPS reports now, so if you could do that that would be great.
posted by schyler523 at 10:48 AM on April 7, 2005


Huh? (I mean I get the reference, but don't get why it's being used).
posted by agregoli at 10:50 AM on April 7, 2005


I don't mind being corrected, it's when you get corrected three times with the same information that it gets tiresome.

I think everyone just posted at about the same time. I know I spent some time hunting up the links & didn't read the preview. It isn't a conspiracy to make you feel bad. And you can feel indignant all you want. I just don't enjoy being accused of "yelling" when I'm not. If I'm trying to hurt your feelings, believe me, it'll be better than that.
posted by dame at 10:52 AM on April 7, 2005


Gee, thanks.
posted by agregoli at 10:53 AM on April 7, 2005


It isn't a conspiracy to make you feel bad.

Yes it is. You want to take away his manhood. You want to give him a vasectomy!
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on April 7, 2005


It occurred to me reading this thread that perhaps the age factor in tubal ligations and vasectomies has to do with the fact that doctors used to sterilize minorities and the mentally ill with out their consent and often without their knowledge.

While it may be presented, and even internalized by the doctors who say it, as "are you sure you want this at your tender age," I suspect that the age was decided on more because of the medical profession's need to assert that these women and men were fully aware of and consenting to their operations.
posted by carmen at 11:01 AM on April 7, 2005


I'm on these drugs for inescapably medical issues (seizures) but some people take them for problems which are more blurry - depression, anxiety, etc - what the industry literally refers to as "lifestyle medications"

Because psychiatry is a lifestyle field. I think you are mixing up the "lifestyles" where people use drugs like Viagra, with mental diseases. Anti-convulsants are legitimately prescribed for anxiety, bi-polar disorder, etc.; just because something is not easily diagnosed like grand mal seizures does not mean that it is not a legitimate medical condition.
posted by scazza at 11:06 AM on April 7, 2005


Y'know, so what if you "change your mind" later? You shrug and go "oh well, guess I shouldn't have done that, nothing I can do about it now" and get on with your life. I mean, we all reach old age with tons of regrets, for things we did or didn't do; what's one more?
posted by kindall at 11:07 AM on April 7, 2005 [2 favorites]


Huh? (I mean I get the reference, but don't get why it's being used).

Because Peter had three different bosses tell him about the TPS reports... all blissfully unaware (or not caring) that he'd already been briefed.
posted by kindall at 11:09 AM on April 7, 2005


Omniwise -- that would be a bizarre rational calculus. One would have to say at some point, "I can't except the risk of having children but I will gladly accept the risk of getting an incurable life-threatening disease." Not that people are particularly rational, but that's pretty blind.
posted by ontic at 11:20 AM on April 7, 2005


I had a vasectomy at age 33, after having three beautiful daughters, CERTAIN that I was done. I did it for mainly selfish reasons, thinking that, without having to deal with birth control, my wife and I would have an improved sex life for the remainder of our lives.
Seven years later my wife became my ex-wife, and when I had licked my wounds, dusted myself off and found someone with whom I could again find love, it turned out that the new someone wanted children. So did I.
Off to the (micro) surgeon I went. Two years later I am the proud loving parent of my fourth daughter, who is the apple of my eye (as are all my other daughters). So, vasectomy is NOT irreversible, and people DO change their minds. I'm 48 now, and I look back on that 33 year old I was with amusement and a small measure of chagrin.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2005


I'm generally cool with whatever most people want to at whatever age, but pointing out that 25 may be too soon for some to make a decision like that is perfectly valid. Not speaking of a vasectomy specifically, but I'm pretty glad (looking back) I didn't make any truly irrevocable decisions at that age. If that doesn't apply to you, more power to you.

Or if he wants kids eventually, he could adopt. I dare you to give me a compelling argument why having a biological kid is logically better than adopting.

If someone later wants to have children, the difference between biological and adopted may be hugely compelling to that person, regardless of any "logic" you or I could cite - that's all we're sayin'.

On preview, gnz2001 seems to be a perfect example, though the reversal worked well in his case.
posted by jalexei at 11:40 AM on April 7, 2005


But why presuppose that someone's motives will change? Seems rather condescending to me. I don't see anything wrong with a doctor providing the procedure to anyone of any age as long as it's not medically dangerous and the person knows the risk factors. If they're worried about a lawsuit, I'm sure there's papers to sign that could prevent that.
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on April 7, 2005


Because psychiatry is a lifestyle field. I think you are mixing up the "lifestyles" where people use drugs like Viagra, with mental diseases.

The conferences I attended specifically included sexual dysfunction meds, hair loss meds, and psychiatric meds under one umbrella. One speaker opened a talk with reference to a supposed quote from a coca-cola executive, that he wouldn't be satisfied until coca cola overtook water as the most popular drink (nowadays, coca cola has just marketed their own water, of course...). He said the analogy was that they oughtn't be satisfied as pharma ad execs until everyone was on lifestyle meds.

I am completely serious. It made me ill and was among the reasons that I found a way to come back t school instead of continuing in the industry, but human beings really want to make money off of these drugs, and they don't really care all that much whether you "really" need the meds or not. From their point of view, it is always an advantage if you take the meds.

Again, I'm not saying no one should be on psych meds. I'm just saying, the industry is not properly self-regulating, and meds have more side effects than you may realize.

Anti-convulsants are legitimately prescribed for anxiety, bi-polar disorder, etc.; just because something is not easily diagnosed like grand mal seizures does not mean that it is not a legitimate medical condition.

I agree with this, but I still think they are too easily prescribed. I've never known anyone who has gone to see a psychiatrist who has not been offered meds. If you're unhappy enough to bother talking to a doctor about it, you will be offered a prescription. These prescriptions are often offered as if there's no down side. But there are down sides.

I have been on meds for depression as well, and I didn't really need it. i mean, I was depressed, but it was because I was unhappy in my life, not because I truly had flatly chemical issues. It's definitely complicated working out what's "chemistry" and what's context, life, relationships, etc, but doesn't mean we should give up on trying to address mental problems on mental levels.
posted by mdn at 12:10 PM on April 7, 2005


I know about those conferences but it sounds like those speakers were execs, not doctors anyway. Were they doctors talking to doctors, or execs talkign to a group of execs and doctors?

In all of my therapy I have only been offered drugs when I asked about the Rx possibilities. But that is just my experience since I have heard of GPs doling out Xanax. I agree with your basic idea, but I don't think it is as dire as you describe.
posted by scazza at 12:39 PM on April 7, 2005


If a man were to have a vasectomy, it would be wise to preserve some sperm samples before going through with it, as "back-up".
posted by Lush at 1:16 PM on April 7, 2005


Keeping sperm on ice is really expensive, isn't it?
posted by agregoli at 1:36 PM on April 7, 2005


But why presuppose that someone's motives will change? Seems rather condescending to me.

It's acknowledging that someone's motives can change, not presupposing they will.
posted by jalexei at 2:09 PM on April 7, 2005


Right, but when I want to make a medical choice for my own body, why should a doctor suppose that I'm not making the right one for me? He doesn't know me.
posted by agregoli at 2:35 PM on April 7, 2005


Sorry, Agregoli, couldn't resist the urge to post a wisecrack, obviously didn't help the conversation. Thank you for explaining me kindall, i had moved on...
posted by schyler523 at 2:57 PM on April 7, 2005


Why should a doctor suppose that I'm not making the right one for me?

Umm, because he's got training, expertise and experience that you don't? Otherwise why bother with the professional? Just do it yourself in the kitchen.

Look - I'm just saying there's no harm in counseling someone about potentialities. I'd object as well if an MD wanted to make some arbitrary decision that he knew would be against my wishes in regards to an elective procedure. At the same time, he or she would be irresponsible (IMO) to not at least broach the subject.
posted by jalexei at 4:51 PM on April 7, 2005


I dare you to give me a compelling argument why having a biological kid is logically better than adopting.

Compelling's in the eye of the beholder. To some people, the whole pregnancy experience is actually desirable, as is having kids made from your mixed genetic bits.

Personally, I think parents are probably at least somewhat better equiped to handle raising of children who are genetically similar. There's the possibility of a sport, but genetic chances are that you're going to get someone with a good deal in common with you.

My observations in this matter, however, are purely anectodal. And adoption is often a noble thing to do, so...
posted by weston at 7:39 PM on April 7, 2005


weston - i'm not sure genetics count for enough in behaviour for it to be significantly important in child rearing. the environment of a child is dominated to such an extent by the parents and their culture that, i would guess, nurture pretty much zaps nature on that one. not saying that there isn't a correlation, but that it's likely to be pretty much unimportant. for example, compare with the well known(?) fact(?) that the best determinant for where you'll get to in life is the social status of your parents.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:47 PM on April 7, 2005


pointing out that 25 may be too soon for some to make a decision like that is perfectly valid. Not speaking of a vasectomy specifically, but I'm pretty glad (looking back) I didn't make any truly irrevocable decisions at that age.

a lot of people have children before they're 25. or is that not the "truly irrevocable" (one hopes) decision you're talking about? and if not, what makes that decision more acceptable than vasectomy?

seems to me that deciding to have children is a more important decision, because you're affecting someone else, in the long term. it also seems to me that it's only the inbuilt bias of our society that then shrugs that off and gets upset at the decision to not have children, imposing tests and questions (and, above all, an attitude that "you're wrong") that no-one dreams of giving to prospective parents.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:53 PM on April 7, 2005 [2 favorites]


I'll be 25 this summer, and I've already got a doctor who is willing to give me a tubal ligation (I'll hopefully be scheduling my surgery for this Spetember), and I absolutely can not wait. I have known my entire life that I never want to have children, and I am very much looking forward to the day that I can never become pregnant.

I am the one getting the surgery because I want to be able to have control over my own body. My fiancé also does not want kids, but if he got the big V instead of me getting a tubal ligation, something horrible could still happen to me, like being raped by a stranger, and I could still end up pregnant. I am not willing to risk that, especially in this political climate where Roe v. Wade could be overturned during my lifetime.
posted by mabelcolby at 8:12 PM on April 7, 2005


I plan on having the procedure done as soon as I pay off some bills. The idea of the doctor trying to have a chat with me about whether I know what I'm doing makes me want to hurl. In fact, if anyone in the new york area wants to email me about a local doctor who will discuss and perform the procedure without any sentiment whatsoever, I'd appreciate it.

And to answer the question, such as it is: I'm no more sex-crazed than the majority of people on the planet, but sure, not having to use condoms any more is part of it. The need for them irritates me. The fact that I keep spending money on them irritates me. The fact that I could use them and still possibly impregnate someone irritates me. I don't want kids, and it's good that I know that about myself, because I would also be a bad father.

My perspective on any of these issues would not be changed by a conversation with a condescending physician who thinks he knows more about how to live than I do because he has an MD and I happen to be his patient that particular day.
posted by bingo at 8:15 PM on April 7, 2005


Getting a vasectomy doesn't replace condom usage. You do know that, right?
posted by NortonDC at 2:34 AM on April 8, 2005


it does if you're in a single relationship and have been checked (which is perhaps the default for us boring old mefi-seniors).
posted by andrew cooke at 4:35 AM on April 8, 2005


I dare you to give me a compelling argument why having a biological kid is logically better than adopting.

As much as a champion of logic that I am, these aren't coldly logical decisions, you know. I mean... logically, you shouldn't have any kids. They consume resources for many years, restrict your mobility, etc. ;)

Having kids of your own is a matter of propogating one's genes, among many other emotional reasons.

/not married; doesn't want kids either
posted by madman at 7:08 AM on April 8, 2005


So this "craze" might not be as new or as widespread as it seems

To put the statistic cited above that each year about 500,000 men in the United States have a vasectomey - there are about 4 million births per year in the US, so about 2 million males born each year. Cohort analysis: about 25 percent of males in the US will get a vasectomy.

The February 2005 Salon article ("Is it hip to snip?") [membership required to read full article] included the following:

The surgery is so routine that, according to recent reports from England, British nurses may soon be allowed to perform them without a doctor present. ... A more recent study done at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that vasectomy reversal occurred 12.5 times more often in men who underwent vasectomy in their 20s than in men who were older. ... About 6 percent of men who undergo a vasectomy will eventually request a surgical reversal, most of the time because they want to have children with a new partner. ... Unlike the 10-minute vasectomy procedure, reversal surgery requires approximately four hours on the operating table, time off work and a $10,000 to $25,000 out-of-pocket investment, since reversals aren't covered by insurance. "While it's very easy to do a vasectomy, it is very difficult to undo it," ... While the success rates of returning sperm to the ejaculate are pretty good -- in the 80 percent range if reversed within the first 10 years -- post-reversal pregnancy odds aren't as high. And the more time that passes from the vasectomy, the lower the chances of a successful reversal.

posted by WestCoaster at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2005


I know no one's reading this thread anymore, but I'd like to say, since I'm just now home from the Doc's office:

Injections into one's scrotum are very, very painful.

That is all.
posted by dragstroke at 4:52 PM on April 8, 2005


Getting a vasectomy doesn't replace condom usage. You do know that, right?

They do if you're in a monogamous and trusting relationship with a girl who gets sick every time she tries to go on the pill.
posted by bingo at 7:40 PM on April 11, 2005


Way late to this thread, I had a vasectomy at 23 while single (but in a long term relationship). I had to go through a counseling session to articulate why I was sure I wanted one that young. I suspect there is a long history of patients suing doctors when they later get re-married and can't reverse the procedure.

Vasectomies are possible to reverse, but I think one should always consider them to be an irreversible procedure. If you get one reversed after 10-15 years, chances are good that you wont produce viable sperm (I think your body trains itself to attack and re-absorb the sperm over time).

Ontic: There have been a few times post-vasectomy when I had sex without a condom in a situation which I would classify as slightly risky. It was certainly not my intent to engage in riskier behavior when I underwent the vasectomy, and it does seem like a bit of cognitive dissonance, but we all make mistakes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:58 AM on April 26, 2005


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