It finally happened: we were done having babies. It was bittersweet but we knew after having our second child that our family was complete. I wasn’t a fan of another c-section, nor was I a fan of the risk of developing the postpartum madness, and I really wanted to get off birth control. Given that I had been to the mat twice, it was my beloved husband’s turn to take one for the team. He had a vasectomy.
Now, kudos to him for letting me put his business out there, but there are a lot of questions about the procedure and liken it to a dog getting neutered. No, we didn’t go to the guy from the billboard on 1st Ave who says that vasectomies are cheaper than child support (but they are), we went to a urologist who had done the procedure hundreds of times. He walked us through the procedure and warned hubs about recovery and all the things he should NOT do. If you’re interested in the ins and outs of the procedure, I’ve included a handy video
Recovery is literally dependent on the patient’s willingness to rest and take it easy for a full 48 hours. Yes, 2 full days of ice and no lifting at all. Now, if you’re thinking what I was in that consultation you will probably kill your partner in his sleep. Because at no point after being cut open and birthing a baby did anyone tell me to Netflix and chill. They said “hey, here’s a human. Keep it alive. Have a nice day”. But if you can get past the rage, you can help your partner manage the pain. Frozen corn works well and warning your children that dad is NOT a bouncy house is essential.
Your partner will be given a jock strap at the procedure and, let me tell you, that puppy is your partner’s BFF for the next 7 days. Supporting the incision and surrounding tissue is a must if he is going to make it through the procedure without major side effects. There is a small incision that will need to be kept clean and dry and the stitches will dissolve within about 5 days.
If your partner can rest, ice, and ibuprofen for 48 hours and wear his jockstrap for a week he will likely soar through the procedure. He should not lift anything heavier than a few pounds for 7-10 days. So if he has a rather physical job like my husband does, he will need to have his employer make some accommodations during that time. The doctor will also help ensure your employer complies with any restrictions. Heavy lifting and too much activity after the procedure are what breed a harder recovery and more complications. Your partner may experience some discomfort beyond the first week such as soreness near the incision with “certain activity” but it does go away in time. Always call the doctor if you or your partner have questions or concerns.
Now, the burning question I know you have: when does it take effect?
The short answer is about 3 months. At 8 weeks post-op your partner will give a sample to determine if the procedure was effective and count the remaining sperm. At 12 weeks he will give another. It basically takes 25-27 emissions to clear everything out. So, when you and your partner resume intimacy (which is roughly 7-10 days after the procedure) use back up birth control. For the love of all that is good in this world, use back up birth control. Nobody gets a vasectomy because they want another kid.
Another question is: can I be in the room? The answer is dependent on your partner’s level of comfort as well as the doctor. You can do either. Personally, I chose to be in there to support hubs. I will warn you though: you will see things you can’t un-see. However, for me it was worth it to support my husband in making this sacrifice for me.
So there ya go, ladies. Vasectomy in a nutshell (ha, I kill me). There are tons of resources out there to prepare you and your partner for the procedure. So stock up on cheap frozen corn, Advil, and wine. Wine can be really helpful to get you through the procedure. Or so I heard. 😉
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