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'4 years later, I'm still waiting...' 15 women on having the vasectomy chat.

If you have decided that your family is complete, did you know vasectomies are one of the safest and most effective procedures for birth control?

Did you also know that more women have their tubes tied (tubal ligation) than men receive vasectomies, according to this study – even though tubal ligation is more expensive, invasive and dangerous

While the number of women who have their tubes tied while in theatre for a c-section may skew the numbers, it is surprising that vasectomies are not more popular.

So what's holding some men back?

Watch: Dax Shepard on his vasectomy. Post continues below.

Video via Jimmy Kimmel

I reached out to our Mamamia community to find out more about your experiences with male partners and their vasectomies (or lack of them). Here's what 15 of you had to say.

1. 'He was very happy.' 

"I am so grateful my partner was all for it! Shortly after our second child (we had always said only two kids), he asked what I wanted to do. I said I would rather not go back on the pill if I could help it, and he offered and said he would be happy to have a vasectomy if that was the case. He booked it in for about a month later and got it done with minimal fuss! I have so many friends having issues when they try to have the discussion with their partners though." – Kristina.


2. 'He is dragging his feet.'

"I wonder how many men that say they’ll have it done, actually get it done? My hubby has said he’ll do it and we agreed to wait a year to be sure we’re done with babies. That said, I can’t remember the last time he booked a medical appointment for himself or the kids. I wonder if the women getting their tubes tied, get it done because they want the worry of contraception off their plate and their partners are dragging their feet." – Amy.

3. 'We had some big, depressing discussions beforehand.'

"My husband is in the Defence Force and was aware vasectomies are offered free of charge, so once our second was born and we had agreed on no more children, he initiated that conversation and organised to have it done. Two other things we considered prior to booking the procedure were if he wanted to be a sperm donor or if he would want more children if we were to separate or our children were to pass away – depressing thoughts but important to consider. He was given a week off work and managed his discomfort at home with pain medication. A few weeks later, he had some mild discomfort, which is completely normal. And he returned to exercise a month after the procedure." – Leah.

4. 'We both agreed hormonal birth control is crap'.

"We talked about it even before our first was born! We agreed on two kids, and once I got pregnant with our second (not yet born) he was asking if he should go get the snip already. We both think hormonal birth control is a crap option, and we definitely don’t want more kids, so it was a no-brainer for us. Heaps of his mates have done it already with no dramas." – Bec.


5. 'Four years later, I'm still waiting.'

"I was a little shell-shocked when I found out I was pregnant with our second. My husband reminded me we always wanted two, and to cheer me up said once I’d popped it out he’d get a vasectomy. Number two turns four in two months and so far he’s only managed to get a referral from his GP and that’s it. I literally told him tonight to hurry up and sort it out so we can be crazy and carefree once more. I don’t think there’s anything specifically holding him back other than maybe worries about pain and finding the time to do anything between work and kids, although there always seems to be time for golf." – Sandra.

6. 'Absolutely no regrets.'

"My husband told me he would do it as soon as we were finished having babies. He said it was his turn to look after us after years of me being on a variety of contraceptives. Pregnancy was not easy for me, and after having our second baby, we knew we were done. My husband raised it with my obstetrician at our six-week check-up and he talked us both through the process and did some counselling with us. He was very supportive of our decision having been with us for nearly five years through conception, two pregnancies and two births. He organised our appointment with another doctor in the clinic to discuss it. We ended up doing it with a different doctor in the end (due to wait times mostly) and hubby had it done when our youngest was four months old! He had a very quick recovery. He was back at work four days after having it done. Absolutely no regrets from either of us." – Claire.

7. 'I got him a card that said, "All the junk, no spunk!"'

"My husband got a vasectomy in February following the birth of our second and final child in November. After being in control of our contraception for the past 11 years, and not really finding a good fit, it was time for my husband to take over. He was really keen. Being one of seven kids, I think he knew what he wanted his future to look like. He said he didn’t even think about me getting my tubes tied and he booked it himself. It cost about $500. 


"He was in and out in 30 minutes and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch with an ice pack and painkillers, but by the next day, he was up and moving again. I made him a care package of his favourite snacks and a card that said, 'All the junk with no spunk'!' Three months later he had to do a semen test and we are in the clear for no more children! He said nothing feels different and everything is still the same so it was great for us." – Abi*

Listen to Mamamia's podcast for all things pregnancy, Hello Bump. Post continues below.

8. 'A vasectomy and tubal ligation at age 24.'

"My husband had a vasectomy, and I had a tubal ligation, when we were both just 24 years old. We both agreed on it after three babies together. He had the vasectomy when I was 18 weeks pregnant with my fourth child and I had my tubes tied when she was six months old. It was the best decision we both made. He bounced back within two days but I took nine weeks because it was hard to take it easy with four kids! I think the realisation that I would have no more babies kicked in, and I hated myself for a time, but then I realised that this was the right decision for us. Definitely no regrets now – I can enjoy my kids, enjoy my life and spend time with the nieces and nephews knowing I can hand them back at the end of our catch-ups!" – Debbie*


9.'He got his vasectomy reversed – and it wasn't easy.'

" My partner had a vasectomy when we met as he had been married previously, and I believe once his ex-wife had the third baby, he had his vasectomy quite quickly. When we met, and knowing I didn’t have children, he told me upfront he had had a vasectomy. I wasn’t sure I wanted kids, so I wasn’t bothered. But seeing his relationship with his kids changed everything. It was beautiful to watch and I later realised I wanted that too. He also felt like there was something missing in our relationship so he suggested the reversal. 

You don’t actually have to go through with a reversal if you are willing to go straight to IVF; they can simply do a testicular biopsy to extract sperm. But my husband decided on a reversal. People assume reversals are a simple process but his surgery took four hours and I believe the success rates aren’t fantastic. It depends on how long ago the original vasectomy took place. Unfortunately, we have ended up needing IVF anyway." – Sia*

10. 'Sore balls for a week, but otherwise unremarkable.'

" I don't remember who initiated the vasectomy discussion, but my husband was always happy to have it done. The benefits for us were not having to use condoms, we were clear on our family being complete, and it saved me from hormonal contraceptives which had negative side effects. We never considered tubal ligation. It was done under local anaesthesia with a urologist. The procedure and recovery were easily tolerated and unremarkable. 

"Mild discomfort from the local anesthetic, and his balls were sore for around one to two weeks, and he had very slight discomfort on one side that resolved over a month. We were slow to get the post-vasectomy semen analysis done to prove it was successful, but evidence shows a large percentage of men don't get post-vasectomy sperm count done at all. I don't think any of his friends have had it done despite our positive experience." – Alexa*


11. 'My husband hoped for more sex!'

"I asked my husband to have the snip after our second child was born. He was more than happy to oblige, and had the snip by the time our son was four months old! We are older parents who were very fortunate to fall pregnant easily with both our kids. So it was a no-brainer for both of us – our family was complete and we did not want any surprises. Also, I think my husband thought we would have sex more often!" – Ella*

12. 'I made the appointment.' 

"Six months after my second baby was born I called my husband at work and said I had made him an appointment with the specialist to get the snip. We had talked about it and I knew it was easier for me to make the appointment as he tends to forget these things. We knew we didn't want any more kids, and after going through IVF and two c-sections, he said he felt it was only fair that he do 'his part'. He thought my body had gone through enough. As a GP himself, he knew the medical side of things and was probably more non-emotional about it than many men. I remember the day after he had it done, he was out painting the front fence straight afterwards, and here I was thinking that he needed the 'two weeks' most guys say they need to rest up post procedure lol." –  Libby*

 13. 'My husband won't have one and I won't force him.'

"My family is complete and my husband has declined to have a vasectomy. As someone who has undergone multiple medical procedures myself, I feel uncomfortable asking that he undergo a procedure that he does not want to have. We have therefore opted for other options for contraception." – Joanne.


14. 'I'm not ready for the finality of a vasectomy while he is.'

]"My husband would have gotten one when I fell pregnant with our second if I let him. I wasn't ready to close that chapter yet. When our second baby was about four months old, we had a consult with a urologist (as he doesn't want to be awake for it), but when the finality of it hit me, I realised I still wasn't ready. Since then I've started to really want a third. I decided to go back on the pill, even though I hate it and would much rather not be on any form of hormonal birth control. Once I have finally accepted we will only be a family of four (or hubby happens to change his mind and we have a third), then I will happily let him get the vasectomy." – Jess.

15. 'He says it's the least he can do.'

"My husband had his last year, after a surprise third baby while I was on the oral contraceptive pill. When I asked what he thought about getting a vasectomy, he said, ‘It’s the least I can do after you’ve grown and birthed our three children’. He was sore for a day or two, then recovered. The bit that made me laugh was the instructions to get a sample of sperm tested, to make sure it was successful, after about 20 ejaculations." – Michelle.

*While these women are known to Mamamia, their names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty.

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