Before I left Tuesday’s appointment with Dr. Risky, she handed me perhaps the greatest pamphlet I’ve ever received.
My mom took one look at it and said, “I’m pretty sure your dad and I got this exact same pamphlet.” Then she opened it up to the first page and…yep:
1983. Apparently, nothing has changed in thirty years.
While the pamphlet is informative, it’s also hilarious. First of all, the illustrations:
Hi Pete, I just called to talk about my reproductive system.
Pretty sure the second from the left was a college professor of mine.
If this confuses you, I applaud your decision to not procreate.
Third, it emphasizes in like ten different places that “only YOU [the man] can decide to get [a vasectomy]” and it goes on to say that some men may regret getting a vasectomy if it was someone else’s idea…like a wife. Ugh, women. Who needs ’em, am I right?
I was also left with some questions.
How can a sperm count be negative? Wouldn’t it just be…zero?
But if I had to pick my favorite page in the whole pamphlet, it would be this one:
If you use this chart exactly right, it is highly effective. In actual use, it’s only medium effective.
My least favorite page was this one:
Hey dudes! You should consider having your women undergo this riskier, pricier, more difficult procedure! That’d be totally bitchin’!
In all seriousness, vasectomy is an option that Mike and I are seriously considering. I’d just like to find some more up-to-date information about it…you know, maybe something from the 1990s.
My friend has a beautiful 7 week old baby boy, born 2 years after her husbands vasectomy!! He didn’t take a sample back to the clinic!
Nothing says “Surprise” like a baby born AFTER a vasectomy! LOL
Well, my spouse couldn’t “getter done!”. So, I tried. The fourth kid was 5 months old. I could.not.do.it. I asked again if he would do it. No dice. No sex, either…So,I did it. It was okay, but I react to anesthesia pretty badly.
In the Army, we did vasectomies. It was relatively easy and no more painful than a tubal ligation. It’s the thoughts that someone is touching your junk, I know…but, if Heather has a c-section then they could easily take care of the issue!
I had a c-section with my oldest, she was legit stuck and there was no way she was coming out without it. When I was pregnant with my second I talked to my midwife and ob about the “what if” factor. If I wasn’t able to have a vbac, I was going to have my tubes tied. My justification being that although I wanted more children I didn’t want repeat c-sections. They were able to just do the tubal during the same surgery as the c-section. Seemed simple enough to me, recovery wasn’t any more difficult because of the tubal.
I ended up with a c-section and my (now) exhusband had his vasectomy.
That pamphlet looks eerily familiar though, wondering if it’s the same one they used 10 years ago in Canada.
I’m pretty sure this was the same pamphlet my husband and I were given in Calgary 15 years ago. It must be effective propaganda, because it convinced us to go through with it!
I don’t know about the vasectomy as my hubby was not at all sure he wanted “anyone messing with his manhood”- Jackass-. I ended up having the essure procedure. It was in the doctors office took about an hour and I never looked back. No recovery time (I went furniture shopping that day).
Might be something you want to research to know more options are available and not all need to be surgical.
I’m also looking into the Essure procedure. I went to their website and it sounds pretty fantastic to me. Right now I’m trying to see if/how much insurance will cover it. Apparently, this is even less invasive than a vasectomy. I am supposed to hear from the insurance company today. Wish me luck!
Amy – It was such an easy procedure. My insurance covered the whole thing I think because it is so much cheaper than a surgical option.
It was no more invasive then a regular gyn exam and I had no pain after. I had heard that when you get your tubes tied it can make your period worse and I really didn’t want that and with the Essure there was no change.
Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
Thank you! I have to admit I’ve been reading lots of “pregnancy after Essure” comments out there and it’s gotten me a little worried. I know nothing claims to be 100% effective, but this one sure sounds like a lot of women have had lots of “surprises” after having it done.
Casey P says:
We are considering a vasectomy too! Curious to see how it goes if ya’ll decide to go for it. My brother in-law had one a few months ago and said it was relatively easy / pain free.
My fiance’ got a vasectomy about 5 weeks ago, so far the effects from the surgery was very minimal.It was the laser kind.
I was surprised at how quick it was and it was done right in doctor’s office. He was given Xanax before starting, then a local anesthetic on the area. Then it was done in 20 mins with me being in the same room the entire time.
He spent the entire weekend on ice packs and being spoiled by me! He didn’t even need the painkillers and just took it easy. After that, he was back to normal.
Molly M says:
We had this same experience…we have three kids and got pregnant easily every time! We knew if we were done, someone was getting fixed! lol He always said he would do it because I had the babies! Seems fair! Its been four years and smooth sailing.
I had my tubes tied when my son was born via c-section (repeat c-section).
I would not have elected to have the procedure if not for the c-section, but since they were already in there, I decided it was easier than dealing with my anything medical phobic/skeptical husband.
I also felt more confident with a tubal than with a vasectomy as I have heard stories like the one Hayley posted above.
No judgement, just wondering why you wouldn’t do the tubal during the c-section? Like the above ladies, as I had another c-section, they went ahead and did the ligation.
That’s one of the options we are considering, too! Although my OB has said that I could possibly face a few more complications based on my medical history, so that’s why we are looking at other options just to cover all our bases.
Kathy Shipstad says:
Heather you have done your job! A vasectomy is the way to go. We did it 17+ years ago, it’s all good.
Ater having two kids in 20 months, we opted for a vasectomy (and by that I mean I held out, if you get my drift…until he had the vasectomy). I had 2 c-sections and the recovery was enough that I didn’t feel I needed another procedure to deal with. My husband drove himself home from the vasectomy, picked up his own medication, then barely took any. Which, BTW, they gave him 3 weeks of pills and me about 10 days after my c-section! My brother also had a vasectomy and he got a temporary handicapped parking permit. ?????????
All in all, it was kind of sad to have something pretty definite. But I can’t take pills and other options pretty much blow!
Good luck to you all!
I am LOLing at th handicap parking permit!!!!! That is hilarious…and sadly typical!!
a handicapped parking permit??? LOL
it’s because they know what babies men are
Seriously? A temporary handicapped parking placard?!?!? That’s hysterical!!! If he is that gimpy, he should just stay home for the day it takes to heal! LOL
Legit lol at the parking permit! That’s the best thing I’ve heard in a while. Thanks for the laugh!!!
Good lord! Men couldn’t walk ONE day in a woman’s shoes.
Srsly? If a man gets a temporary handicap permit for a VASECTOMY, what do I get for being 9 months pregnant? I’m thinking it would involve not only a special parking space but a team of people to help get me out of the car…and carry me.
I guess this falls under the same category as the dreaded “man flu”.
We have 4 so were wanting something permanent. I’ve had all mine vaginally so my husband opted for a vasectomy. Was totally easy. Little uncomfortable but the next day he was fine and nothing a bag of peas couldn’t fix. Plus, if we ever wanted more a vasectomy is reversible where a tubal wasn’t. Just make sure he goes in after 3 months and has a recheck to make sure there are no swimmers like they recommend so there are no surprises.
I had my section baby (first one was vaginal) at a Catholic hospital, so no tubal for me. My husband agreed to have a vasectomy but our insurance wouldn’t pay for it (yet would pay for 100 babies if we wanted 100 babies because insurance is INSANE), so we were stuck.
Then he got deployed to Bosnia and found out that the Army would do it for free! So he got a week off and did it over there. (US Army docs at a US Army hospital). Easy-peasy lemon squeezie.
That brochure cracks me up! I am an academic librarian (work in a University), and any medical literature that is older than 5 years is considered outdated and needs to be replaced. It’s pretty funny that this came from your doctor. Who knows, maybe the procedure has not changed in 30 years?!
Not only is the dude calling his friend, he’s doing so on a ROTARY PHONE!
I noticed that too!!!!
I’m reading this in the ob/gyn waiting room, no joke. I’m sure everyone’s wondering why I’m shaking with laughter.
If you do decide to go this route, please have Mike grow a porn stache like the dude in the first picture and reenact calling his friend to talk about it. Omg.
When we are for sure done, my hubby is getting snipped. It was his idea. He has had lots of friends get it done and they were totally fine within a day. He even said that since I was the one who was pregnant, gave birth and nursed our babies for so long, he could do this tiny little thing. His doctor said it hurts less than getting a cavity filled, so he was cool with it (although neither of us has ever had one, so maybe they hurt like hell and we have no clue, lol). Seriously, I have heard nothing but good things from our friends who have had it down. Quick, easy, relatively painless and something you don’t have to think about again. Seems like the best option, at least from that chart on the brochure!! Medium effectiveness- so scientific!!!
Good luck- you guys will choose the right option for your family!
My husband did the big “V” and he’s just fine. Took him all of 2 days to feel back to normal. He said the worst part was they made him shave his …ahem…..
That’s great! Ummm…. I know 3 people who have had vasectomies and got pregnant after. One 10 years, one 3 months and one one month. Even doing everything “right”. My best friend waited the waiting period, her husband got check and was told he was 100% sterile, and a month after that, bam. She’s pregnant. She said she’s having a paternity test just to prove to everyone it IS her husbands baby. She’s also getting her tubes tied now. Oh, and her husband was rechecked and the doctors called it an “immaculate conception” haha.
Loren Bell says:
We were just at the urologist’s office for my husband’s consult on Tuesday. They had newer pamphlets, but the info is essentially exactly the same.
After four kids before the age of 25, (the younger three each barely one year apart, and a 2nd trimester miscarriage thrown in there as well) my husband and I knew we had to find a better solution to being DONE than what we’d previously tried (I’ve gotten pregnant on the pill, and every other form of protection we tried, I think that even when we used birth control correctly, apparently it was still only “medium effective” for us.) Knowing that my hubby is a big baby, and fearing he would back out of a vasectomy and I would end up pregnant again, I elected to have a tubal when my fourth (and last!) baby was born. I did not even have a c-section. I was worried about general anesthesia, so what they did was leave my epidural in place after my son was born. The next morning they pumped it up until I couldn’t feel anything, gave me some “amnesia meds” that made me loopy (but did not put me out) and did the tubal. I didn’t even end up with a scar! Just a TINY incision at my belly button. The recovery time was a little more than if I had not had the procedure done, but it was no big deal and I was up and doing business as usual the next day (hubby couldn’t take time off work, and so my sister drove me home from the hospital and I was left alone with my 2 day old, 1 year old, 2 year old, and 7 year old. Yay, me!)
Anyways, I have friends who have elected to have the tubal during a c-section and said it didn’t add any sort of issues, and friends (and sisters) who’s husbands have had vasectomies (and aside from them all acting like big babies for a couple of days, the actual procedures were extremely quick and simple.) So far none of us are pregnant again (though don’t read the horror stories online, because there are plenty! I guess abstinence really is the only %100 accident proof method!) and it’s been nice not having to worry about getting pregnant.
Whatever you two choose will be the right decision for your family.
Ashley S says:
After ALL that our bodies endure to carry/birth a baby, a vasectomy sounds like a pretty good solution. Also- I love how abstinence is clearly only moderately effective…because we have no self control.
My husband had a Vasectomy on Valentines Day! It was the best present we ever gave each other. He had it on a Friday and was back to work on the following Monday. His only complication was the 12 med students that watched his “procedure.” I tell him that it was worth the embarrassment because he got the most through vasectomy he could get, no cutting corners on that one.
this pamphlet is pretty awesome!! lol
whatever you and mike decide, will be what’s best for you. good luck with whatever you decide.
Two thumbs up for Essure! Easy and no complications.
We had a vasectomy, when I picked up my husband at the hospital I brought him a cold beer, he still talks about how great that was to this day (26 years ago).
The pamphlet is hilarious, but I seriously cannot believe they’re handing out something printed THIRTY YEARS AGO.
Also, can we all take a moment to get offended by the tone of “you should push a woman to get a more difficult, more expensive, more troublesome surgery just so you don’t have to think about your choices” in there? Okay? Yeah.
I don’t remember my husband getting a pamphlet. Hmm. He got a vasectomy when our twins were 4mo old. The hardest part was keeping our 2yo from climbing on him while he tried to rest. After about 2-3 days he was mostly back to normal. That was 3.5yrs ago & I’m so glad he did it. I wasn’t about to go back on the pill & since I didn’t have a c-section, I didn’t want a tubal. I figured him getting snipped was fair. I’m still a bit paranoid that we’ll get a surprise (or two)
I suppose to be 100% effective, you could get your tubes tied and Mike could get the vasectomy…you know: fun for the whole family!
That pamphlet is hysterical! They must have had billions printed & didn’t want to waste them!!! Reuse! Recycle!
Whatever you choose will be best for your family, regardless of the age of the pamphlet (thank goodness!).
My husband elected to have a vasectomy when our daughter was 4 months old. He had it done on a Friday, went to the Dodger game the next night. Said the stairs bothered him just a little, but after ice packs and rest he was back to work on Monday. That was almost 36 years ago. Best decision ever for us. Good luck.
Expat Mom says:
We’ve talked a LOT about vasectomies around here. I really wanted 4 babies, but when my last one was a C-section, that put an end to that idea pretty quick. The recovery was horrible and I never, ever want to do that again. (I also suck at being pregnant) The doctor actually asked me if I wanted him to tie my tubes while he was in there and I confidently said “No, we’re planning on a fourth.” HA.
Now if I could just get my husband to actually go to the clinic . . . he’s made the appointment twice and never went.
I have a different spin on this subject! My husband was a divorced father of two awesome kids when we met 3 years ago. He was certain he and his wife were done with additions to the family and had a vasectomy right after the birth of their second child. Fast forward…I met this amazing man who I would love to have a baby with one day. Luckily, vasectomy reversal IS an option. Insurance doesn’t cover it but I’m glad it’s a possibility. Just a curveball that life threw us.
My mom worked for a urologist, she’s a nurse. Vasectomies take 15 minutes and he walks out (swear to god) on his own. But like others have said he does need to take samples back to make sure he doesn’t have swimmers. It’s easier on the man to have a vasectomy, less trauma and drama to the body. Maybe 24 hours down time? For a woman, longer.
I agree though, for more information for the two of you, a pamphlet from 1983 is not really where I would go.
Heather – my brother had a vasectomy right after his 1st daughter was born. His 2nd daughter will be 6 this year. I also have a friend whose husband had the vas and SHE got pregnant too. I took the fallopians by the tubes and told my gyn that he best snip, clip, burn, tie or whatever he needed to do because if I got preggers ONE. MORE. TIME. I would kill him first and my husband second while birthing. I would say that Mike should get the vas because it is worse for the woman…way worse. Plus you had the kids so he should have the snips done. Just buy him some frozen peas and all will be good.
We weren’t ready for permanent. I opted for a Mirena IUD. The main reason was effectiveness, but the best side effect is that I hardly ever have a period!!! Yes, I said it. The reason this is so awesome is because I suffer from migraines which we had previously linked to hormone shifts. I had serious migraines with the changes in hormone to placebo week on the pill. This has changed my life. My friends would be laughing if they knew I was writing this.
While I am happy for Cristin above (I really am, I have a friend who has the same story)…I will keep my fingers crossed that you are not Mike’s starter wife;-)
I’ve heard mixed things about the IUD. Do you have any spotting? I just spent a week trying a mini-pill to lighten my period and ended up with the worst migraine the last two days, complete with vision issues. I’d be interested in it if it reversed migraines!
My husband had his surgery a month before our second child was born. I knew there was no way I should be pregnant again and the surgery was fast. He mowed the lawn two days later and we had a normal weekend. The charming doctor asked him if he was sure he’d never remarry – in case his new wife might want kids. (I wasn’t at the appointment.) The doctor had reversed the surgery three times for the same guy because he kept getting remarried, then have surgery after the next kid, then meeting his new wife…
Thank you so much for sharing that insane pamphlet!
While it is probably interesting and helpful to get everyone’s vasectomy stories I would suggest drawing a line under the topic for Mike’s peace of mind. Nobody wants the internet contemplating their privates (OK, that’s an inaccurate overgeneralization, but you know what I mean).
My favorite is where it says condoms (rubbers)…the word rubbers definitely matches the time this was printed. I can’t recall the last time I heard that unless I was watching an old episode of law and order.
In addition to additional complications has your Dr. confirmed if “after pains” and menstrating is worse after tubal? My friends swear they were so I avoided tubal…
YEP. And since I have a clotting issue, the heavier flow is a big concern for her/me/us.
Huh. I haven’t had any problems with a heavier flow or anything of that sort…didn’t eve know that was a possible side effect!!
Huh. I haven’t had any problems with a heavier flow or anything of that sort…didn’t even know that was a possible side effect!!
Just an FYI (as I do the billing for an OB/GYN), a lot of birth control options are now covered by the Affordable Care Act (if you have “preventative care” benefits). I’ve seen tubal ligations & IUDs (devices AND insertion fees) covered at 100% with no responsibility to the patient – not sure if a vasectomy would fall under those benefits though. (Your insurance provider will be able to tell you exactly whats covered under your plan.) And if you’re already having a c/s than there’s no additional recovery. Just thought I’d offer my two cents!
My favorite part is that you can buy condoms at “some gas stations.” not all! so don’t assume you’ll get that taken care of the next time you get gas.
My husband and I had the same pamphlet, but if you really want a good laugh, go to the consultation and see the video!!! Totally 80’s and hilarious. We could not stop laughing. My husband chickened out so I got Mirena and am very happy with it. Would you believe my insurance copay was $900 for Essure in the office and $65 (yes, sixty-five) for a tubal in the hospital?!? And sadly since I already have insurance, I wasn’t eligible for the Obamacare discounts
P.S. did you know that obamacare provides breastpumps free of charge to new mothers? All insurances should cover it.
I have insurance and got birth control for free, as the pharmacy clerk said, due to Obamacare. I guess it just depends on what it is…
My hubs had a vasectomy when our second child (he was a surprise) (hubs doesn’t like condoms) (hubs was misinformed that one time w/ no condom would be fine) was 6 weeks old. I told him we were never having sex again unless he did it. It was no big deal <— his words, not mine…and a great decision. NO MORE WORRYING!
I’m surprised at a couple of breezy “oh well, vasectomy is reversible” comments. It usually isn’t successful. No one should ever have one (or encourage someone else to have one) assuming gut can be reversed if they change their mind. Honestly, I’d rather do IVF to circumvent tubal ligation than spend that amount attempting to reverse a vasectomy.
vickie couturier says:
I had a repeat c-section an while I was already open they tied my tubes,,it was the easiest on me since I was already going to be recovering,so why have him go thru the extra pain,,oh well that was my thought,,after 30 yrs we divorced,,wondering if I can go back an make him to it now! LOL
My husband recently has a vasectomy and it was a simple, painless procedure. He experienced minimal discomfort during the procedure — he said he felt tugging, but no pain. He did not even need to take Tylenol or use “frozen peas” afterwards. He was literally back to normal the next day. You can’t say that about child birth — and many women go through that multiple times. Plus, insurance covered all but $100 of the procedure.
My husband went for a consultation and this is exactly how he described the video. Every man had giant glasses and short shorts and general 80’s-ness. Apparently this is not a subject to update??
Hubs had his vasectomy 6 months after our second was born, so almost 7 years ago now. Easy peasy. I love the vasectomy very much, lol!!
Derek Leavitt says:
My good friend, college roommate & the guy that married B & I is a urologist. I think you’ve met him before. Let me know if you want his contact info.
YES! I want it!
Missy Q says:
I actually wrote about my husband’s experience. TMI?
He never did go get checked afterwards and three years later we are still getting a letter from the doctor’s office to remind him to come get checked. Um ya, I think we’d know by now if it didn’t work!
After my last high-risk pregnancy we decided that my husband would get a vasectomy but not because we read this pamphlet :).
I opted for tubal done at the same time as my c-section. MISTAKE!! If I had to do it over again, I never would have had it done and explored the vasectomy option for him instead. It does mess with your periods/hormones horribly. That pamphlet is all kinds of hilarious though
My husband and I have been together for almost ten years and married for almost seven years. He was always willing to compromise with children, and then at some point before we got married I decided I was perfectly content with just having fur babies – and started looking into vasectomy for him.
For us, the reason it was him instead of me is because the vasectomy was a FREE procedure through his insurance, while mine would have been a couple thousand dollars and not covered by my insurance. He was out of commission for about a week but was relatively babied.
We saw this pamphlet too (Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara).
They had classes, and meetings with the doctor that BOTH of us were required to attend. They also scheduled the follow up appointment for two months later (during which time there was NO sex what-so-ever), so his count could be negative (negative for sperm as opposed to having, or being positive, for it) – but I’m still half expecting it to reverse itself and having a surprise baby in my 40s.