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Getting the Snip, Part One
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This series of articles will detail the experience of getting a vasectomy. In this part, I discuss how my boyfriend and I decided that vasectomy was the right form of contraception for us. The next part will cover his experience of the procedure itself, and then I will write about how the procedure is affecting our relationship and our sex life.

  Making the Decision

As a couple, we considered it together. And having considered it together, we decided to consider it separately. We wanted to make the decision that was right for us, but we also needed the decision to be completely acceptable to whichever of us was having surgery. We agreed that neither of us would put pressure on the other to be the one who was sterilized. We both believe a person should have full and free choice over their own reproductive system, whether that person is male or female.

I made my decision first, and my decision was no. The only exception is that if I ever needed surgery for some other reason and it was possible to tack on a tubal ligation at the same time, then I would do it.

The boyfriend took longer to make his decision. He wasn't prepared to say yes, but he didn't rule it out. When we went from a long-distance relationship to live in lovers, the increased frequency of sex (and therefore of condom use) seemed to help him make the decision. We had gotten to the point where we were having anal sex more often than vaginal simply to avoid having to use condoms. Finally he told me he was going to do it.

We live in the UK, so everything goes through the National Health Service (NHS). He spoke to his GP, who made a referral. They sent him some paperwork explaining everything he'd already learned by doing his own research, and phoned him to make an appointment. The NHS is infamous for long wait times, but in this case from the time of his first speaking to the GP to his appointment date was just over six weeks.

His vasectomy appointment is in two weeks. There's a generous supply of condoms in the drawer of the nightstand. I think we won't need to buy any more, and that is a pleasant thought.


To be honest, and this is a bit of a touchy comment to make since it's such a personal article you've written, but - this article scares me quite a bit. Every couple is, of course, different, and you have to do what you believe is right for you. But the idea that surgical sterilization, which to me seems like such an extreme and irreversible path, is the best form of birth control for an unmarried youngish couple, seems a little, well, drastic. What if, God forbid, you were to separate and end up with other people, or just change in the course of your lives? What if you decide later than you would want biological children? I also feel like, at least in the course of the article, you jumped pretty quickly to surgical sterilization as the only acceptable choice of birth control. I realize there may be good reasons for forgoing other methods, but it just seems so extreme a thing to do just to avoid condoms. I guess I don't get what's so bad about condoms, but that's just me. Not trying to judge, but it seems a bit intense.


I am 42, past the age of safe child-bearing and my boyfriend is 52.

I understand your concern, but we are not young and neither of us wants children. Also, pregnancy would not be safe for me for medical reasons. What I didn't go over in the article is how do you know that you don't want children at all? We have been considering our options for several years and are happy that this decision is right for us - it will not be the right decision for everyone.


interesting and informative, I look forward to your future posts in this series



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