General Question

tedibear's avatar

Would it be unreasonable to suggest a vasectomy to my husband?

Asked by tedibear (18926points) January 4th, 2010

My husband has decided that children are not in our future. (Long story, not going into it here.)

I’ve been taking Yaz for about 2 years since that decision. At the time, it was the simplest solution. While Yaz has done good things for my skin, I’m not sure I want to continue taking any medication that isn’t medically necessary.

I’m considering suggesting that he get a vasectomy so that I can stop taking birth control. As it was his decision to not have children, is it unreasonable to suggest that now he can be responsible for birth control? As well, if anyone has suggestions regarding how to have this conversation, please add those to your response.

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63 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Perfectly reasonable.

And also note that getting your “tubes tied” is a waaa-a-a-ay more invasive and serious procedure in no way equivalent to a vasectomy. So don’t even let him think about that route.

lilakess's avatar

How old are you both?

tedibear's avatar

@robmandu – No, no tubal ligation in my future.

@lilakess – He is 40, I am 45. I come from a pretty fertile family, so we need to use something.

Val123's avatar

No, you’re not out of line…

JLeslie's avatar

Of course not. Vasectomy seems a logical part of a discussion about preventing pregnancy in your case. It seems odd to me that you even have to ask the collective, unless you are already assuming he won’t want to do it, or will be angry by the suggestion.

Snarp's avatar

It’s certainly a reasonable subject for discussion. You aren’t comfortable with the current birth control regime, so you need to have a conversation about it, and a vasectomy shouldn’t be off the table. That said, don’t be surprised if he says no. I personally would be highly unwilling to get one, but then I would be satisfied with condoms, they’ve worked so far.

poisonedantidote's avatar

personally, i would never have that done. ever. i see people here thinks its quite normal, and i guess it is, but for me it is absolutely out of the question. i rather use a condom the rest of my life. (or just go without sex and go back to the hand)

not trying to be a black sheep, just trying to give you an honest idea of statistics.

27yo male, in a happy realtionship, undecided if i want kids or not.

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw you wrote you are 45, so you only have about 5 years left to probably worry about it. As long as you are on the pill you won’t even know if you are starting menopause. Plus, if your family has any sort of early heart disase I would say birth control pills are not a good alternative for you at your age, especially if anyone has suffered from DVT.

ucme's avatar

Well If it was his idea & you agree to not having further children. Then I don’t see how he could or even would object. Perfectly reasonable rational request. Go for it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No it’s not unreasonable – he should at the very least consider getting it and look into it if he expects you to be in birth control

ubersiren's avatar

If you’ve both decided that you don’t want children, then it seems perfectly reasonable to me. It’s less harmful to his body than yours continuing on birth control, it can be reversible, and is relatively painless.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ubersiren my husband looked into the procedure, there are side effects to it that he doesn’t want to risk getting. so we’re stuck, as I don’t want to tie my tubes or get on birth control and he doesn’t want a vasectomy and we hate condoms.

dpworkin's avatar

What side effects? I have had a vasectomy since 1985, and never noticed anything other than a small diminution of the volume of ejaculate.

Staalesen's avatar

I would say talk to him about it, but do not pressure him to agree.

ubersiren's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh, I’ve never heard about any side effects. I always understood it as quite a routine simple thing. But, since you’ve looked into it, I’m sure you know better.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@pdworkin well it doesn’t have to happen to all patients but I don’t want him to deal with pain or decreased sexual desire
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/vasectomy-complications-and-side-effects.html
also though it is reversible, it is not always and we might want children later on

dpworkin's avatar

I just read that. It says that the pain is transient, and that decreased desire is psychological. I think this is a selfish man who wants it both ways, but I’m sure I don’t know him the way you do.

tedibear's avatar

I wouldn’t pressure him into it, I just want him to open to the idea.

@JLeslie – there are heart problems in my family, but I can’t speak to DVT specifically. As for asking the collective, it’s more because I like confirmation that I’m not completely off-base in my thoughts. I’m not good with that sometimes and figured the collective would have opinions. Which they have, and I appreciate it!

@poisonedantidote – I don’t think that makes you a black sheep, just a guy with an opinion. I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t ever have one, but will not pry since it’s not my business.

robmandu's avatar

Any medical procedure, no matter how minor, is subject to some risk. So no wonder some people complain about vasectomies.

But the thing is, Yaz is also risky.

So the question comes down to: what’s the best risk that you can live with as a couple?

Talking openly about the various options, contemplating the risks, and making a decision together is something both of you have to participate in equally.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@pdworkin wait a minute, that’s quite a conclusion – we both decided against the vasectomy. there is not a selfish bone in that man. I do not want any birth control either.

Snarp's avatar

I can’t say I would never have one, and my wife and I haven’t reached the point of that decision yet, but I’m highly reluctant to have any surgery, even a minor one, with a negligible (and not exactly health related) benefit. Given that I really have no problem whatsoever with using condoms, I see the benefit as very negligible indeed, and not worth the risk, however small.

But again, it’s certainly something that has to be discussed as a couple when the time comes.

janbb's avatar

My husband had one years ago with no negative residual effects. It is my impression that the potential side effects from taking birth control are much worse than any potential side effects from a vasectomy.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@tedibear39 well, i have no taboo topics, ill discuss anything.

my girl, she can have anything she wants from me. she can have my money, my time and if need be ill even lay down my life for her. but the vasectomy thing it just too much.

im not 100% sure why i would never have it done, but some reasons i can come up with are:

1— i would feel less of a man (even though i am comfortable with my sexuality and support gay rights and have no homosexual or infertility stigma going on)

2— it seems terribly invasive. kind of like if i was asked to have my face tattooed or something. just way too much to ask.

3— i can father a child well past my 40’s and may live to regret it, no matter how good things are at the moment.

4— its my balls! lol. no real logic here, just an emotional kind of thing. anything but the balls. you can make a necklace out of my severed toes, or even have my ear as a birthday gift, but leave the balls alone.

5— fear of a blade or sharp object going anywhere near my testicles, no matter how qualified the doctor is or how sedated i am.

i have never even considered this topic much until today, so im sure there are more subconscious reasons to it. i have just never thought of it really cause i just labeled it out of the question.

and if it helps understanding at all, im also very much against any kind of circumcision.

hug_of_war's avatar

This is interesting to me, because at some point I’m not going to want to be on birth control until I know for sure I can’t have children, yet I doubt my boyfriend would ever consider such a thing so I’m interested in both sides

Snarp's avatar

It’s funny that I seem to be the only one advocating condoms. Why are birth control, vasectomy, or tubal ligation the only options? I’ve never actually had sex with a woman who was on birth control, which means I’ve never had condom-free sex without a planned pregnancy involved.

robmandu's avatar

@Snarp, it’s not off the table. But, like everything else being discussed here, condoms have their own risks, particularly in terms of efficacy.

tedibear's avatar

@poisonedantidote – thank you for your candor and honesty. I appreciate both.

@Snarp – I’m not a fan of how condoms feel. They’re not necessarily off the table as an option, but they’re pretty low on my list. (I was going to say low on my totem pole but I didn’t want to get moderated!)

janbb's avatar

@Snarp I think because there is the potential for failure with condoms and also because they can be awkward to use. I think of condoms as more for pre-marital sex for some reason. I wanted the security of a more foolproof method of birth control. When we determined that we wanted no more kids, my husband opted for a vasectomy. But as with everything, chacun a son gout.

Snarp's avatar

@robmandu I doubt the efficacy stats on condoms. I’m not sure how they test these things, but properly used the efficacy of a high quality condom with spermicidal lubricant has got to be as high as the pill. I say this only because I have had condom protected sex enough times that the probabilities would have gotten me by now if they were accurate.

Cruiser's avatar

Discuss your options with your gynie first. I had mine for similar reasons as birth control pills were not our long term solution. The procedure is so simple now that when I was laying there I asked when was he going to start…he said he was already done with the one. 5 minutes start to finish. Recovery was not bad at all…no bag of frozen peas needed. Done on Friday back at work on Monday.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I definitely would ask him to have one- I have had a dvt and 45 seems way old to be taking bc pills- my husband refused absolutely to have a vasectomy, after a second ectopic pregnancy (the doctor told me very frankly in his office that another one could have a very real result of me bleeding to death on the table) he still refused, we used condoms, things went downhill from there….. I felt very ripped off that he wouldn’t have it

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated Man…that is shocking to me. Just…unbelievable.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Val123 this is after they diagnosed the dvt, the doctor told us to hurry to the er right now, no bumps! and he had to drive over rr tracks and stop for a burger!! he was an ass!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Totally reasonable, I think. In fact, since he’s the one making the decision, then he should have the procedure. (And it makes better sense for males to have it in any case, I think.) When I got mine in 1986, I earned a weekend of total pampering for my “recovery”, and since then (and especially since the marriage broke up 15 years later) total freedom from worry about “issue”.

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated Oh. My. God. Are you still together?

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated MERCY! Somebody must have locked that man in a closet way too many times when he was growing up!!

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Val123 it was a me tarzan you jane kind of world

JLeslie's avatar

One more suggestion. Don’t foget that the pill and vasectomy are not the only two options. IUD, Diaphragm, spermacide, avoiding sex during fertile times, condoms.

robmandu's avatar

Quick joke:

What do you call people who employ the rhythm method?

.
.
.

Parents! (ba-dum-chee!)

Val123's avatar

@robmandu Catholic parents!

JLeslie's avatar

Seriously, I avoided sex during fertile times for 2 years never got pregnant. Then the first month I tried I got pregnant. I have a girlfriend who uses rhythm and never got pregnant except when she wanted to, she has two children. The mother of an old roomate of mine used to use withdrawal and never got pregnant until she wanted her second child. The thing is you can’t cheat and take risks every so often. And, you have to be regular. I was very regular and could feel my ovulation. I was willing to risk it because if I had become pregnant it was ok, it would not have been when we planned, but we were ok if I became pregnant. I would never suggest the method to teenagers, and I guess if you really don’t want to have a baby you have to be willing to get an abortion, but rythym plus spermacide probably is very effective.

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie Or..you could have just been lucky. When my first husband and I decided to start having kids….well it took three years to the month before I finally got pregnant. Some of the awfullest years of my life. I soooo wanted a baby, and it was starting to look like maybe we couldn’t have any. But we did, and with the second one we thought we’d best get started a little earlier…and it took three….. seconds!

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 I tried 6 times to get pregnant and got pregnant five. I had ectopics and miscarriage so I do not have any children so I certainly know what it is like to want to have a baby and not get one. I have some health problems and literally two of those pregnancies were having sex one day in the month to get pregnant. My first pregnancy I told a girlfriend, “I think I am pregnant, we tried this month and I am a few hours late.” I was pregnant. Only lasted two weeks. I knew when I was pregnant. If I was late I was pregnant. I don’t think I was just lucky. I don’t think my girlfriend is just lucky either. She planned both of her pregnancies and she is Catholic and just pays attention to her cycle.

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie I didn’t know that….about the miscarriages. I’m so sorry…..

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. I have mentioned it before on fluther, it’s ok. Thank you though.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedibear39 If he doesn’t go for the vasectomy idea you should talk to yoru GYN or magsrags here on fluther. I have a friend who was terrified of getting pregnant. First she tried the IUD with hormones, but was very unhappy, her hair started falling out and some other side effects. She just got some sort of procedure done to block her tubes. She was only out of commision for a day I think. I don’t think it is like the old days when you heal for weeks.

filmfann's avatar

I had a V 20 years ago. Everything everyone told me about it was wrong.
I ended up with balls swollen to the size of grapefruit. I couldn’t zip up my pants for a week. Very painful. It also was a contributer to my going bald.

casheroo's avatar

I think it’s very reasonable. When a person doesn’t ever want children, or wants to prevent it from happening, of course sterilization should be considered.

It’s not even something my husband and I have to discuss, he’ll be getting one once we’re done having children and he is leaving how many children we have up to me (the physical part, we of course would discuss the financial part together, but since I carry the babies and do the majority of the parenting, I get to decide.) It’s never been a taboo thing for us, and I’ve always known my father had one soon after I was born. It seems to just be the thing to do.

Grisaille's avatar

Go for it. I don’t think you’re out of line at all.

chyna's avatar

My ex and I had decided not to have kids, but he was unwilling to have a vasectomy, so I was sick of taking the pill and had my tubes tied. It was the worst pain I had ever been in and took quite a while to recover from completely. And I have a high tolerance for pain. (Side note: he had a child 2 years later that he did not want)

Janka's avatar

Of course it is not unreasonable to suggest. (If he is hesitant about it, it might be unreasonable to pressure, though, depending.)

Snarp's avatar

@filmfann I don’t doubt it caused you pain and swelling, but you may be conflating correlation with causation on the balding.

avvooooooo's avatar

Tell him that if he doesn’t do it himself, I’ll come do it for him! So there!

:D

avvooooooo's avatar

@Val123 Mr. Tedi knows I don’t play! HA!

_zen_'s avatar

Asking, discussing something as serious as this is never “unreasonable.” Can he bring up issues as well, both positive and negative? Threesomes? S & M? Swallowing?

chyna's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Did you just hear my eyes roll?

LuckyGuy's avatar

This Q popped up for some reason. So? What happened? Did he get it done?
You can send him my way if he has questions.
I had one 30+ years ago and didn’t regret it for a second.

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