I Don’t Regret My Vasectomy–One Man’s Story

doctor saying no

{Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Scott Morley, freelance Software Engineer, avid trail runner and caretaker of unwanted pugs.}

I’ve never wanted children.

I’ve never wanted children, and as far back as I can remember, this has always been the case. You could attribute this to growing up with an abusive father. Or to me knowing that I’m too selfish to make room for something that is completely and utterly dependent upon me to survive (other than my medically needy pug, Sausage). Or to something else entirely, but the bottom line is: I don’t want children.

Armed with this knowledge, I wanted to take steps to ensure that children didn’t accidentally enter the picture. The easiest and most sensical action for me was to get a vasectomy. A vasectomy is an outpatient surgery that only requires local anesthetic. Additionally, insurance companies are usually quite keen to foot the bill since a quick outpatient procedure is far cheaper than a child. Armed with that knowledge, I scheduled a consultation with my primary care physician and assumed I was only weeks away from blissful sterility. However, as soon as I entered the doctor’s office I realized that it wasn’t going to be easy. Although I knew what I wanted and was completely committed to my decision, my physician did not support my choice. 

Too young for healthcare, but not a child.

My doctor said that twenty-three was too young to know what I really wanted. He assured me that everyone changes their mind as they get older. I asked if it was common to deny this procedure and my doctor said it was standard to ask people to wait until they were older. He also insisted that another doctor was likely to give me the same answer. “Older” is a very vague term, and I wasn’t able to get a definitive answer about just when I would be “old enough.” I left feeling powerless, overwhelmed by the inability to make my own life decisions.

It wasn’t until twenty-eight that I received the “blessing” from my physician. Why twenty-eight was old enough to make such a decision wasn’t ever clear to me, but I wasn’t going to argue the point (it is worth noting that an entirely different set of clandestine rules apply if you have a uterus and want to make a similar decision). I scheduled an appointment with the specialist described to me as, “The Ikea of Vasectomies.”

The long-awaited procedure.

After five years of waiting, I was pretty much bouncing on my toes when the appointment arrived. Doctor Ikea was very knowledgable and we discussed various types of vasectomies that could be performed. The first and most easily reversible was to simply tie a knot in the vas deferens. This is also the least foolproof and reliable procedure. The second option was to cut and cauterize the vas deferens which could potentially be reversed and was very reliable. The final option, and the one that I chose, was to cut a large section of the vas deferens out and to cauterize both ends. The doctor had never successfully reversed this last type and only had one instance where it wasn’t effective. In that case the patient had a third vas deferens which wasn’t discovered during the initial procedure (poor guy!). Feeling confident with my selection, I scheduled the operation.

On the morning of the procedure, I arrived feeling relaxed and completely ready to go under the knife. It took place in a chair similar to what you would sit in at the dentist. The doctor asked if I would like to watch, and of course, I did. He quickly made a small incision for each vas deferens tube, removed a section and then cauterized the ends. It was that simple. I don’t remember how many dissolvable stitches I received but it couldn’t have been more than a handful. I didn’t feel any pain other than the initial shots and couldn’t believe how quickly it was over. I left with a numbness that quickly faded to a dull ache. The ache persisted for the next two days but it was nothing that a couple of ibuprofen couldn’t handle.

After my vasectomy.

Sex after the vasectomy was painless. I noticed a slight feeling of pressure during orgasm for the next month but nothing after that. That sensation has only briefly returned twice after periods of being single without a sexual partner. I have never regretted my vasectomy and have nothing but gratitude for the ability to control my own reproductive destiny. Although I can now understand wanting to see the person that a child would grow into (particularly when you have someone in your life that you believe would raise an amazing human being), I wouldn’t make a different choice today. It was the best $15 dollars, my insurance co-pay at the time, that I ever spent.

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