What to consider : A guide to Vasectomy

You are considering whether to have a vasectomy but what do you need to think about before signing the consent form?

Make sure that you and your wife/partner are in agreement about this as it is usually a life changing decision. Most men undergo a vasectomy because they and their partner feel that their family is now complete (have enough children) and want a permanent form of contraception. It may also be due to the fact that they are unable to use temporary forms of contraception.

Conversely, it may the case that both of you have decided not to have children at all and don’t want to continue with temporary contraception.

Another reason is if either of you have a genetic disorder which you don’t want to pass on to children.

Be sure that this is what you want as people often do change their minds, especially when they are older. It is easy to decide to not have a family when you are young but this situation can change when you are that bit older.

It is not something to rush into. There is a right time to choose to have a vasectomy and a bad time, for example if your partner has recently undergone a termination.

Everyone is different in regard to wanting a vasectomy and you will have your own personal reasons for doing so. But there are reasons which are common to all men which includes the possibility of changing their mind, starting a family with a new partner or having surgery for the sake of their partner.

Many men are satisfied with their vasectomy and don’t have any regrets about their decision. But there are a few men who for the following reasons decide that it wasn’t a good decision to make. These include:

  • Young men who still have plenty of time to start a family
  • Post-vasectomy pain syndrome (rare)
  • Divorce followed by remarriage
  • Death of a child (couples)
  • Stressful relationship
  • Being in a relationship in which both are unsure about whether to start a family
  • Relying upon sperm banking or vasectomy reversal
  • Feeling pressurised into starting a family by partner or their family
  • Having a vasectomy to please your partner

With couples; doctors tend to prefer that both people agree to the procedure rather than just one half of the couple. A vasectomy is a big step to take and if one partner is unsure about doing so then it can cause problems later on, especially if that person changes their mind and wants a family.

So it is better if both of you agree to the surgery. You will be provided with information and counselling beforehand and given time to think through your decision.

But you can still go ahead with surgery even if your partner doesn’t agree as there is no legal requirement for her permission.

What you also need to consider is whether you are suitable for a vasectomy. Each case is decided upon its own merits but if you are refused then it will be for a good reason. The surgeon will be concerned with your health and wellbeing and will only refuse to operate if he/she feels that may be compromised in some way.

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