If you are a stay at home dad, and you would like to try to return to the workforce once your kids are in school, you first need to stop having kids. The youngest is no longer the youngest once a baby comes around. Once it does, the clock starts all over again. 18+ years until they are done with high school. Well, one of the best ways to stop having kids is for you to have a vasectomy.
Vas-ect-o-my. The ol’ snippy-snip. It is a scary thought, isn’t guys? Getting fixed, or whatever you want to call it, is not something you really want to think about. Being a man is about being fertile, the ability to impregnate any female at anytime, right guys? Well, let me tell you what you already know, kids mean responsibility, expense, and lots of time doing selfless things for them (ballet, soccer, etc.). The more kids you have the more time and money you are going to be spending on them. Do you have enough kids? If you think so and your wife agrees (I mean, really, really agrees), time to think about birth control. Does your wife really agree? We had to go to counseling for me to realize how much the Dashing Wife wanted a second kid.
Your wife can go on birth control pills, she can have tubes tied, you can try the rhythm method, you can wear condoms, or you can get a vasectomy. Two of these ways are permanent (and less prone to accidents), and one is a lot easier to deal with for the person getting the surgery. A vasectomy is a 30 min procedure that gives you an excuse to take it easy for a few days. A tubal ligation (tube tying) is more invasive, longer ordeal, with a longer recovery. Now, I can hear some of you guys saying, “Ain’t no doctor cutting my balls off!” Well, they don’t do that. A vasectomy cuts the tubes (called the vans deferens) that carries sperm from your testicles (your balls) to your prostrate. Nothing changes, and I mean nothing, except that your sperm isn’t making out the end of the ol’ John Thomas.
Some of the things to worry about, the reversal of this procedure is probably $10,000 and isn’t covered by insurance, so be sure. You can hurt yourself if you are active too soon. This means active as is running, biking, etc, and active as in having sex. They say wait 4-5 days before sex, and about 2 weeks before running or biking. However, swimming is fine after 4 days or so. A buddy of mine was worried about things “backing up” and causing pain. This can happen, but it is pretty rare. There is also a slew of other issues that come with having surgery, but the incidence is pretty rare as well.
So, here is my vasectomy story. Ladies get a birth story, this is my vasectomy story. I was ready to get snipped as soon as we found out we were pregnant, but my wife wanted to make sure everything came out okay, (pun intended). Most places will want you to come in for a class, or a consult to make sure you understand everything that is going to happen. My insurance has “classes” that are held one or twice a month and you have to register for them. It was kind of a pain, but oh well. My buddy had the ability to call around and found a smaller office where he sat down and talked to the doctor.
My class was taught by a nurse who had been assisting in these surgeries for 30+ years. The class went over the procedure, what to expect, and showed a video. The video was interesting because it was from the 70s and there was full frontal male nudity, which I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at, but still really didn’t want to see. The nurse explained you can get something to relax yourself if you think you might need it, but you need to be sober when you come it to the office to say you want to do it. Like a tattoo, this is permanent, and you should be clear headed when you make this decision.
During the class there was a 30 day waiting period to get the procedure, but you could waive it. Though you still had to wait 3 days. Also, if you waited 6 months, you had to take the class again. I took the class right after my daughter was born, which was December, and was on the phone scheduling the procedure once I walked out. I got an appointment 3 weeks later.
Now, they say that between November and February is the busiest time for vasectomies, with New Years Resolutions and whatnot. You may not have as long of a wait during a different part of the year. Things to think about when scheduling the surgery: You are not supposed to lift anything over like 10 lbs, so a cat, or maybe an infant; you are going to be sitting on the couch doing very little for 24-48 hrs; you can’t drive home from the surgery; and you won’t be running for two weeks. So, think about any races you have scheduled, and think about what other things may be going on in your schedule where you don’t want to be lifting heavy things.
So on the day of the surgery, they said to eat a decent breakfast, and I went in as one of the first appointments of the day. Make sure you haven’t taken aspirin or ibuprofen in a while because these are blood thinners. When I walked into the surgery room, the nurse had me strip down in the bathroom attached to the surgery room, but leave my socks on. Then I had to wrap a surgical cloth around my waist, and go sit down on the table. I laid down, and the nurse whipped the cover off of me. I didn’t quite see the point of wearing that sheet if I was going to be exposed within 10 seconds of walking out of the room. The nurse didn’t laugh or say, “oh it’s so cute” so I figured it was okay.
In preparation for the surgery, I taped…. It… to my belly. The nurse disinfected the area with iodine, covered me back up, and the doctor came in. He talked me through the surgery, and continued this during the surgery. The surgery started with a local anesthetic to the area. This actually hurt, it felt like somebody giving the boys a good squeeze, but not too hard. It wasn’t any worse than getting an injection from the dentist (I would rather have another vasectomy than another cavity filled). After the lidocane, I didn’t feel much, until the doc cauterized the tubes, which felt like a bad case of “blue balls.” Remember those from your teens and twenties, not fun, but not overly bad.
The doctor stitched me back up, and was all done in about 17 minutes. I got dressed and my wife drove me back home. They do say to wear and athletic supporter or something to hold things up better. I wore my running underwear, which are snug and a pair of tighty whiteys over that. I got home, got set up on the couch with the Man with No Name trilogy (the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns) and started with a bag of peas on my crotch. The doctor (unofficially of course) told me that what the air force guys do was to freeze some beer, put a beer in your crotch until it melts (20 minutes), drink that beer (10-15 min), and once it is done, put another frozen one on your lap. I wish I would have known that before my surgery. Instead I switch bags of frozen peas, 20 minutes on, 10 off.
I sat on the couch for a couple days, taking my extra strength Tylenol and watching movies. Things were achy, but again, not that bad. After 2 days I was fine, I took it easy on day 3 and 4, and by day 5 I was A-OK. I could have easily gone to the office on day 2, definitely on day 3. I tested everything on day 6, and everything worked. I waited until day 11 to run and I probably should have waited another day or two. But I did an easy 3 miles with walk breaks every half mile. I think I went about 2 minutes slower than my half marathon pace, just took it real easy. By day 15 or 16 the stitches were gone and everything was healed, and by 3 months, the scar tissue was gone.
Another aspect of a vasectomy is clearing the pipes. You still have sperm in your system, past where the cut was made and you need to get that stuff out so you don’t get your wife pregnant. So, you need to get about 20 “releases” done in about 2 months after the surgery. The first week, you can’t do much, but after that, go for it. They say not to try to get that 20 releases done in the first month, otherwise your tubes will reattach.
Now, you don’t have to tell your wife this if you don’t want to, but you don’t have to have sex with her to get the stuff out. She doesn’t even need to be there (now, don’t be having sex with somebody else either). But if she is going to be there, you are still fertile and unless she is pregnant, you might want to wear a condom. After about 2 months, they are going to want a sample to make sure there is no sperm in the sample. And they are going to want to check about 3 months after that.
I had my surgery in January, and got the all clear last month. I haven’t noticed any decrease in my ability or performance or stamina. It is almost like it never happened. The only difficult part was the base of the condom rested on the incision, and that wasn’t all that comfortable. But not so uncomfortable that it stopped me from performing.
So, if you have enough perfect beautiful children in your life, I hope this helps some of you stay at home dads, and you fathers in general, make the decision to go for the big snippity-snip. Your wife will appreciate it, and it is one less thing on your mind.