Make Vasectomies the Norm


make vasectomies the normWe really need to make vasectomies the norm. When I was in active labor with my second child, in the process of making the decision to give up on a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and go in for a second C-section, the surgeon had the audacity to ask me if he was just taking the baby out or if we were doing a tubal, too. Y’all, I hadn’t said boo to this man since he sliced me open the last time – two years prior, and he’s suggesting I should be done with birthing babies! Granted, this was right after all the anti-abortion hoopla had taken place and people were rushing to their OBs and urologists in droves to make sure they couldn’t have unplanned pregnancies…

And, even though I WAS done birthing babies and I knew two was the right number for me before I was even done bringing the second one into the world, that did not sit right with me. Why did he assume that, even if I was done having kids, that it was MY responsibility to make sure that I didn’t get pregnant again. I am in a monogamous marriage with a supportive partner… I am not the only one who can make sure we don’t continue to procreate.

ACTUALLY, more permanent methods of birth control, like a tubal during cesarean (it’s different and more difficult to reverse than the laparoscopic tubal when you aren’t already sliced open) are a more difficult recovery for ovary owners. But, you don’t see doctors looking at sperm-producing partners to ask if they have any plans to not have more kids.

It seems like, in this modern world, the medical realm still assumes women will take the primary responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancies even though they already put their bodies through so much just to birth babies. In general, it seems like the medical world pushes women to take charge of all things reproduction in the most unnatural ways  possible.

Pills, bodily implants, injections, literal needles in your spine… all in the name of reproduction or prevention of reproduction. Pump your body full of hormones from the time you’re sixteen to make sure you don’t get knocked up and that your period is perfectly aligned with the calendar and that you have no idea what it feels like to let your body do its thing naturally. Shoot yourself full of meds to make sure you aren’t in tune with your body and you can’t feel most of the birthing experience. Eat cookies full of artificial crap to make your body produce more milk. Then, start the cycle all over again until you decide you don’t want anymore kids. Then, cut out the parts of your body that make it possible to make babies at all – major surgery and a hard recovery with small kids at home, just to ensure that your penis-owning partner doesn’t have to wear a tiny piece of rubber on their junk.

Girl, it’s time to talk about vasectomies. Your poor body has been through enough fake hormones, stretching, ripping, healing, and rearranging… to last a lifetime. Did you know there is very little hard and fast information about the long-term effects of a tubal?? No joke, medical research is almost all done with male subjects as the default, so there is very little information that actually pertains to women. Sure, if you have a reason to have those ovaries taken out, go right on ahead and take care of your health. But, if this is just about pregnancy prevention… isn’t it about time you weren’t the one responsible for something for once?!

Before baby number two even came into this world – before that doctor asked me if he needed to give me a tubal on the operating table, my husband had already gone to see a urologist about a vasectomy. I was very honest about my disinterest in going back on hormonal birth control with my family history of breast cancer and need for hysterectomies, along with my fear that I might even have the BRCA gene. Hormonal medications can already increase the risk of breast cancer, and with my family history, I wasn’t willing to roll those dice for years until menopause.

An hour and a half, a bag of frozen peas, and a week of light activities later, we don’t have to worry any more about unwanted pregnancies. No side effects for my husband.

All this to say, before you say yes to the tubal because your doctor asks when you’re in a vulnerable state, before you get back on that hormonal birth control, or before you continue to assume this is your responsibility as the partner who gives birth… consider all your options for more permanent birth control. It’s time to make vasectomies the norm.


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