Men with kids don’t usually have a problem getting a doctor to perform a vasectomy, but those of us who are childfree often encounter doctors that are unwilling and unhelpful.
This page of a collection of quotes from childfree visitors.
Check out childfree vasectomy stories in our Personal experiences section. The collection is quite large now!
Submitted September 1 2000:
“If you have no kids and want no kids, go for it! People will tell you you’ll change your mind. Maybe you will — but I didn’t! No kids = no responsibility for little diaper wearing fiends!”
Submitted June 27, 2000:
“At the age of 34 I decided that it was time to get snipped. I wasn’t sure how I’d be judged – I was not even in a relationship at the time. Went into the local family planning office, had an interview, the counsellor didn’t mind that I was single, but we decided to set the date for 2 months ahead just in case I changed my mind. I wish I’d had it done years earlier. My advice for those in my situation: you don’t know how people will react to your asking for a V. unless you ask.”
“Our GP wasn’t too bothered about the fact that we don’t have children when my husband went in to ask for a referral. She basically double checked that we knew what we were doing and made sure we knew it would be permanent, but other than that we had no argument from her about referring my husband to the hospital. He’s due to have his op on 24 March. I don’t know if our ages (I’m 33, he’s 38) helped because we’re obviously “old enough” to know what we are doing. I’m not saying that someone younger wouldn’t know what they were doing, but some doctors may not see it the same way.”
My wife and I are also “childfree”–and even more “mature.” But the doc. who did my snip wanted to know how long we had been married. When I said “10 years”–with the tiniest edge in my voice that I hope hinted (in the nicest possible way, of course), “Bud, you had better not be giving us any shit, or there will be a scene,” he said, “Fine, that’s long enough.” But I really don’t know what would have happened if I had said, for example, “Two years.”
“It was easy for me. When I went to my regular doctor for the referral, his comment was “be prepared to tell them why you want this with you not having any kids”. And so when I went to the specialist he asked me the usual line of questions, most which I forget, but there was the one standard question “what if you fall in love with a woman who wants to have a kid?”, and my response was “I won’t date anyone who wants kids!” That shut him up pretty good.”
Really? I think I’d have been refused if I’d said something like that.
I went through all the options I would have in that situation, and none of them involved reversal. I don’t know for sure, but I think the 2 things that really led to the doc giving me the operation were:
1) I had a sister 16 years younger than me, and overplayed the fact that I knew what it was like to have a kid, and therefore knew I didn’t want one.
2) I made sure I knew as many alternative situations as possible, and that having a reversal wasn’t something I would even consider.
She also seemed to latch onto a misconception that I might have a child I wasn’t aware of. So I didn’t deny it, and let her believe, because it seemed to make her happier about giving me the operation.
It must be different in some countries, but over here the doctors are performance evaluated. So patients having reversals tends to come back on the doctor in the end for an explanation. Its more of an issue with women though.
I considered the (to me, incredibly unlikely) situation, and those are the options available. There is also artificial insemination of my partner (not my sperm), option.
I made a point of showing the doc I’d considered these options. Inside I was thinking its pointless, I don’t want kids. But I had made sure I found out about it before hand, and made sure that she understood I knew what I was getting into.
She had to raise the issues of reversals, and was very firm in stating they were not recommended as the failure rate was very high.
It was also interesting that she had very little regard for the information I found on heart disease risks. She explained that it was from experiments performed on beagle dogs, and that there were no actual long term studies conducted on men who have had the operation (which would actually be interesting to see).
Interesting. I wonder why this made her more comfortable snipping you. Maybe she figured you were sufficiently indifferent to your hypothetical “lost child” that you’d be unlikely to pine for one in the future?
Perhaps you’re right. I am unsure why she seemed to consider it might be relevant, let alone why she seemed to think it was a positive thing. But she seemed to think it was, and I wasn’t about to loose any little positive point, because I knew being childfree was a disadvantage in getting the op.
I hope this is the reason all doctors hesitate–that is, that they don’t just fear getting yelled at if a guy they snipped comes back for an expensive reversal. After all, the odds of getting a successful reversal are slim, no matter how much it costs. So it is not just the waste of resources that is involved, but a patient’s future happiness (presuming he changes his mind about wanting to be sterile AND makes himself miserable from then on worry about his lost fertility).
Well, its one thing having them evaluated, and having to explain themselves, but if it just makes them scared of giving people snips (male or female), then its not working. It should be backed up by research into the reasons people are having reversals.
They should be able to tell you who most commonly had reversals. In my case the doc said that to her knowledge the childfree men were the least likely to reverse, but I doubt all the doctors are going to be aware of such details.
“My doctor said only this: “If you are sure that you would like this procedure then we can proceed.” The physician’s asst. that did my initial consultation asked me if I had kids (no) and suggested that the doctor might ask me a few questions. She was never confrontational in any way, though.”
“The procedure offered was one incision, remove a section of each vas, both suture and cauterize each end, and reroute/bury the upper ends in some fatty tissue, so that the ends aren’t even facing one another in case they try to grow back together. The urologist prefers this procedure because of the tiny incidence of failure. He told me he couldn’t even tell me the failure rate, because there have not been enough failures to date with this procedure to do valid statistics on. During the surgery (done in a “surgical center”), one of the three nurses questioned my choice to have the vasectomy despite being childfree. A dirty look from the urologist quieted her down. I checked the urologist’s experience with vasectomy; he claimed to do 20 to 30 in a typical week, and estimates he’s done over 10,000 during his career. Aside from one cursory “what if?” question, neither my regular doctor nor the urologist gave me any trouble about childfreedom. I have been planning a vasectomy off and on for my adult life. At 20 I decided that if I hadn’t wavered by 25, I’d get it done. But I wasn’t seeing anyone at that time, and I was (an am) reluctant about surgery, so it took another decade-plus to actually get one. The urologist said at my consultation that I should be able to drive myself home, and I did, with no problems.”
“If you are definitely childless by choice, then this is the best decision you can make for yourself. You could have an accident or get “oopsed”, and either way is no fun.”
“I had a vasectomy at an early age (23) so I was a bit depressed when I first found out I was sterile. Although we don’t want kids, I felt “less whole” for a while…I had the older closed-end procedure…”