When I had my third and final child, my OB/GYN asked me several times if I'd like my tubes tied, since she was "going to be in there anyway" during the c-section. I felt like asking her to go ahead and check my heart, lungs and digestive tract too, since she'd be "in there anyway". Get the whole shebang checked out!
I elected not to have my tubes tied. Mainly because I knew I was going to have to get back on my feet very quickly, with a newborn and two other children - all under the age of 3. I only had about a five day recovery period. And friends who had their tubes tied were happy with their decision, but told me recovery was hard. And a bit painful. I figured yet another c-section was enough pain and I was fortunate enough to have a husband who happily elected to "take care of things" on his end, instead.
The result is excellent. Our family is complete and we have no nail biting moments waiting for the arrival of my monthly friend (and why do we call 5-7 days of pain, cramping, bloating and bleeding a friend?)and all is well with the world.
But not all men are happy with the notion of male sterility. It's archaic and pretty meaningless, but many a man out there still equates his masculinity with the ability to procreate. Along with that mindset is the notion that a vasectomy somehow interferes with sexual activity. That they won't be able to perform, or it will be different, or worse.
None of that is the case, but those long standing ideas still abound. One man on a chat board complimented his wife for opting to have a tubal ligation (she really did feel that during a c-section, the doctor "was going to be in there anyway" and happily volunteered). She told her husband that women tend to exaggerate the risks of a tubal and tell a man a vasectomy is easy in order to opt out of a tubal. He's lucky she is his wife, he concludes. Because now he has "stayed a Man instead of becoming an IT".
So how safe and easy are these options?
A tubal ligation is when the fallopian tubes are closed and thus prevent pregnancy. It is effective immediately and 99.5% effective. It is an invasive procedure.
Some women have complained of heavy periods afterward, as well as more painful periods. Recovery takes less than a week and a woman can resume sexual activity within about two weeks.
Reversal is difficult and very expensive.
A vasectomy is when two tubes are cut, to prevent sperm entering semen, thus making him sterile. It is less invasive and most men are back to normal the next day, although may feel slight pain for 48 hours.
It is NOT effective straight away. A man may need to ejaculate up to 25 times in order to be sterile. He should always use protection until he gets his sperm counted, which takes place after about 20-25 ejaculations. Generally, he is considered sterile after two sperm free tests.
There is no difference in a man's sex life, whether he has had a vasectomy or not.
It is 99.85% effective. It is reversible but a reversal does not guarantee potency. Like the reversal of a tubal ligation, it can be expensive to reverse a vasectomy and often times neither reversals are covered by insurance.
So which to pick? Entirely depends on the couple. Some believe that if a couple have completed their family, a woman should have a tubal directly after birth. It's convenient and she is already medicated. Other believe a man should since it is generally less painful and non-invasive and recovery time is faster. Some men feel like it's his contribution to the physical "reproduction" part of having a family.
Do you feel either a man or a woman should be more obligated, when it comes to sterility? Does having a vasectomy really make a man less than a man, like many people on opinion and chat boards think?
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