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Vasectomies: Good Form of Birth Control?

Women have many birth control options ranging from The Pill to the IUCs, but men can only rely on condoms to prevent pregnancy. There is another more invasive option though — a vasectomy. Although this seems like a procedure for older men, it turns out that more and more young men are opting for this minor surgery. The procedure is short, can be done in a doctor's office with local anesthesia, and the guy can usually go back to work within a day or two. Young men are into this as a form of contraception because they've heard it can be reversed. So is it a good form of birth control? To find out


First off, let's chat a little about what a vasectomy is. This minor surgery involves making a small incision or hole in the upper part of the man's scrotum. His vas deferens tubes are tied off, so that when he ejaculates, there is no sperm is his semen — in other words, he shoots blanks.

This type of surgery is recommended for older men who don't want any more children, or those who are absolutely certain they never want to be a father. Doctors discourage young men from having a vasectomy because although the procedure can be reversed, it isn't always successful. Of the 10 to 15 percent of guys who change their mind about becoming a father, they'll have to deal with a much more involved operation than the initial procedure (three to four hours long) and there are no guarantees it will be successful.

A vasectomy doesn't prevent against STIs, so a guy will still need to wear a condom unless he's certain his partner is STI-free. I think it's better to be safe than sorry so in my opinion, guys should stick with condoms until there's a male pill!


Join The Conversation
Sumhope Sumhope 8 years
always use a condom even if you have the switch shut off. After all its a protection against stds. Also a woman at my work had five kids got her tubes tied and then promptly got pregnant with number 6 a month later. I guess an egg slipped on by. After that her husband got a vasectomy, it was his turn to get snipped.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
A guy who thinks he can't use condoms because he had his junk switched off? No thanks! STD farm ahoy!
tnmom tnmom 8 years
I don't think any man under 40 should consider it. I was in my late 20's before I decided I wanted children. I was 30 and 32 when I had my daughters. I'd love another, but it would be hard on me, my husband, and my 8 and 10 year old daughters. I was widowed over 5 years ago. My "new" husband is 48 and has voluntered to have the V so I can stop taking the birth control pill. He says it can't be as bad as being shot and stabbed during his military career ;)
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
*steam coming out of ears* Sorry. The "SHE can get cut, I'm not gonna!!!" argument makes me LAY EGGS. Sorry, love, that doesn't fly. My uterus is just as sacred as your scrotum, thanks, and it's also a heck of a lot harder to get to. I guess if I end up with a partner that expects both no babies and no condoms, and I'm supposed to be ok with both his choices, I guess he's getting no sex. Sorry, if my guy looks at the risks and benefits of tubal ligation vs vasectomy and still refuses, there's ISSUES. "Sacred relic" my butt...
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Ah ha! Good to know...I still would like to have mine tied though. *sigh*
Berlin Berlin 8 years are allowed because (1) it is reversible, (2) they can still have children (through surgical retrieval of the sperm and doing it in vitro with the woman's egg and it's still their biological child, and (3) there are very few complications or side effects that could arise. Women that do this, especially young, have the potential to be faced with menopause afterwards...and this would be in their 20s! Plus if a woman has her tubes tied, then there is pretty much no way she will ever be able to have eggs will ever be produced, unlike with a man and his sperm.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Why are guys allowed to do this so young, but if I were to ask my doc to get my tubes tied it probably wouldn't happen seeing as though I'm in my mid-20's? Reversible or not, I should be allowed to not have kids if I so choose.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Looseseal and muirnea: looseseal: "I can't help but be impressed by men who aren't like "OMG not my precious manhood!", instead they're like "surgery to the penis, no biggie." Wow, so brave, so manly. *swoon*" Same here. Yep and when I went to my new gyn. this year and they asked what we used for birth control and I told them that my hubby had a vasectomy 5 years ago, they all (ok all is dr. and nurse lol both females) went on about what a good guy he was to do that. Even the urologist told us when we went in for our consultation that he wished more men would get this done instead of having the wives get tubals. For all the reasons that have been listed in this thread.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
devinedebris: "Thinking...that doesn't happen all that often." LOL, so true. looseseal: "I can't help but be impressed by men who aren't like "OMG not my precious manhood!", instead they're like "surgery to the penis, no biggie." Wow, so brave, so manly. *swoon*" Same here. I agree with people saying the procedure shouldn't be considered much chance involved in that. I don't plan on having kids EVER, but you never know, people change their minds. So I would only recommend the surgery to people who have kids and don't want more or are older (30/40+ maybe). Because the other forms of birth control work just fine, so why not use those if you aren't sure what you want.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I think vasectomies should be used for men and/or couples who either don't want any or any more children. I don't think it's a good "birth control" in the sense that this article means. Even though it can be reversed, it should be considered a permanent option. Most good urologists who perform them will tell their patients that. That even though it can be reversed you should be sure that you don't want any (or any more) children, because reversal is not a guarantee.
MandeeLei MandeeLei 8 years
My husband and I would both be in to have surgery. We truly do not want to have children. We do have some money saved up so technically we could but we have been saving for a down payment [for a house] for a long time now and that is very important to us. I have been taking birth control since I was 14 and am 21 with no pregnancy scares ever! I have been lucky. But I think if I did have one we would be more willing to spend the $$$.
annebreal annebreal 8 years
Voluntary female sterilization is another way, you don't hear that talked about a lot and I've read some pretty compelling, makes-you-think personal accounts of it. I think if a guy hasn't had kids, it probably seems drastic. Depends on him. For married couples, I think the guy should man up and get snipped once they're done having kids. She pushed them out, you snip it, buddy. :P
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
my bf and i are only 20 yrs old so there is no way he'd get it done. we want children in a few years so a vasectomy is a no-go for us.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
^'s kinda fun, (yes that sounds crazy), I would do it if it were necessary. I do want kid and look forward to having the whole "daddy's girl" thing or taking the son out to a game or something...I probably would go through the procedure if necessary, but I'm not thinking about it any time soon, and I find Mr. Hat easier to just deal with. Maybe considered later as an alternative to the other contraceptives...I'd rather get snipped than have her go through cysts and other health complications.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I know some men who have done this and they say it's no big deal. A little soreness at the most, and then everything's fine in a couple of days or so, no horrible pain or anything like that. They're sure they never ever want kids, so this is extra insurance against it, and continuing to use condoms means they're doubly safe. I can't help but be impressed by men who aren't like "OMG not my precious manhood!", instead they're like "surgery to the penis, no biggie." Wow, so brave, so manly. *swoon*
thelorax thelorax 8 years
GScott, a tubal ligation is a much more involved and therefore risky operation, with a longer recovery time.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Guess no surgery for my future marriage or w/e...(I'm so getting cut down for this one)...I'm not looking forward the the funness of the menopause...and I'm not letting anyone near my penis with sharp objects (in which case, I also don't plan on cheating since supposedly I'll get my balls chopped off if I do...).
krae85 krae85 8 years
I'd never ask my husband to do this. and he's way too much of a chicken to ever do it.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Some guys truly don't want kids, it happens. But I would only recommend this (if I would recommend it) to my hubby after we've had 2 or 3 kids.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
Because GScott, I was thinking this option too, but if a woman does a Tubal, than not only is she out for up to 2 weeks, it's an overnight hospital stay, AND she has the potential to be thrown immediately into MENOPAUSE as a result of the surgery! I'm 22 and that wasn't an option! So my mate when in and got a vasectomy. It was about a 3 minute procedure...and I got to watch! And so did he! It was very neat, and after a few days of just tenderness he was back up lol. ** And what's neat is that while I wouldn't suggest a reversal, what you can consider is having the sperm retrieved through injection if you later decide to have kids. It isn't as natural, but it's still the man's sperm and can be put with the females egg and back in her!
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
A Tubal Ligation is a more invasive surgery and carry more risks than a vasectomy- not to mention more expensive. But heaven forbid someone come near a mans penis or testicles! ;) My husband is afraid of a vasectomy and would already have one if he wasn't worried I'd change my mind about children in the future. So we wait. I think a vasectomy isn't a bad idea and more men should do it, why not? When one man has 6 children and can't pay to take care of any of them, why not just get snipped and be done with it? But people should just think before they have kids. Thinking...that doesn't happen all that often.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Why not get Tubal Ligation(it's permanent though) instead?
psterling psterling 8 years
I think its a stupid idea for young men. However, after my husband and I have our children, it will definitely be an option to consider since I'm not crazy about being on pill if I don't have to.
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
What's the problem with condoms? I don't get why guys would want to have surgery before slipping on a jimmy hat. I went off the pill for a number of reasons, and my partner and I have been using condoms exclusively. It's really not bad. I don't get why people hate them so much.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Pffrrt, I'm not letting any doctor cut my testicles or penis or the like unless it's to save my life. Haha, this procedure seems like a losing one anyway. You never know when you actually do want kids again. Lol, cutting the sacred relic just for pregnant free sex? I THINK NOT!
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