Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Vasectomy, ten years on

I had a vasectomy just over ten years ago, at the end of June 2008. The reasoning was fairly simple. When you have two children with severe disabilities, it’s difficult not to conclude that something is up genetically. In any case I was 41, and we had three children and did not want any more. So the choice was between continued use of contraception, with the non-zero attendant risks of failure, or medical intervention.

And the fact is that a vasectomy is far less invasive than the equivalent procedures for people with wombs and Fallopian tubes, which involve major surgery. It is an uncomfortable day in outpatients followed by a few uncomfortable days of recovery, and then it’s over; and your mind is at rest. And you can’t really compare the discomfort of a few days of exceptionally tender groin swelling to the bodily disruptions of pregnancy and childbirth. (One interesting point on consent - the hospital needed Anne’s signature as well as my own before going ahead.)

In retrospect, I should not have scheduled the procedure for the week before I moved office. My testicles swollen to the size of grapefruit (well, maybe not quite that big, but it sure felt like it) I was reduced to sitting around, in a masterly but uncomfortable way, watching my colleague, aided by a helpful friend and young F (then aged eight), packing and then unpacking boxes and assembling newly bought IKEA furniture. Also, a few days earlier I had broken a back tooth on an olive stone, so I was in some distress at both ends.

But in the end, there are worse things in life. Fortunately we have the technology to safely control our own reproduction; and while not everyone may want to use it, we should strive to ensure that everyone is able to access it when they need it.
Tags: ooogh

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