‘Is he going to get ‘the snip’ now?’
When you announce that you are finished with having kids this is normally the question people will ask. Most men will have a very strong reaction to this question, and a lot of women just seem to expect them to take this step, after all they haven’t had to go through pregnancy and child birth.
But should it just be expected that the man must step up to the plate in this situation?
During my second pregnancy my husband and I decided together that this would be our last baby. We discussed our options for contraception after baby arrived and my husband made it clear that he wasn’t comfortable having a vasectomy. He had many reasons, none of which I’ll discuss here because they are his reasons, but I totally respected his decision.
I was fully sure that I didn’t want any more children so after looking at all my options and doing a lot of research, I decided that I wanted Tubal Ligation, in other words I wanted my tubes tied.
I spoke to my consultant in the hospital and enquired about the possibility of getting the procedure if I was to be sectioned while giving birth, but they wouldn’t agree to it. So I waited until the baby arrived and then at my six week check up I broached the subject with my GP. Not surprisingly she urged me to speak to my husband about a vasectomy but I explained that that was not going to happen and insisted upon her referring me for the procedure I was looking for. 19 months later I arrive at the Rotunda for my appointment and again I have a doctor tell me that if should try to convince my husband to change his mind.
And it really pissed me off. Firstly, women have spent many a year fighting for equality and body autonomy, so why would I EVER force my husband to have a procedure that he doesn’t want. I wouldn’t allow him to tell me what to do with my body. And, secondly, I’m the one who gets pregnant so if I don’t want that to happen again then it’s up to me to take whatever measure I deem necessary to guarantee it doesn’t happen.
I get that a vasectomy is less invasive and has a quicker recovery time, but if it’s not what he wants then it’s not an option. I’m stunned by women who insist that their other half goes through with something they aren’t comfortable with. Stop for a second and ask what your response would be if the roles were reversed. I know that a lot of couples make the decision together and that the men are totally on board and that is great, but it seems that it’s a societal expectation that men must be the one to go under the knife to ensure there is no longer the pitter patter of tiny feet.
I am aware of the statistics surrounding the success rates for both procedures and what both entail, both during and after, i.e. recovery time. However at the end of the day, I am the one who gets pregnant and I will be the one to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Men should be allowed to refuse a vasectomy without getting grief. In my opinion the argument of, ‘well I had the kids so now it’s your turn’ is total bull, you had the kids because you wanted them, it was your choice, so let him make his choice about his own body.
PS: I have been made wait three months to consider my choice around having my tubes tied, which I totally understand and I have continued to research and look at my options.