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Is It Time for My Husband to Snip Snip?

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Angela Chee: Dare I say that my husband may have to have the big V?

man crying

I just had my second child and I'm not planning on a third, so it's time to have the birth-control talk. Pill, condoms, IUD ... or is it time for my husband to snip snip? 

I never thought I'd be in a place to have this discussion, but here I am. You spend most of your early years trying to prevent pregnancy, your married life trying to conceive -- and then it comes full-circle after you have kids. What am I going to do for long-term birth control?

It's been years since I've been on the pill, and I don't really want to go back on hormones. I'm still breastfeeding, so I need to take the "mini-pill." It's basically progestin only, so it doesn't affect your milk supply. The downside is, you have to take it at the same time every day, or it doesn't work -- the window is like an hour. Great: With work, two kids and breastfeeding, I already have a hard time remembering to take my prenatals.

Another option -- an IUD -- seems kind of scary. I know it's supposed to be safe, but having something inside me for five to 10 years feels weird to me. One is copper and lasts 10 years; another has hormones and lasts five.

Condoms ... man, I haven't used one of those in a while. That doesn't seem like a good long-term solution.

So I guess it may be time for my husband to snip snip. A vasectomy. It's a good option because it's permanent, and also bad because it's permanent. I don't really want another child, but I also don't feel ready to say absolutely not. There are reversal surgeries, but no guarantees it will work-- and who wants to go through that again? He says he's willing to have a vasectomy (which is great), but I'm reluctant. If he's willing to go through with the procedure, why am I scared?

Do I secretly want more children? No -- but I guess I don't want to rule it out, either. I started doing some vasectomy research; there's the traditional and the non-scalpel method. From most of what I've read, both have equal success -- so I don't know why most wouldn't want the non-scalpel procedure, since it has a shorter recovery time and less scarring.

While the procedure only takes around 15 to 20 minutes, it's not a quick fix: You need to wait a few months after the surgery (to make sure it worked) before you get the all-clear. So for now, I'm just stalling with the "mini-pill" and the box of condoms in my drawer.

9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 19, 2010, 4:44 AM

I have an IUD and love it. paraguard…it lasts 10 years. Ive heard stories from friends that made me hesitant to get it, but am very pleased that I did. My husband doesnt want to get snipped until after the 3rd….

Maggie April 19, 2010, 7:38 AM

“I don’t really want another child, but I also don’t feel ready to say absolutely not.”

I feel the same way! Every day, the urge lessens but I can’t shut that out completely. It would be too final.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Lilia April 19, 2010, 8:05 AM

this is my 3rd i am pregnate with now and my husband said he will get sniped so i do not half to go threw the surgery

Rob G April 19, 2010, 8:27 AM

Just a thought: Vasectomy’s aren’t quite so surefire as you think. I have two friends who got them, and despite getting the all clear from doctors (after the required wait time) their wives got pregnant anway. Apparently it’s possible, although somewhat rare, for the body to heal itself enough for this to to happen. And yes, for the skeptical out there, we’re sure that the kids are actually theirs. So while I think a vasectomy isn’t a bad thing, I don’t think I’d ever trust it completely.

Eric April 19, 2010, 9:58 AM

Look into the coil. My wife had it done and it was only 5-10 min and no pain. There are no reversals to this but is 100% effective after 3 mo. You get an xray to show total blockage of the tubes. No hormones to deal with for you and no frozen veggies for him.

kurt April 19, 2010, 10:12 AM

Women have multiple options for birth control while men only have 3: Abstinence, condoms, and vasectomy. Everyone needs to be responsible for your their birth control.

In your article you eliminate all the potential forms of birth control and decide it’s time for your husband to get vasectomy:

“So I guess it may be time for my husband to snip snip.”

It looks like you made that decision in your own mind already without even consulting your husband. That is SELFISH, rude, and disrespectful.

If you force your husband into a vasectomy and then he ends up divorced or if he wants to have more children, he has very limited recourse while you can easily decide to have another at no cost to you. A vasectomy allows you to change your mind, but doesn’t give him the same right. That’s SELFISH and unfair.

How do you feel about getting your tubes tied? That’s the same type of solution as a vasectomy. You say you don’t want more children, but then won’t say you’re ruling it out. Give your husband the same option. Communicate your issues with your husband and decide on a solution together.

Debbie April 19, 2010, 12:31 PM

My husband asked me to get my tubes tied after having my second child, but I’m having my major doubts about doing the deed. So I asked him if I get mine tied he gets his snipped, well let’s just say it didn’t go so well, tell a man to get a snip and his first reaction is a H*** NO. Why should I stop being a fertile woman when my husband can still procreate. We sucessfully used condoms when we didn’t want to get preggies. Not that I don’t my husband not to cheat on me but I feel that he gets his active little swimmers while I get bumkins. My husband is the one who states he only wants two kids I feel maybe one day five years from now or later that I should have a choice to have one more or at least not feel like I cheated my self out of the option (not that I want to be an octomom but just that I get a choice) I would say that this is one of those double standards

HeeHee April 19, 2010, 4:17 PM

Snip Snip!

Chrissy April 19, 2010, 5:56 PM

I agree with Kurt.
If she is not cetain she wants to rule out kids - then what happens if she decides down the road she really, really, really wants another child but she harunged her husband into getting a “snip snip”?
It feels to me that this conversation is premature because she HASN’T completely ruled out the possiblity for another child.
Give up the pills, use the condoms (it’s time your husband takes some responsibility on the birth control dept). Then maybe in a couple of years you will both know for certain that you do or don’t want another child. Time is on your side, use it.

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