Why You Should Consider “The Big V”


Last week, I was briefly part of an intense, yet enlightening discussion on Twitter about birth control choices for women who were definitely done having children. I try not to chime in on conversations that I miss the genesis of, but in this case, I couldn’t help it. Among tweets of IUDs, hormones and the Pill, there was little talk of what I thought would have been the most obvious birth control solution for partners that were no longer interested in pregnancy—The Big Snip.

That’s right, a vasectomy. But when it finally did come up, it was dismissed very quickly as not a viable, likely or accepted option. I will not judge anybody’s decision as to whether their vas deferens should stay intact or not, but I gotta say, my own opinion on the matter is pretty solid—when it comes to a safe, healthy, relatively simple and permanent birth control solution, I feel like the menfolk should absolutely take one for the team.

As I so vehemently stated in my last post, we knew that we were done at two kids, so when our youngest was just under a year old, my husband had a vasectomy. And just so you don’t accuse me of being an emasculating shrew, it was his idea. The procedure took 45 minutes from start to finish, and even though I passed out when we left the hospital (Don’t ask. I’ll never live it down.), my champion huz was up and around the next day. We played a little bit of Russian roulette during the “be cautious” phase, but otherwise, have enjoyed three years and counting of reproductive freedom with no ill effects to body, mind or sense of manhood.

Somebody on Twitter suggested that a husband should get a vasectomy because it was “his turn,” to which somebody else responded that they don’t see reproductive responsibilities as something that should be measured in turns. It made me think, so I went straight to the source, and asked my husband why he didn’t mind stepping up and having the procedure done.

“I felt like it was my turn,” he answered.

I love him. And, I felt that way myself, after having been through years of being on the Pill, followed by two full term pregnancies, a miscarriage, a home birth and a C-section in less than two-and-a-half years. Add the deaths of both of my remaining grandparents during my first pregnancy and the death of my father during my last, and I’d say I’d weathered enough in the reproductive area of our marriage.

I also asked my husband if he felt the vasectomy was in any way emasculating, to which he slyly answered that no, he didn’t, though my continuous discussion of it online might be. Touché, husband. I’ll end here then, with one last thought on what effect a vasectomy might have on one’s manhood—

It elevates it immensely. Because there’s nothing sexier, and no symbol of being a man greater than the willingness to make a sacrifice for the good of his family.

And gentlemen? Trust me—it’s worth it.

Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of canadianfamily.ca.

6 responses to “Why You Should Consider “The Big V””

  1. I love this post. I’ve been trying to get my husband to get this done for years… and yet we still fumble with birth control. I’m going to get him to read it.

  2. Angella says:

    Amen! My husband got the snip after our third. His Dr.- a family friend – said he thought it was the right thing to do. “After all – women risk the chance of DYING in childbirth.” ;)

  3. jenwilson says:

    I love this. We decided against a vasectomy, but not because my husband wasn’t up for it. I had to have a procedure done in that area anyway and had the Essure procedure done at the same time. It’s safe, quick, easy, and there’s no recovery time. I didn’t have to get put under, either. My husband was relieved he didn’t have to get done, but he totally would have been willing to do it. I agree whole-heartedly with your statement at the end there.

  4. Amy says:

    Well said! I’m currently pregnant with our second, and my husband has volunteered to have “the Big V.” He has friends who have done the same, and they all say it’s no big deal and was a great decision. I really don’t understand why a father wouldn’t want to have one! I don’t think it should have anything to do with “taking turns” or the father owes it to the wife, or any other kind of gender-based argument. It’s simply the most responsible decision for families who are finished having kids.

  5. I am firmly in the camp that the Big V is the way to go. As I see it, there has to be a good medical reason for a guy not to do this. The term “knuckle-dragging-Neanderthal” comes to mind for those who won’t.

  6. […] For another take on The Big V, check out this post by Karen Green. […]