How About A Little Snip, Snip?

October 26, 2001

When a couple’s future plans do not include the possibility of children, they may conclude that surgical sterilization is the best option for preventing pregnancy from occurring. Sterilization is also safer, easier, and a more effective method of birth control. Women can permanently end their chance of pregnancy through tubal ligation. The basic principle is to interrupt the fallopian tubes in order to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg in the uterus. Removing, cutting, heat-sealing, clipping, or any combination of these methods may interrupt the fallopian tube (“YourSurgery” 3). Men have the option of a vasectomy, which blocks the transmission of sperm. An incision is done in the vas deferens, the thin duct that carries sperm cells from the testicles to the penis (“Vasectomy” 1). There are many reasons for a couple to get sterilized. It might be that both of their working schedules do not have time for a child. It could also be that they cannot handle the responsibility of a child. It could even be as simple as being scared of an unexpected pregnancy. More than 90 percent of American women who want to avoid pregnancy use a form of birth control. The reality is that 6 out of 10 pregnancies are unplanned. As a result, a quarter of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are terminated (Rubin 1). There are other methods of birth control, such as condoms, birth control pills, and the IUD. These methods are not permanent and might not be suited for all individuals or situations. Can you imagine having to take a pill every single day for more than 25 years? In our case (my husband and I), we do not want any more children, and I have high-risk problems during labor. My second, and hopefully last, childbirth caused a disease called Bell’s palsy. “Bell’s palsy paralyzes one side of the face. More than 90 percent of the victims of Bell\'s palsy recover in several weeks” (Goldstein 1). I was lucky enough to recover in four weeks and blessed that it did not become permanent. Men who want to become part of the birth experience should consider a vasectomy versus a tubal ligation as a form of permanent birth control.

By enabling couples to control their fertility through sterilization, access to contraception broadens their ability to make other choices about their lives, including those related to education, employment and their relationship. “A study found that 65% of women surveyed want men to play a greater role in choosing a method of contraception. Seventy five percent want men to play a greater role in ensuring contraception is always used” (“Men and Contraception” 1). A vasectomy gives a man control over the size of his family. After the sperm has been cleared, you do not have to worry about making your partner pregnant. This also enables a man to contribute his part, instead of the obligation always being on a woman to deal with birth control.

There are several obstacles that some couples will encounter. The man might think that he may “lose his sexual pleasure”, or that he will no longer be a “man”. There is also the fear of operation. All these concerns and myths can be solved with facts.

Most couples are concerned about vasectomy myths. It is natural for a couple to be concerned about the possibility of loss of sexual pleasure. According to urologist Neil Baum, there is no loss of any sexual pleasure.

A vasectomy does not reduce a man\'s sexual drive or his ability to have or enjoy sex. The procedure eliminates only the man\'s ability to father a child… he can still experience an erection and ejaculation as before. (Baum 1)

Couples would probably enjoy having greater sexual pleasure because they do not have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy. When interviewing Romelia Palomo, a South Texas Community College classmate, she stated, “ Your sex drive does not die with the surgery. And I have hard proof that it does NOT affect their ability or their desire! If you know what I mean.” She also added “ The only thing it did for us was intensify the moment. You know, you do not have to worry about anything anymore, and it