Posted: May 16, 2013 11:00 AM
Snip, snip! He's finally getting a vasectomy! While we're sure his doctor will fill you in on most of the details, here are some FYI facts about what he's going through so that you can help him get back on his feet quickly.

The need-to-know details

Here are a few little tidbits of information about vasectomies:

  • Knife-free:While your husband will probably consider this "going under the knife," vasectomies are now commonly performed without a scalpel or even a needle to numb the penis. In other words, being squeamish is no longer a good excuse, guys!

    Isolated birth control

  • Keep your backup method: Active sperm can stay in his system for weeks to months after the procedure, so be sure to get the "all clear" signal from his doctor before going birth control-free. The office will test his semen to ensure that it is safe to have unprotected sex — don't miss those appointments!
  • Schedule downtime: While a vasectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, often only needing a couple of days of recovery time, many men who experience pain or complications post-vasectomy do so because they pushed it with too much activity, too quickly. Force him to kick his feet up for a few days and pamper him like he did when you had given birth (ahem).

What he says

We're thankful to have a few guys give us the real scoop on getting snipped! Here's what they had to say:

  • Isolated pill bottleIgnore the stories: One husband shared that the water cooler stories that guys pass around the office about getting a vasectomy are enough to make anyone run the other way. "You have to put it out of your mind — the stories of testicles swollen to the size of bowling balls and the pain so severe that it makes you pass out." He fully admits that while these stories are certainly entertaining and pack a big punch in a group of their buddies, most guys know that they're also practically urban legends.
  • The secret is out: "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," shares a dad of three. "The anticipation of the procedure was the worst part."
  • Don't let him play tough: But, that being said, don't let him skip out on painkillers or getting the rest necessary to heal. All of the guys that lent their helpful experiences for this article admitted that they probably got moving a little quicker than they should have. Encourage him to take one more dose of pain medicine before going cold turkey and to spend one more afternoon catching up on man-flicks on Netflix before heading back to work. If there was ever a time to leave the tough guy routine at the door, let him do it now.

What she says

Whether you're still in discussions with the guy in your life about getting a vasectomy or he has an appointment on the calendar (apparently March Madness week is a popular choice!), the most important part of your job is to be supportive... no matter how you actually feel about him getting the procedure.

Some tips from women who have been in the passenger seat on this issue:

  • Look beyond the snip: "I think the hardest part, for me, was really empathizing with what it meant in the big picture for him." She admits that she didn't think it was a big deal and assumed that it was a part of their long-term birth control plans, so she was surprised when her husband pushed back.
  • Discuss, talk and chat: While nobody really wants to talk about the details of getting a vasectomy, it's important that you're both on the same page — for the procedure itself and for your relationship. "I wish I had thought to approach it more delicately, to really embrace the idea of a discussion about it and to consider how much of an impact this was having on him," one mom shares about her husband's vasectomy.
  • Consider your own feelings, too: While women often get the bad rap for forcing their husbands to go under the knife, often times the roles are reversed, with him insisting on a vasectomy, while you still had another pregnancy — or two — on your heart. "The decision not to have more kids was a little difficult for me to make peace with, so I think the time leading up to the procedure was more emotional for me than it was for him."

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