Considering getting a vasectomy...

To start with, I am a 19 year old biomedical engineering student, and yesterday I received some very frightening news: one of my long-time childhood friends is going to be a father. While he seems to be happy about it, it really opened my eyes. I always felt that such a thing only happened to other people. The two were responsible and used protection, and that failed, and being religious his girlfriend does not want to get an abortion. Now, I am not yet dating anyone seriously and certainly not sexually active, but as they say the time will come.

Now, I'm only 19 and in college. I plan to go on to medical school. There are no children in my future for a very long time, if ever. I just feel that it would be the most safe thing for me to do, and then if I and some hypothetical partner ever want children I'll be able to reverse it.

I know it would be covered under my family's insurance, and I have talked about it with my parents, so I just want to know if any of you have undergone the procedure, and how you felt about the decision.

It rather surprised me when you said you'll be able to reverse it, so I looked it up. I know as a med student you probably laugh at looking to Wikipedia, but apparently "Men considering vasectomies should not think of them as reversible." Apparently they can cost upwards of $10,000 in out of pocket expenses (if your insurance won't cover, which I wonder if it would since the vasectomy itself was voluntary in the first place and I don't feel like an insurance company would pay for both), and even after reversal pregnancy success rate is about 55% for the first 10 years after surgery, then 25% after that. Maybe their information is obsolete, but that seems like a lot of trouble to me.

I feel like it's a rather drastic solution to a simple problem, especially since you aren't sexually active at the moment. As Yahtzee once said, it would be like trimming your house plants with a scythe. And 19 seems like a very young age to be making such a drastic decision. If it's really what you want then fine, but I'd find some other alternative if I were you. Look up safe sex practices, be prudent about your partners. To me this just seems like a quick-and-dirty way to avoid responsibility.

I haven't had a vasectomy myself, but I'd certainly want to wait until I became sexually active at least.
If you use both the pill and a condom at the same time, chances of getting the girl pregnant are somewhere around 1 in 10,000 (approx. 99% success rate for each of the contraceptives, if used properly (and in my opinion there just isn't any excuse for not using this stuff properly)).

From what I read on wikipedia, vasectomy reversal is both expensive and not necessarily successful. Personally, I would never get a vasectomy "just in case".

In my case though, I have the comfort of knowing that I'm not likely to be sticking my dick in a girl who is heavily opposed to abortion, considering the political and religious climate in Norway.

I doubt you will even be able to get one.
My brother in law has three children and they wouldn't give him one because he is under thirty.

It'd be a bit overkill to do that, imo.
If you are worried about unintentional pregnancy, wear condoms, date a girl who you trust and is on the pill.
I have been on the pill for six years and it really isn't that hard to not get pregnant.

Phasmal:
I doubt you will even be able to get one.
My brother in law has three children and they wouldn't give him one because he is under thirty.

It'd be a bit overkill to do that, imo.
If you are worried about unintentional pregnancy, wear condoms, date a girl who you trust and is on the pill.
I have been on the pill for six years and it really isn't that hard to not get pregnant.

That's not fair. The pill has been linked to a host of negative health effects. No one should be pressured to fuck up their body's hormones lest it appear they're not doing their part in preventing pregnancy.

That said, apparently there is a correlation between vasectomies and primary progressive aphasia. Preliminary studies suggest that vasectomies allow sperm to leak into the blood system, and the immune system recognises them as foreign agents, resulting in antibodies being created in 60%-70% of men. Since sperm cells share some antigenic epitopes with the brain, antibodies may cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage to the parts of the brain linked with language and expression.

Isn't that interesting?

Weintraub, S et al. Vasectomy in Men With Primary Progressive Aphasia. Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology. 2006: 19(4):190-193.

manic_depressive13:

Phasmal:
I doubt you will even be able to get one.
My brother in law has three children and they wouldn't give him one because he is under thirty.

It'd be a bit overkill to do that, imo.
If you are worried about unintentional pregnancy, wear condoms, date a girl who you trust and is on the pill.
I have been on the pill for six years and it really isn't that hard to not get pregnant.

That's not fair. The pill has been linked to a host of negative health effects. No one should be pressured to fuck up their body's hormones lest it appear they're not doing their part in preventing pregnancy.

I'm not quite sure where I said to date a girl who is on the pill but doesn't want to be.
In fact I'm sure I didn't say that.
There are many women on the pill and quite happily so.
Obviously if there is some reason that a potential girlfriend does not want to be on a pill, there always other contraceptive methods.

Phasmal:
I'm not quite sure where I said to date a girl who is on the pill but doesn't want to be.
In fact I'm sure I didn't say that.
There are many women on the pill and quite happily so.
Obviously if there is some reason that a potential girlfriend does not want to be on a pill, there always other contraceptive methods.

Come on, really? You're taking the "but that's not exactly what I said" approach? Saying "date a girl who is on the pill" is casually endorsing the use of hormonal treatments with questionable long term health effects. I was also more generally addressing attitudes like the one directly above your post that posit "As long as the man wears a condom and the woman takes the pill there's nothing to fear", implying that firstly they are equivalent and secondly that both are necessary if you are to take full precaution. It creates the attitude that going on the pill is standard and to be expected, and anyone who refuses is being unreasonable and comparable to a man refusing to wear a condom.

manic_depressive13:

Phasmal:
I'm not quite sure where I said to date a girl who is on the pill but doesn't want to be.
In fact I'm sure I didn't say that.
There are many women on the pill and quite happily so.
Obviously if there is some reason that a potential girlfriend does not want to be on a pill, there always other contraceptive methods.

Come on, really? You're taking the "but that's not exactly what I said" approach? Saying "date a girl who is on the pill" is casually endorsing the use of hormonal treatments with questionable long term health effects. I was also more generally addressing attitudes like the one directly above your post that posit "As long as the man wears a condom and the woman takes the pill there's nothing to fear", implying that firstly they are equivalent and secondly that both are necessary if you are to take full precaution. It creates the attitude that going on the pill is standard and to be expected, and anyone who refuses is being unreasonable and comparable to a man refusing to wear a condom.

Seriously, you're reading too much into that.
All I am casually endorsing is the OP doubling up on birth control with any partner.
Apologies for not listing every single way one can do that and just going with the more common one.

manic_depressive13:
That's not fair. The pill has been linked to a host of negative health effects. No one should be pressured to fuck up their body's hormones lest it appear they're not doing their part in preventing pregnancy.

That sort of depends on which pill you're talking about, actually. The ones made to treat PMDD have certain side effects (like YAZ), but I'm actually on the standard pill to regulate my hormones. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is basically an imbalance of sexually-related hormones. The pill was the simplest way (and cheapest) to normalize my hormones. Perhaps in women with normal hormone levels it could "fuck them up," I don't really know how it works on them, but from what I understand the greatest risk with YAZ is an increased chance of heart attack due to a change in blood pressure (same as many drugs).

I've been on the pill for 15 years now. The pill isn't the issue here. It's someone technically still in their teens (even if they are an adult) wanting something done that can't always be undone. No doctor will do it for you who is worth their salt and if they did they'd be risking their lisence. You can't always undo it either, and as stated above there are risks involved. I have a coworker whose husband had one done and has been on disability ever since because it was done poorly.

As someone who doesn't want kids herself, I understand your desire, but you're far too young for a vasectomy to happen. Only sleep with someone you trust and use protection. If you'e that paranoid, see about getting your partner to agree verbally (and record it) as well as sign documents possibly witnessed by someone saying that you have no responsibility if pregnancy occurs. This won't hold up in court as legal, but it could help.

And, again, the obvious... only sleep with someone you trust.

Okay, I think you guys are right. The initial panic has worn off now and I realize that it would be a pretty bad idea at this point.

Gotta admit I'd get my tubes tied if I could do it on the NHS childless and under 30. But I am in my third long term relationship and after having to come off of the pill because I suffered from a side effect and then having a slight pregnancy scare a few months ago which made me give it some deep thought. Which resulted in the conclusion: "Children frickin' suck and I can see absolutely no benefit to having them unless I really want to have all of my money, time and energy drained from me."

And generally I'm terrified of the idea of pregnancy and childbirth and I don't think that's going to be something I can avoid whatever age I might do a complete 180 and decide that I want children in my life.

Buuuut, yeah, 19 doesn't sound like the best time to make a decision like that (and like Phasmal said, you might find it difficult to find somewhere that would do it for you at this age anyway). I can completely understand the worry (have to stick to condoms at the moment and I don't trust 'em at all, hence why I spent a good week with a slightly late period growing more and more convinced that I was up the duff despite the fact that I had absolutely no symptoms...) so I would suggest doubling up if you can (as in, using two methods, not two condoms...) Long term contraceptive methods like the pill or the IUD is incredibly effective on its own, really, although they all come with the risk of side effects and complications for the female, which kind of sucks. Another option is to count on condoms but avoid having sex at her more fertile times of the month. I for one am very much not keen on any level of abstention as a contraceptive but it's one way of playing it safe(r).

 

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