Vasectomies: January 2013

We want your stories for Vasectomy Week at Dads & Families

We want your vasectomy stories, anecdotes, essays, insights for the Dads & Families section. Could be your friends’ or family members’ stories. Could be anything. I want to inaugurate a vasectomy week; I wanna do what Bob Barker did for LA-based pets for dads; I wanna run great pieces on the discussions that went down between spouses, the thought process of deciding on it, the deliberations, the process itself, the consequences of it, reversals, about those who changed their minds, about vasectomies gone wrong, about overcoming the fear, about anything to do with the idea of vasectomies.

In the spirit of personal disclosure, my wife got an IUD that is set to expire, so I have a personal interest in your accounts that transcend those of just an editor.

Let your writer dad friends know. Don’t be intimidated by length–of what you’re writing! I’ll take a paragraph. I’ll take a memoir (in part). It won’t take long, it’s a snap!

We’re shooting for the first week of January to have all content. We’ve got permission to supplement your personal narratives with clinical advice from the nation’s preeminent vasectomy specialist, Dr. Harry Fisch, who has said, “The penis is the dipstick of the body’s health.”

Email your essays, pitches, queries to Dads & Families editor

—Photo by laszlo-photo/Flickr

About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer ( is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.


  1. After my wife had completed her five years on the Norplant birth control system, I told her that I would go in for a vasectomy. The year was 1996, after seeing her in much pain from having the Norplant tubes removed from her arm, we felt this was the best decision for us.

    We had two children and didn’t want anymore so the vasectomy was a good choice for us. I remember telling my mom about our decision and she commented that I must really love my wife. For me to make this decision to take charge of the birth control for our relationship.

    The procedure was a very short time duration of maybe 44 minutes for prep top finish. After a few days of icing the area the pain was gone. It took another two weeks of testing to make sure no sprem was present. The funny part was taking the sample in to the doctors office and making sure it was hot and fresh for testing.

    I don’ regret making this decision for our family and the benefits out weigh the chance of having an unplanned pregnancy again. We no longer have to worry about birth control and the sex is still amazing after all these years. Many of my friends joke they will never get fixed or clipped but then again that’s why they have too many children now (5 – 6 ) each. Best decision we made for our marriage. Thanks

  2. Arthur MacMaster says:

    *** Moderators. Please fix any grammatical errors you find. I am not much of a wordsmith

    My story could be considered “cautionary” in nature.
    First, the back story. About 10 years ago, after many discussions with my partner, I made the concrete decision that I would get a vasectomy. She had been on the “Pill” for the entire time we had been together, but we were both getting worried about long-term side effects.
    At that point we had been together for 6 years and though I had always wanted to have children, she did not, and no amount of debate on my part would sway her. The dream of being a father was a deep one for me, as I loved children and wanted to share my life with at least one. Over the years I came to understand why my partner didn’t want to be a mother, and I fully supported her decision. I came to realize that I loved the reality I had with her more than the dream of being a father.
    My family doctor was supportive but quizzical as to why a “man in his prime” would want to lose the ability to father a child. I gave her my reasoning, and though I don’t think she fully agreed with my position, she signed the request form.

    Now to the comical part. The surgery was supposed to be an “in-and-out” day surgery that should have only been about 30 minutes.
    Mine ended up taking a little longer as the surgeon had a resident with him, and they looked at my testicles as teaching tools. The surgeon performed the steps on one side and took all of 10 minutes, very professional from my perspective. The resident, who happened to be an incredibly beautiful 20’something woman, had a much harder time performing the same steps. I guess the tube they need to cut is quite slippery and hard to pull up to the incision. If I am remembering correctly, she took about 6 tries before she was able to expose the tube and make the cut. There was something very comical about a beautiful woman digging in my crotch that I couldn’t control myself and I started to laugh. The resident, surgeon and nurse all started to laugh with me, and it made for a very enjoyable experience, well as enjoyable as a woman man-handling my fully anesthetized crotch in a room full of strangers could be….

    And on to the cautionary part. 10 years after my surgery; 16 years into our relationship; and at the ages of 40; my partner changed her mind in regards to being a mother. She and I had some very long and very deep heart-to-heart conversations about becoming parents and how the heck we were going to do it. We researched the various options available to us. All had various benefits and costs associated with them, both medical and financial, which had to be weighed. In consultation with a urologist, we decided that a “vasectomy reversal” wasn’t a viable option as the scar tissue on a 10 year old vasectomy makes it harder for a successful re-connecting of the tubes. This makes for a lower chance of surgical success and I would need about 6-8 moths of healing time before sperm would even show in my ejaculate. After more consultations with fertility specialists, we decided to go with IVF and ICSI. (
    My partner is now 33 weeks pregnant and both she and the baby are healthy and happy.

    My final cautionary comment is that the financial costs, the emotional costs, and the psychological costs associated with these advanced fertility procedures are very high. Yes, a vasectomy can be reversed, and yes there are other ways you can have children, but please learn from my example. Be very, very, very, very positive that you are fully committed to having a vasectomy.

  3. I will be quite interested in reading this series. For my Best Half and I, a vasectomy warranted very little discussion or debate. Neither of us have ever wanted children, and at this stage of life, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll change our mind. For us, his vasectomy was nothing but one ginormous positive (and it gives us a lot of peace of mind). 🙂

  4. Your email is misspelled.

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