Much of the conversation about permanent solutions that allow us to not have kids are focused on women. However, more and more men, are choosing to have a vasectomy as they choose to live a childfree life.
I asked Caleb Norris to share his story with me. We are connected on Instagram and he is an active part of the Childfree Happily Ever After community. For anyone considering having this procedure and even the girls, who are considering tubal ligation you will notice the difference in how hard it is for women compared to men to get a permanent solution.
So, let’s hear Caleb’s story. Caleb is 30 years old and lives in Denver Colorado. He is single and has never been married. He had his procedure done in August 2019 and works as a Senior Quality Assurance Tech at Lockheed Martin space systems as well as being a full time student at University of Colorado-Denver.
What are your reasons for permanent birth control
My reason for permanent birth control was that having a child sounded like the worst thing ever and that it would severely compromise my life goals and desires. There has never been any part of me that wanted to have children, even for a brief moment. I have never found it to be appealing in the slightest way. Seeing more and more friends having kids (some planned some not) made me think that there wasn’t a reason for me to not go through with something permanent. I also had heard several horror stories of people lying or being deceptive about birth control being used when it wasn’t. I wanted to take it into my own hands and no without a doubt that the matter was taken care of. Even with birth control options available for women, the pill, IUD etc there is still a very slim chance. I wanted that chance to be zero. So, I took full responsibility for my choice to forever remain childfree and decided to get a vasectomy. It was the best decision I have ever made. I cannot say this enough.
What was the process for you?
I was prepared for the process so it wasn’t horrible but wasn’t as simple as it could have been. I direct messaged my Primary Care doctor at the VA (I receive medical coverage from them due to injuries from my military service). I typically have many many difficulties dealing with her so I sent her a very detailed message with answers to all the questions I knew she would likely ask. (Do you have kids, married, etc etc). She put in the consultation with out any other questions surprisingly. The urology clinic screened me and asked me the usual questions I was expecting. I had been thinking about this for a long time and was very sure and confident with my answers (I had practiced them). They agreed to do it but told me it would be a six month wait. I asked for a referral to see an out of network doctor since it would be such a long wait. They gave me a list of approved clinics which I then referenced to the list on reddit of doctors that are known to perform this procedure on young adults with no children. They were able to get me in I believe within a week or so but they need paperwork and approval for the VA to cover it. I told them schedule it anyways I’ll pay for it if it doesn’t. It did end up coming through in time surprisingly enough. On the day of the operation the doctor asked me if I had kids, if I was married and if I was sure about it. I gave firm confident answers and he said Ok lets do it. They lead me to a different room and did it right there. I was glad to not have to make a separate appointment for it.
How long did the process took from initial Dr consult to procedure?
It took about 45 minutes. They did the procedure in the office, and gave me a nice dose of valium to take the edge off (it worked). The shot for the local anesthetic hurt the most other than that the procedure itself was fairly painless. I felt really sore and didn’t really leave my couch for the weekend (got it done on a Friday). For the first week I was pretty tender and sore much like a pulled groin muscle. Lots of ibuprofen and ice helped a lot. For the next week it was just tender and by the end of the second week I was pretty much back to 100%. I was able to return to work on Monday or Tuesday (I don’t remember what day I went back). I thankfully don’t have a very physical job so it wasn’t difficult to go back to work. I provided a sample at 6 weeks and then again at 8 weeks out and on that one was confirmed to be sterile (BEST DAY EVER!). The requirement is two consecutive samples two weeks apart.
From when I first contacted my Primary care doctor it was about two weeks that I saw the urologist, and then he did the procedure same day. I think from practicing my responses it helped me get it done the same day. I was also prepared for counter arguments as well.
What was the reaction from friends & family including any judgements, criticism, positive feedback?
I’m generally a fairly private person with this stuff, but I am open about it with people I’m close too. My close female friends (many of them are CF as well) congratulated me and were happy and really supportive. Even the others that want kids or have them were supportive along the lines of if that’s what you want I think its a great idea. My dad was also really supportive, he had one as well and my stepmom never wanted kids so he was very supportive to the idea. He actually told me if he never has grandkids he’s perfectly fine and its preferred. I told my younger brother who knew it was what I wanted and he also congratulated me and was proud. My stepsister is younger than me by 7 years but she was on board and also doesn’t want kids. I didn’t talk about it with my other brother or sister or mother. I don’t feel the need to tell them because it would be a pointless discussion in my eyes. I don’t know how they would react and I simply don’t care to find out. I’ve told a few other friends and one is even considering it himself. So overall I’ve had positive feedback, probably because the people I’ve told know me and know how I feel about kids. (I can’t stand them).
In summary, this was one of the best decisions ever made and for any men that don’t want kids, I would definitely encourage them to get it done and never have to worry about it ever again. It’s such a great feeling!