My husband is not a great gift giver. He’s not overly sentimental or celebratory about holidays or anniversaries. Most of the time, he doesn’t give me lavish or romantic gifts and that’s especially true of Valentine’s Day, which in his mind, is a total racket.
But a few years ago he gave me one of the best gifts he could have possibly given me. While our fourth and final child was still in utero, he handled his business like the caring, responsible, committed partner he is and scheduled himself a vasectomy.
And you know what? It’s the best thing he could have ever done to improve his chances of more and better sex for the rest of his life.
Not just because I’m grateful that he went under the knife, but because I’m not on the libido-killing hormones that tanked my mood, zapped my energy, and caused me daily stress for nearly fifteen years.
Truth be told, he isn’t a hero. What he did shouldn’t be so remarkable, but it is. In my opinion, I see no reason why more heterosexual cis men who are done having children shouldn’t be signing up for the procedure.
It’s minimally invasive, highly effective and it will make your partner happier, healthier and probably hornier, too. But, it never ceases to amaze me when I hear friends discuss in hushed tones their own partner’s unwillingness to consider it.
Excuses range from concern about the pain of the procedure to the unfounded fear it will impact ejaculation or erection. These fears are not only misguided, but they’re also misogynistic, too.
When unplanned pregnancies happen, it’s our bodies and our lives that are upended.
Meanwhile, hormonal birth control for women increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and cancer. IUD’s can cause serious injury, fertility issues and even death. Tubal ligation is fairly invasive and carries significant risks as well.
Still, women are expected to bear the burden of all of these complications to prevent pregnancy because the consequences and costs of not doing so disproportionately impact us, too. When unplanned pregnancies happen, it’s our bodies and our lives that are upended.
In the U.S., women are expected to recover from childbirth while at the same time caring for their newborn — often alone. Women face both the pressure to breastfeed and the physical, emotional and mental demands of doing so.
Women face returning to work after as little as a few weeks of leave or stalling their careers to stay home. It’s time we expect more of men. It’s not too much to ask that men accept such a minimal share of the physical toll of family planning.
So men, if you’re reading: You don’t have to get flowers or chocolates or take her to dinner this year. Just get a vasectomy already. Because nothing’s sexier than never having to worry about an unplanned pregnancy again.