Bawling babies, sleepless nights, a non-existent sex life. No wonder some fathers of young children are driven to contemplating ‘the snip’.
Every year, around 15,000 British men have vasectomies — an operation that involves severing the tubes that carry sperm — to ensure they can’t produce any more children.
Yesterday, Mail writer Guy Adams, 38 and a father-of-three, who had a vasectomy last month, declared it ‘every husband’s duty’ to go under the knife at a certain stage in life.
As his wife, Katie, also 38, wrote in these pages: ‘I’d recommend it to any couples who want to take the worry out of contraception and have completed their families.’
But not everyone agrees. Far from it, in fact.
Guy’s views sparked fierce debate, with readers’ stories from around the country flooding in. From the wives devastated that their husbands’ vasectomies had ruined their sex lives to the men left in life-altering pain, we take a look at other side of the Great Vasectomy Debate — and speak to men with some shocking stories to share…
Bawling babies, sleepless nights, a non-existent sex life. No wonder some fathers of young children are driven to contemplating ‘the snip’
THE OP MADE ME GO RIGHT OFF SEX
Michael Moriarty, 37, works in construction and is married to Collette, 35, a full-time mum. They live in North London and have three children: Brice, ten, Louis, eight, and Victoria, four. Michael says:
When our youngest was born in 2011, my wife and I decided our family was complete. Three was a big enough handful — we didn’t need any more little ones running around the house. So, having discussed it together, I decided to have a vasectomy. It was a very straightforward procedure: I went to my GP, was referred to the local Marie Stopes clinic and was in and out in just a couple of hours.
I was in quite a bit of pain for three or four weeks afterwards. It wasn’t constant, just a throbbing sensation from time to time.
Michael Moriarty, 37, works in construction and is married to Collette, 35, a full-time mum
They tell you to wait a while — around six weeks — before having sex, and when the time was up I couldn’t wait to be intimate with my wife again. I hadn’t felt much like sex in the first month after having the snip, but I put that down to the pain and discomfort. We’ve always had a healthy love life and I’ve never suffered from low libido in the 12 years Collette and I have been together.
But to my horror, when my six weeks were up, I found that my sex drive was non-existent. It wasn’t that I didn’t fancy Collette — she’s a beautiful woman, and I adore her — but I simply wasn’t feeling it in the bedroom and my libido had nosedived.
At first, poor Collette thought it was her fault. As a busy mum with three young children to juggle, she wasn’t getting much sleep or time to herself, and she used to get upset, worrying that I no longer found her attractive.
She would try to initiate love making and, every time I rejected her advances, we rowed about it. She took some convincing that it wasn’t her; it was me. It came as a real shock — I wasn’t warned that going off sex was a possible side-effect — and I felt really disappointed.
What was the point in not needing to use contraception any more if I didn’t feel like making love in the first place? I went to the doctor several times but was told there was nothing they could do. It wasn’t that the operation had been botched; it’s just the way it sometimes goes.
Four years down the line, we’re still working on getting our love life back to normal. We try to make time for sex in our relationship and spend evenings together away from the kids.
Things are better, but I still don’t feel like I used to in the bedroom.
Having the snip was the sensible, practical option — but this was something I didn’t foresee. I only hope that one day I’ll get my libido back.
IT LEFT ME IN AGONY FOR 20 YEARS
Colin Davis, 65, a retired charity manager, is married to Marie, 61. They live in Sandhurst, Berkshire, and have two grown-up children, Christopher, 26, and Suzanna, 24. Colin says:
It’s now 24 years since I had my vasectomy, at the age of 41, when my son was 18 months old and my daughter was six months.
Having come to parenthood a little late, my wife and I decided we only wanted two children — and it was an easy decision to go under the knife. But I desperately wish I’d known more about the side-effects.
Because in the intervening years, what started out as a niggling, occasional discomfort in my testicles built up into agonising, sometimes unbearable levels of pain.
It started off fine. I recovered well after the operation and, within weeks, was back on my feet. Then, a few months later, my left testicle became painful and swollen. My GP said it might be an infection and prescribed me a course of antibiotics. It settled within a few days, but started again a few months later.
Colin Davis, 65, said it 24 years since he had his operation and he now suffers unbearable levels of pain as a result
I ended up having increasingly painful attacks, sometimes in both testicles, lasting a day or two, about seven times a year.
Not only was it painful, but it was incredibly debilitating. I could wake in the night with this persistent low-level ache. If I was working, I’d have to sit there in increasing discomfort.
If I had anything nice planned —swimming or an outing — it would spoil everything. It got in the way of even the simplest pleasures in life, such as a round of golf or a countryside walk with Marie.
Guy Adams wrote an article arguing every husband should have the snip – but plenty of people disagree
This lasted on and off for two decades. I’ve always been a grit-your-teeth kind of person, but this was beyond anything I had experienced before. Once, it persisted for three days. My testicles felt really engorged. It was just awful. All I could do was take ibuprofen and go to bed. But as soon as the drugs wore off, the pain returned with a vengeance.
Eventually, after seeing countless doctors around the world over two decades, one finally associated my pain with the fact I’d had a vasectomy. I was astonished — I’d never imagined that this could be the cause.
Apparently, it had all been caused by a build-up of sperm in the epididymis — the coiled tube behind the testis — which was setting off an inflammatory reaction. The sperm is supposed to be absorbed back into the body after the operation, but in my case, for some reason, it had become lodged and was irritating the surrounding tissue.
I scheduled a vasectomy reversal and, two years ago, had the operation. The pain vanished almost immediately afterwards, and I haven’t suffered since. I can’t turn back the clock on my vasectomy, but this was quite a price to pay.
IT FAILED — AND WE HAD A FIFTH BABY
Adam Riley, 48, is married to Katrina, 46. He owns his own construction firm and she is a teacher. They live in Teignmouth, Devon, with their children Sophie, 17, Beth, 16, Emily, 13, Louis, 12, and James, nine. Adam says:
In 2006, my wife and I were living in France with our four children. Financially, we didn’t think it made sense to have another baby — four under-tens were enough of a stretch on their own! We figured it was better for me to go under the knife and recuperate over a couple of days rather than Katrina be out of action for several weeks if she had her tubes tied.
It wasn’t possible to have the operation in France, so I travelled to Birmingham in April of that year to have it done privately. Everything went well and, apart from being a bit sore for a few days afterwards, life carried on as normal. The doctors had warned us to wait three months before having unprotected sex, so we held out as long as we possibly could before making love.
Adam Riley, 48, is married to Katrina, 46, and despite the operation, they still had a fifth child
To my relief, it all felt normal and I didn’t suffer from loss of libido or erectile dysfunction, as I know some men can after having a vasectomy. But alarm bells started to ring a few months later when Katrina, who was training for a marathon, started putting on weight rather than losing it.
She was ill one night after eating seafood, and that was when she admitted to me that she hadn’t had a period for a few months.
On a whim, she decided to do a pregnancy test. Never in a million years did we expect it to come back positive. Shock doesn’t really convey how I felt when I heard that she was carrying our fifth child.
I felt confused: the doctors had told me the vasectomy had been a success. Surely it wasn’t biologically possible?
As it turned out, the vasectomy hadn’t worked, I wasn’t ‘firing blanks’ as I’d thought — and months later we had a bouncing baby boy to show for it.
It certainly wasn’t in our plan, but I don’t regret having a fifth child.
Without James, Louis — our second youngest — would have been our only boy, and with three big sisters that would have been quite a challenge growing up!
Although I definitely don’t want any more children, I wouldn’t have the snip again either.
It didn’t do its job the first time around, so why go through all that pain again?’
Additional reporting: Samantha Brick
…AND OTHER SNIPPETS HIS ARTICLE PROVOKED
Guy Adams’s article sparked fierce debate on Mail Online. Here are some of the hundreds of responses . . .
‘I HAD the so-called snip many years ago at the request of my then wife, who subsequently left me shortly after. She had another child, but I was left unable to do so. I would not have done so if I could have foreseen the future.’
‘I had this done as my partner had extreme endometriosis and couldn’t take the Pill due to historic thrombosis in the family. I am certain that this was the instigator of my now terminal prostate cancer due to its position when diagnosed.’
‘When I had the snip around two years ago, the local anaesthetic didn’t work on the left side. Still makes me shudder.’
‘I’m 47 and I had the snip when I was 33 with three children. I went on to have a divorce, but it was still the best thing I did. You don’t do it because you don’t want any more kids with the partner you’re with. You do it because you don’t want any more children with anyone.’
‘Biggest regret my husband has was having the snip. His marriage broke down not longer after. His ex had the children, which she didn’t want him involved in, but relishes the thought that he can’t have any more children. He met me, we’ve been together ten years, married for five and it breaks us that we can’t have children together.’
‘Don’t do it — it destroyed my sex life.’
‘The only reason we don’t have any kids is because my husband had a vasectomy when married to his first wife. There are thousands of women affected by this. Very, very short-sighted.’
‘My husband got it done to protect our existing family (we could not afford any more) and me (I had difficult pregnancies and several failed contraception methods because of medical issues). This was nine years ago. We are still together, I have no desire to leave him and he is no less of a man, nor does he feel that way.’
‘We have three children and our family is definitely complete. However, there is no way I’d even suggest, let alone insist, my husband had the snip! We’ve no intention of splitting up, but what if we lose the kids?’
‘Changed the sensation for me, worst thing I’ve done.’
‘I had one and it killed my libido flat.’
‘It’s up to the couple to work out a solution that suits them. It is not a man’s duty to have surgery. Seems a waste of money, too. Rather invest that in the children’s future or save it for retirement than spend it on a procedure you don’t need.’
‘I feel sad for the men forced into doing this. Happy marriages break up the whole time, people die — why take the risk?’
‘Had it done. Takes five minutes. Slight discomfort afterwards. Rather that than my wife having surgery. Man up, boys.’
‘I had the snip done twice because the first time it didn’t work. I didn’t want my wife to have to take the Pill any more, but the second time was not good. It hurt like hell.’
We wish we’d never had the SNIP! The Mail’s Guy Adams wrote yesterday that, like him , all husbands should have a vasectomy. But here three chaps who did couldn’t disagree with him more have 2400 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at 2016-10-28 00:20:40. This is cached page on WBNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.