Younger men are opting for vasectomies
Andrew Masuda likes his friends' children well enough, but he's sure that he never wants to have any of his own.
Two weeks ago, the 38-year-old Toronto man underwent a vasectomy.
"I first started thinking about getting a vasectomy when I was 17," says Masuda, who adds that his family, friends and girlfriend are supportive of his decision.
According to Dr. John Aquino, medical director of Ontario Men's Health, a vasectomy is a procedure that disrupts the vas deferens - the tube that carries sperm from where they are made at the testicle to where they are mixed with the semen.
Vasectomies are a quick, highly effective and relatively painless method of sterilization.
"The patient will walk right out after (surgery)," says Dr. Aquino. "Most men have recovered fully after three or four days, but each case is unique. Sexually, there should be no change. Actually, a lot of couples report better intimacy afterwards, since there isn't the nagging worry of pregnancy."
More than 55,000 vasectomies are performed in Canada each year.
"The most common scenario is a couple with two or three kids where the youngest is under 3 years old," says Dr. Aquino. "I also see it a lot for men in their 40s or 50s who have children but have recently ended the relationship with their partner. They are moving forward with their lives and for whatever reason want to be sure they don't father more children " (but) there are no rules. We see men and couples in all situations considering this procedure."
That includes younger, unmarried men who have definitively decided that fatherhood is not for them.
James, 32, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of his vasectomy.
"I am very happy to have done it," he says. "It's funny, because I'd always assumed that I'd have some twinge of regret every now and then, but I haven't
"I am looking forward to living my life within an immediate family that encompasses me, my partner -- whom I am ecstatic to marry -- and our cats.
"I don't hate children. My friends have beautiful children who are going to be awesome people. I look forward to being a kick-ass uncle. I look forward to going to visit my future nieces or nephews, hanging out with them, teaching them, but in the end, I am relieved that they're not going to be mine."
Aquino makes it clear -- especially to younger patients -- that undergoing a vasectomy is a serious, life-altering decision.
"I paint scenarios for them where they might regret the decision," he says. "For example ... 'you've just fallen in love with the most beautiful woman on Earth. She wants to be with you but she also wants a child and this is a deal-breaker for her.' If I can't talk them out of it, if they are adult, are of sound mind, and are making an informed decision, I wouldn't deny them the procedure.
"I may try to stall them as long as possible, though, to give them a chance to change their perspective and get more life experience behind them. Why not use a reversible form of contraception when you are young?"
While it is possible to have a vasectomy reversed, the surgery is complicated, expensive and not always successful.
"(A vasectomy) should be considered a permanent procedure," says Aquino. "If a man or a couple is asking a lot of questions about reversals, that's a red flag for me. I'd suggest they spend more time thinking about whether they are really ready to proceed."
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures - online and otherwise – at Sexytypewriter.com