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Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

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Men in the US typically do not talk about or worry about birth control that much, to the detriment of the health and safety of women. In the spirit of trying to change that a little, I’m going to talk to you about my experience. About a decade ago, knowing that I did not want to have any more children, I had a vasectomy. And let me tell you, it’s been great. Quickly, here’s what a vasectomy is, via the Mayo Clinic:

Vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia.

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or a more casual one, knowing that you’re rolling up to sexual encounters with the birth control handled is a really good feeling for everyone concerned.1 Women have typically (and unfairly) had to be the responsible ones about birth control, in large part because it’s ultimately their body, health, and well-being that’s on the line if a sexual act results in pregnancy, but there are benefits of birth control that accrue to both parties (and to society) and taking over that important responsibility from your sexual partner is way more than equitable.

(Here’s the part where I need to come clean: getting a vasectomy was not my idea. I had to be talked into it. It seemed scary and birth control was not something I thought about as much as I should have. I’m ashamed of this; I wish I’d been more proactive and taken more responsibility about it. Guys, we should be talking about and thinking about this shit just as much as women do! I hope you’ve figured this out earlier than I did. Ok, back to the matter at hand.)

Vasectomies are often covered by health insurance and are (somewhat) reversible. These issues can be legitimate dealbreakers for some people. Some folks cannot afford the cost of the procedure or can’t take the necessary time off of work to recover (heavy lifting is verboten for a few days afterwards). And if you get a vasectomy in your 20s for the purpose of 10-15 years of birth control before deciding to start a family, the lack of guarantee around reversal might be unappealing. Talk to your doctor, insurance company, and place of employment about these concerns!

Does the procedure hurt? This is a concern that many men have and the answer is yes: it hurts a little bit during and for a few days afterwards. For most people, you’re in and out in an hour or two, you ice your crotch, pop some Advil, take it easy for a few days, and you’re good to go.1 It’s a small price to pay and honestly if you don’t want to get a vasectomy because you’re worried about your balls aching for 48 hours, I’m going to suggest that you are a whiny little baby — and I’m telling you this as someone who is quite uncomfortable and sometimes faints during even routine medical procedures.

So, if you’re a sperm-producing person who has sex with people who can get pregnant and do not wish for pregnancy to occur, you should consider getting a vasectomy. It’s a minor procedure with few side effects that results in an almost iron-clad guarantee against unwanted pregnancy. At the very least, know that this is an option you have and that you can talk to your partner and doctor about it. Good luck!

  1. Just to be clear, you still have to worry about sexually transmitted infections — a vasectomy obviously does not provide any protection against that.

  2. There also is a follow-up about 6-12 weeks later to make sure the procedure worked. You masturbate into a cup and they check to see that there’s no sperm in the sample. Part of this follow-up, if my experience is any guide, includes checking that the doctor’s office bathroom door is locked about 50 times while watching very outdated porn on a small TV mounted up in the corner of the tiny room. It’s fine though! And you have a fun story to tell later.

Tags: medicine
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trevorjackson
13 days ago
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I thought I would have to abstain from sex for a very long time, months, during recovery. It’s about a week!
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5 public comments
acdha
15 days ago
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“It’s a small price to pay and honestly if you don’t want to get a vasectomy because you’re worried about your balls aching for 48 hours, I’m going to suggest that you are a whiny little baby — and I’m telling you this as someone who is quite uncomfortable and sometimes faints during even routine medical procedures.”

“Ache” was only warranted for the first day, too. I’ve stubbed my toe worse.
Washington, DC
CrystalDave
15 days ago
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10/10, would do again
Seattle, WA
jepler
15 days ago
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My own vasectomy is 25+ years ago and it must have more than paid for itself by now. Consider it, yo.
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
jepler
15 days ago
Oh, and, I was allowed to 'produce' my sample at home. phew.
deezil
16 days ago
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I think I'm going to call the doc next week.
Louisville, Kentucky
cjheinz
16 days ago
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Ditto this.
I was vasectomized almost 40 years ago. No problems, no change in functionality (except for no pregnancy).

Surprise Visit

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Hey! Please follow @lamebook on instagram! Thank you!

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trevorjackson
66 days ago
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too much politics. i thought this was kim reynolds
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Same But Different

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Hey! Please follow @lamebook on instagram! Thank you!

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trevorjackson
74 days ago
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This was at the University of Iowa.
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We're Never Going To Fix Any Of This

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I suppose it's older age cynicism settling in, but seeing the endless cycles of one step forward, two steps back, on numerous issues takes its toll. Brief windows open up and then the powerful backlash forces step in.

Fanatical devotion to the status quo is, sadly, considered to be the height of seriousness in The Discourse. I'd even be more accepting of this if it was merely, "the status quo, but a bit more convenient," but often it is impossible to stare down even the trivial forces that impose large burdens on the rest of us.

I mean, "we" can't even fix spam calls. There are also the related cycles of, "YOUNG PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR WILL SAVE US," followed immediately by, "oh no, not like that."

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trevorjackson
118 days ago
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feeling similarly dispirited about the future of the us lately. planning an exit strategy.
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Lawyers Be Lawyering

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I don't know why Sotomayor agreed to this statement in attempt to make Gorsuch look like less of an asshole, as gullible media people would run with it at the expense of their own notional colleague, Nina Totenberg, but Totenberg didn't report that Sotomayor asked Gorsuch to wear a mask, she reported that Roberts asked him. ...and a late development! Probably didn't say "on the bench" precisely... Other people who attend have to wear N95 masks, so, interepret all this how you wish!
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trevorjackson
122 days ago
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fucking lawyers
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Jon Hamm Narrates Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Updated for the Timeline Era

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In Plato’s allegory of the cave (part of his The Republic), the reader/listener is asked to imagine people trapped in a cave whose only experience of the outside world is observing shadows cast by people outside the cave, which becomes their reality. In this clip from the TV show Legion narrated by Jon Hamm, Plato’s allegory is extended to our present age, where we’re mediated by devices and social media algorithms into individualized shadowy caves of our own.

Now, what if instead of being in a cave, you were out in the world — except you couldn’t see it because you trusted that the world you saw through the prism was the real world. But there’s a difference. You see, unlike the allegory of the cave where the people are real and the shadows are false, here other people are the shadows, their faces, their lives.

(via open culture)

Tags: Jon Hamm   Legion   Plato   TV   video
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trevorjackson
123 days ago
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If you haven't watched Legion, you missed one of the most daring shows of the last decade. Lots of mistakes, but that's always the risk
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