It is common in hetereosexual couples that the female partner is solely responsible for contraceptive needs. Outside of condom use, which can fluctuate or be used temporarily, women are required to take ownership of pregnancy prevention entirely on their own. This involves taking or using different forms of birth control for year after year, many of which have side effects that negatively impact a person’s quality of life. It is rare for male partners to really consider this in a serious way – the idea that one person can take this role on by themselves for years, sometimes even decades.
This is why a vasectomy can have such a significant positive impact for a couple. It’s not just the inherit benefit of knowing you will not be at a risk for pregnancy and can also enjoy the spontaneity of intercourse without needing to stop and confirm protection – it’s a degree of freedom that female partners possibly haven’t enjoyed since they first became sexually active.
Vasectomies help women, here’s how:
- There is no further need for birth control – As “convenient” as birth control is typically advertised, it does require upkeep. This means that the female partner will need to schedule further appointments, pay co-pays, pay for birth control means if not covered by insurance, deal with side effects, coordinate with her doctor to test different types if the side effects are impairing her quality of life, test different birth control forms to find one that works best or at least provides the least amount of complications, remember to take a pill at the same time every single day (if applicable), make the trip to the pharmacy whenever required, etc. So, it is very easy to say, “Oh, it’s just one pill…” when you really have no idea of the full scale of responsibility and medical care that is needed.
- Also worth noting, the effects associated with birth control are wide ranging. They include: weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, spotting, decreased sex drive, breast tenderness, skipped periods, headaches, nausea, vaginal discharge, and in more rare but serious cases you could experience blood clots, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of certain cancers.
- There is no need for women to be solely responsible for contraception – Have you ever heard of “the mental load”? To paraphrase, it is the constant, never-ending mental list of responsibilities women are responsible for on their own in relationships. For many couples, just one item on this long list can include contraception. As noted above, this is not simply taking a pill or attending appointments to have an IUD inserted (can be painful) or to receive an injection. It involves insurance, co-pays, pharmacy visits, doctor visits, side effects, painful procedures, scheduling, organization, etc. With a vasectomy, women can be free of this list of responsibilities that fall on them from one month to the next, and year after year.
There can be a return to a better sense of ownership of the body – For some, years of birth control is of little concern; they don’t experience side effects and don’t mind the list of responsibilities that come with a prescription that they’ll take from their early 20’s into their 40’s. However, for others, the years of birth control can take a toll. Stopping whatever you’re in the middle of to take a pill, making sure that you time your doctor’s appointment well so your prescription doesn’t run out after a year, dealing with an IUD insertion, remembering that it’s been three months since your last contraceptive injection, etc. When there’s a vasectomy, this can all end. There’s no longer a need to have hormonal or otherwise medication in your body, or to experience the side effects that often accompany these forms of pregnancy prevention.