Case Study

Tony, 39, Avionics Engineer

The conversation about 'the snip' started about a year after our second daughter was born as my wife wasn’t getting on with her contraception as well as she had after our first daughter. I was initially really against having a vasectomy; I had no problem with not being able to father any more children, but was worried about the procedure itself. It took almost two years for me to come around to the idea and the final decision came down to the fact that I knew that I didn’t want any more children, and out of consideration for my wife and her issues with her current contraception.

As a first step, I booked an appointment with my GP. The conversation was pretty straight forward, I’m 39, have two beautiful girls, and I’m very happy with my wife. According to my GP I was pretty much a standard profile. My GP explained the procedure and warned that it should be considered irreversible; he would send off the referral letter and said that I should expect to hear from Marie Stopes International within a few weeks.

My GP explained the procedure and warned that it should be considered irreversible; he would send off the referral letter and said that I should expect to hear from Marie Stopes International within a few weeks.

A couple of weeks later I received a letter from Marie Stopes with more information and a number to call to arrange an appointment. I was in the middle of a building project at the time so called to say I was unable to commit to a firm date but would get back in touch soon. Just before our summer holiday I called back to book an appointment for the next month, I arranged to take some time off of work and asked a friend to drive me to and from the clinic. I’d opted to have a telephone consultation before the day of my procedure and had then incidentally forgotten all about this, so when the phone rang a couple of weeks later I was about to tell them I was not interested in whatever they wished to sell me! During the phone consultation, the lady from Marie Stopes ran through some medical questions and explained the procedure in more detail to make sure I understood what was going to happen. I think she was a little concerned with my remark that I intended to cycle home after the procedure!

On arriving at the clinic the staff were very friendly and helpful and I was quickly booked in. I was also asked if I was happy for one of the telephone consultants to watch the procedure, she would then be able to answer questions from firsthand experience when carrying out the phone consultations, like the one I had received two weeks earlier. At first, I was a little apprehensive at the thought of the consultant (who happened to be a young lady) seeing me at my most vulnerable, but thinking back to similar situations my wife had been in, I could hardly say no.

So after a short wait and a blood pressure check, I was on ‘the slab’. In the room with a male nurse, a female doctor, and the telephone consultant, I could only smile inwardly to myself at how surreal my situation was. Now I’m not going to lie, the thought of a needle in that region brought on quite a sweat, but whilst uncomfortable it was not agony. It was a shock to me how quickly the anaesthetic took effect, and the procedure was now underway with only a smell akin to burning hair and a slight tugging to indicate anything was happening. Just a word of warning, you have two, so expect to be numbed twice, the second came as quite a surprise.

Within ten minutes it was all over and smiles all around. I was led through to the recovery room for a coffee and ginger nut biscuits, oh the irony. After half an hour’s rest, a brief on the do’s and don’ts, and a bag containing the specimen pots and instructions, I was off home. I was warned that the anaesthetic would take a few hours to wear off. In reality, it was 2 hours and 35 minutes later that I felt a dull ache similar to that experienced if they were to be squeezed gently.

The ache continued for a couple of weeks, alternating from side to side and changing in intensity depending on how much moving around I did. I’ll say no more than everything was back in working order within a short period of time, and no changes were experienced as a result of the procedure. I’d summarise by saying, whilst not the most pleasant of experiences there are no long lasting physiological effects. So get down to it!

MEET: PETER, 49

"Everyone at the clinic was really supportive and professional"

Peter, 49

MEET:

Chris, 51

"Marie Stopes was the most convenient for us"

MEET:

Ian, 47

"My recovery was much quicker than I was expecting"

MEET:

Tony, 39

"It took almost two years for me to come around to the idea"

MEET:

Bennett, 35

"I was back at work within a few days"

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