Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Date of Publication: May 3, 2019
Author(s): Felicity Hannah
Newspaper: The Guardian
Vasectomies are suddenly unpopular, but in a heterosexual couple it’s a feminist action for a man to take.
My husband doesn’t want a vasectomy. I don’t blame him: it might be a 15-minute procedure carried out under local anaesthetic, but it’s not exactly a spa treatment. When I suggested it might be the answer to our family planning, he winced and joked that he had “seen what the snip did to the dog”.
He’s not alone in his reticence; there was a 64% decline in the number of men getting the procedure in the 10 years to 2015. But the thing is, he and I have finished having babies and I feel like my turn should be over. A vasectomy would feel like a feminist action on his part, an acknowledgment of everything I have been through that has got us to this point in our lives.
Yes, contraception played a huge role in liberating women, and in heterosexual relationships both men and women benefit from being able to plan their families. But it can also have a real impact on the wellbeing of women – it certainly has on mine. A few weeks ago I asked my doctor to remove my hormonal coil, the latest birth control method to have gone badly for me. Its removal worked a kind of magic as I recovered from its effects: I lost 4.5kg in two weeks, the acne I had developed cleared up, and the low-level fug of lethargy and sadness I had been feeling vanished.
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