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 dwmitch
Joined: 12/31/2009
Msg: 1
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
A conversation with an acquaintance this morning plus a thread I had just participated in a few minutes ago have me wondering: If there's a couple, one wants children, or is at least open to the idea, and the other absolutely doesn't want them whose responsibility is it to get a procedure?

The last woman I dated was dead set against kids. It's not that she didn't want them, she just didn't want to risk passing her condition on to them. When we became engaged she insisted that I get a vasectomy. Her argument was that it's a less of an ordeal for men and it can be reversed.

My argument was that she's the one who didn't want to have kids, if something happened and I ended up single again I would like the option of finding someone to raise a family with, and vasectomies aren't guaranteed to be reversible. In many cases the reversal is just needless cutting, wasted money, and you're still sterile.

I firmly believe that if one person is so opposed to having children that they see the need for sterilization it's that person's responsibility to get the procedure. If I were opposed to having kids I wouldn't insist that a woman had a tubal ligation. I would get the vasectomy.

Yet there are many instances where it's the woman who has decided that she's never having kids and she puts the responsibility on the man. If the man is equally opposed to parenthood then I would agree that he should be the one under the knife, but it is unreasonable for the woman to unilaterally decide that he will be the one rendered sterile, especially if he wants kids.

Take my case, for instance. It's obvious that I didn't make it to the altar, otherwise I wouldn't be here or my marital status would be divorced. I was willing to adopt, if not give up on having kids to be with this woman, but where would I be now if I had it done? She wanted me to get the procedure the week we discussed it (no pregnancy scares as we hadn't been doing anything that could result in pregnancy, she just wanted to make sure that it was over and done before marriage), even going so far as to offer to pay for it and take a week off of work to stay with me during the recovery period, but had I taken her up on that offer it would have been pointless. I would have ended up single again, as issues not even remotely related to reproduction got the better of us, I'd have to pay for the reversal out of pocket, and there would be a chance that I would be doing little more than paying a doctor to cut me when I can get myself covered in cuts for free.

I get the logic behind it. It's a minor procedure compared to tubal ligation, but while I have been raised to believe that marriage is for life, in reality that's rarely the case. I've seen people who were high school sweethearts, who seemed at the age of 18 that they would go to the grave together years later end up divorced in their 20s and 30s. I only personally know four couples where both parties are in their first marriage. Divorce happens and sometimes men even become widowers at a young age.

And here's a little secret: While the common perception is that a lot of women want kids and for men it's just something that happens that they learn to deal with, a lot of men actually want kids. We just don't talk about it. Agreeing to stay with you when children are off the table doesn't mean that if you give us the boot we won't look for a woman willing to start a family with us.

It works the same for women, too. If she doesn't want kids and married a guy who was willing to have a vasectomy for her that's no guarantee that they'll stay together. He could decide that he wants a divorce, or she could just run out and leave him, or he could pass away, any number of things that would end her marriage. And then when she starts dating again she has to convince the next guy. He might not be as willing. If a woman decides once and for all that she's never having kids or she's done having kids it would make more sense for her to get the procedure than to talk guys into it, especially since doing so might drive away a guy she would have been perfectly happy with, or his refusal would have ended an otherwise good relationship.

When it's mutual consensus that a couple doesn't want children or it's the guy who doesn't want them the guy should be the one to take responsibility. The procedure is less damaging and there's a chance that it can be reversed if you change your mind. But women, if you're absolutely opposed to the idea and your boyfriend/husband is on the fence or wants kids then it's up to you to go under the knife. Either that or sign a legally binding contract stating that if the relationship/marriage ends you'll pay for the reversal. Asking a guy who's open to the idea of paternity to get a procedure because you don't want kids is about the same as having him puncture his eardrums so you won't have to listen to his music.
 ryuoki
Joined: 11/15/2013
Msg: 2
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 2:43:56 PM
It is ultimately up to each individual. But in regards to vasectomy, it is a minor procedure. Minor incision, local anesthetic, and cut cut snip snip tie off and the patient will in essence be shooting blanks. In and out within a doctors visit. Also reversible in most cases. But if the male doesn't want vasectomy then both in that relationship have a problem to talk through or call it quits.
 forumitejunkie
Joined: 1/12/2012
Msg: 3
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:13:37 PM
This is one of those seemingly "no brainer" issues that can actually have big repercussions in a relationship.

Yes, if BOTH parties are in agreement on not wishing more children, then it's the all-around easier path for the man to have a vasectomy. If only ONE party is certain, then it is THAT person's responsibility.

But ... disagreement about such a fundamental issue often indicates the relationship isn't viable, and the focus should be on that vs on who runs to get under the knife :-)

I speak from experience. In my early 20s, shortly after the birth of our 2nd child, my then husband decided, unilaterally and irrevocably, that he didn't wish to have any more, and wanted a vasectomy. As we were married, my signature was required on the paperwork, which I provided in the belief that ultimately it was HIS body and not my right to interfere with his wish. Nonetheless, that he would undertake this step which impacted BOTH our lives (as a married couple) without my being on-board (a fact of which I made him fully aware) was indicative of much of his behavior which eventually DID lead to divorce. After all, there ARE less drastic measures available to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and I was certainly Ok with using those until the matter was settled in BOTH our minds! Had I been older and wiser then ... I'd have recognized that and cut my loses much sooner!

So, you see ... there is much more at stake, really, than who gets the procedure!
 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 4
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:14:52 PM
Asking a man in his 30's to have a vasectomy is a big ask.
Not many doctors would perform the operation, especially if you, the man, was not keen on the idea and was being pressured. You can of course have some of your sperm frozen for future use if needed but that is not ideal. Or have your sperm removed on the testicle side of the cut in the Vas via a needle. (That statement generally has men crossing their legs and saying Ohhhhh)

I understand the woman you quote not wanting to have children so as not to pass on an inherited medical condition.
And I understand her asking the man she intends to marry to take on the contraceptive responsibility.

This is such a big issue that there is no standard answer.
And I can see that it could destroy a marriage or potential marriage.

All that being said for general dating I do not know many women who would trust a man with contraceptive responsibility.

During my marriage my husband wanted a vasectomy as he absolutely did not want children. I convinced him to postpone it till we were both nearly 40.
And only agreed after I found out about the needle aspiration.
The reproductive specialist told me that at our - almost 40 age - if we did decide to have children then IVF was probably necessary anyway.

P.S
I agree with Hamilton. (Below) Never have a surgical procedure of any sort to please someone else.
 Ladyinred4755
Joined: 1/30/2012
Msg: 5
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:14:56 PM
For me it was a no brainer. My body, my responsibility. Tubal ligation within hours after my daughter was born.
 Hamilton12345
Joined: 3/29/2012
Msg: 6
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:18:34 PM
A conversation with an acquaintance this morning plus a thread I had just participated in a few minutes ago have me wondering: If there's a couple, one wants children, or is at least open to the idea, and the other absolutely doesn't want them whose responsibility is it to get a procedure?


While the argument that a vasectomy is a minor procedure in comparison to a woman having their tubes tied, I am still with you on the one who does not want children should be the one to get "fixed". I don't believe that anyone should undergo a procedure of this type based solely on someone else's desires.

Male or female, if you don't want them, you should be the one to do something about it.
 MS.ICENI
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 7
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:20:36 PM
It is ultimately up to the individual, but in this particular case, if the lady in question is adamant about NOT ever bearing children because of her genetic issues then she should get the procedure whether she is in a relationship or not. Yes, it's easier for the guy, but in this case, she should get it. No one should ever try to force someone else to get such a life altering procedure.
 forums1
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 8
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:41:18 PM

It is ultimately up to the individual, but in this particular case, if the lady in question is adamant about NOT ever bearing children because of her genetic issues then she should get the procedure whether she is in a relationship or not. Yes, it's easier for the guy, but in this case, she should get it. No one should ever try to force someone else to get such a life altering procedure.


Agreed 100%, I wouldn't get a surgery done for anyone else if I didn't want to do it.

Or, OP, tell her you'll get snipped... if she gets G-cup breast implants for you - after all, it's can be easily reversed right? LOL. JK ladies. :-D
 c_deacon
Joined: 3/13/2005
Msg: 9
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 3:50:48 PM
If one is adamant about not having children......ever.......then they should be willing to make sure that they can never have them. Unfortunately, for far to many, time, maturity, and life, changes many a mind, and if one is already taken care of, it becomes much harder to undo that procedure later on.

It seems to me that birth control is a joint responsibility that should be discussed and handled before two bed each other. No one birth control measure is 100%, but talking about all options and helping each other keep to them, as well as knowing what the both of you will do if a pregnancy happens by mistake, is needed. If one thinks the other is on the same page as you are, about abortion, and they are not, a mistake can be a life long problem for one and a blessing for the other.

I am of the type that if I am going to sleep with someone, that we have had that "what if" discussion and mutual agreement, or we will not be having intercourse. Even if one uses a condom, and the other is on the pill, or uses an "Iud", there is still a small chance that an unwanted mistake could happen, and if so, are we on the same page about what we will be doing about that together? It makes it much more relaxed and enjoyable if the two of you get this all laid out ahead of time before you get laid.....;)

cd
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 10
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 4:31:29 PM
Your exes request was way out of line, so far we all agree with you. Feel better?
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 11
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 4:59:30 PM
The onus is on the person who doesn't want kids to make it so there's no chance there will be a child produced. In this case that falls on her - if she were to meet someone new and you got a vasectomy it would still put her in a position where she could get pregnant. So the birth control or ligation or whatever it is she has to do is her responsibility.

By the same token if you didn't want any it would be on you to prevent yourself from becoming a parent as well (even if she decided to get spayed, etc). It's on each person to keep their part of the street clean.
 Archiver
Joined: 3/10/2013
Msg: 12
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 5:05:32 PM
I absolutely agree with you. When I turned forty I sought a tubal ligation even though single and childless,. I knew at that point that I no longer wanted to have any children. It took some argument, but I prevailed and had the procedure. If one does not want to risk pregnancy, then one owns the responsibility of preventing it.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 13
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 5:19:26 PM
I think another viewpoint is worth recognizing.

I think it's fundamentally wrong to try to set ONE half of a mated couple as the one who bears all responsibility for decisions that affect both like this. It's closely akin to the oft asked questions about who should spend the most money and time on anything within a supposedly committed couple. When that gets asked, I always point out that both people should be "all in," and that measuring who does more from one moment to the next, means that the people involved are not committed to each other after all.

In this case, I suggest for consideration that this situation could be looked at as that one person has declared that in order to be in the proposed relationship with her, the other person has to volunteer for this procedure. The alternative is not to have the relationship. I assume that the idea of using birth control methods has been rejected by one or both?

It isn't a matter of declaring from some grandiose, overall point of judgment that in all cases, the person who wants a result, has to make it happen. That sort of decision limits the ability to make other choices, and opens the door to other situations which aren't so clear cut.

For example, if one member of a couple makes a lot more income than the other, and it's the other one who wants the both of them to save for the future, by the reasoning being bandied about in this thread, only the one with the lower income would be responsible for making sacrifices for the pair.

In short, there's no need for a Big Rule to solve this situation. It's quite enough to simply say that his and her ideas about how to proceed, make them incompatible as long term mates.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 14
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 6:37:21 PM
A question for the older crowd. If someone, let's say in their 50's or 60's is dating, what are the chances of an unwanted pregnancy? Should the guy in that age range get a vasectomy and/or the woman get a tubal ligation if they hadn't had the procedure done before? Is there an upper limit age where doctors won't do the procedure?
 rockin-trucker82
Joined: 1/4/2014
Msg: 15
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 7:19:22 PM
The one who doesn't want any/any more kids, ever, is the one responsible.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 16
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 8:00:54 PM
The person who doesn't want to make a baby is the one responsible. If both don't want them, the V is the safer alternative but it's not like a tubal is a death sentence, both people should get it done if both don't want to have children.
 MsMicki
Joined: 10/2/2006
Msg: 17
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 8:13:57 PM

Is there an upper limit age where doctors won't do the procedure?


Since men in their 60's (and older) are getting women pregnant.....
and women in their 60's are still getting pregnant...
I don't see how there could be an "upper limit" !!
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 19
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 8:46:21 PM
here's a little secret: she wasn't dead set against kids, just kids with you. She left her options open for the future.

another point:this isn't the only time she treated you in this manner. She didn't view you this way, on only this topic. There are other times she passed a role onto you, you just didn't see it. Her view of you was total, not just occuring in this one scenario.

whatever. she's gone, be glad.
 dwmitch
Joined: 12/31/2009
Msg: 20
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 10:54:43 PM

here's a little secret: she wasn't dead set against kids, just kids with you. She left her options open for the future.


She's against having kids in general. After I made it clear that I wouldn't budge on the vasectomy issue she decided on tubal ligation. She hasn't had it yet to the best of my knowledge, but she contacts me from time to time on Facebook and, fully knowing that she has a better chance of dating Elton John than getting back with me, still mentions that she needs to schedule a consultation on it.

It's not that she determined I'm not breeding stock as much as there's a 50/50 chance that any children coming out of her will inherit her condition.


Since men in their 60's (and older) are getting women pregnant.....
and women in their 60's are still getting pregnant...
I don't see how there could be an "upper limit" !!

It is true that men in their 60s can get a woman pregnant, but doesn't menopause pretty much put an end to a woman's natural child bearing years? Years ago there was a 60 year old pregnant woman in the news but that was through IVF.
 forumitejunkie
Joined: 1/12/2012
Msg: 21
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/30/2014 11:12:14 PM
OP ... It's never wise to "assume" anything when it comes to reproduction and pregnancies, so no matter the woman's age the topic should be discussed.

While once a woman is well over and done with menopause that's that for accidental pregnancies, the age at which that happens is greatly influenced by a number of factors, such as genetics. In my family, my mother didn't hit menopause until her 60s and, at 55, I'm not even in the "perimenopausal" stage as of yet. While I sure hope that I'm not as likely to get pregnant as I was in my 20s ... I take the same precautions I did 3 decades ago :-)
 MsMicki
Joined: 10/2/2006
Msg: 22
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/31/2014 5:33:22 AM
and throw in the fact that most women are fertile up to 10 years after starting into menopause... (eeek!)
 or_current_resident
Joined: 6/3/2013
Msg: 23
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/31/2014 6:29:14 AM

It's not that she determined I'm not breeding stock as much as there's a 50/50 chance that any children coming out of her will inherit her condition.


Good, & if thats the case ask her if it would be ok, if you, at a later time would like to rise & have children ,& to find a surrogate,healthy woman, to bore your children if your lady's stock [ her past inherit family conditions] are not good.

And do people practice or know about other methods of birth control... besides getting your nuts tied or tubes tied ?
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 24
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/31/2014 6:48:09 AM

She wanted me to get the procedure the week we discussed it (no pregnancy scares as we hadn't been doing anything that could result in pregnancy,


In the end, it appears to be an issue of control. She wanted to control you. So good for you that you did not get one.

I am with the other women here that had said "my body, my choice."

It reminds me of a woman I dated that about six month into dating started to talk about the benefits of me adopting her children. Now, this was before we were became engaged or anything. Other than the sentimental value of them being my kids, if she left me, then I would be stuck with paying child support. This became an issue, since, she had done the same, with her older children to their father. So in the end it did not work.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 25
Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/31/2014 6:50:34 AM

Since I have absolutely no desire to father any children whatsoever, I would gladly get a vasectomy. A snip is so much cheaper than 18+ years of child support.

So this has been done?
 MS.ICENI
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 26
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Who bears responsibility for permanent birth control?
Posted: 3/31/2014 9:04:05 AM
@casualacquaintance...you sure did hit the nail on the head. Well said.
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