Be a hero: How vasectomies change lives for the better

At DoItRight.ph, we encourage sex positivity and sexual responsibility so people can enjoy their sexuality to the fullest. We daresay that people who follow proper sexual and reproductive health practices are true heroes.

And one of the ways men can take control of their sex life and enjoy sex responsibly is by having a vasectomy.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a very simple outpatient procedure in which the vas deferens or sperm duct is cut.

A vasectomy is permanent, so before going through it, you need to have a serious conversation with your partner first. It essentially changes a man’s life—and his family’s life—oftentimes for the better.

Why should we get it?

For Paul Villanueva, 29, it was about improving the life of his family, especially that of his two daughters. “I wanted to provide a better quality of life for my wife, my children, and myself,” he says.

He also adds that he “wanted to be an advocate of vasectomy.” While there are more contraceptive options for women available (birth control pills, IUDs, injectables, tubal ligation), Paul wanted to be the one to do something for his partner. “I wanted to lift the social stigma na dapat babae [lang] ang nagpapa ganyan.”

On the other hand, Dr. Edwin Bien, 60, did it to avoid risks that his wife might have faced if they had another child. “I started my family very early. Then, magkakasunod na ‘yon.” 

But, his wife’s third pregnancy presented complications. “Kinausap ako ng OB-GYN namin. [They] asked me, ‘Bien, why don’t you become a hero for your family and be the one na mag-plano ng pamilya niyo?’ [That was when] I decided to undergo a vasectomy.”

A vasectomy is permanent, so it’s important to be 100 percent sure that it is something you want to do.

How does the procedure go?

Dr. Bien had his vasectomy in the early 2000s. “During that time,” he says, “it was still a scalpel type of vasectomy, pero wala namang masyadong sakit. They put a little bit of anesthesia after shaving and cleaning me up. [Then,] they did the procedure.” 

In a scalpel (traditional) vasectomy, incisions are done on the scrotum before the vas deferens is cut. “After about 10 minutes, I was done. I was asked to rest for a while, and after 30 minutes, I went  home.”

Paul, on the other hand, had a no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) in which a small puncture is made on the scrotum’s skin instead of being sliced with a scalpel. “Kung iko-compare natin yung pain,” he explains, “nasa 1/4 lang nung nagpatuli tayo.”

The NSV procedure takes around half an hour. It’s quick, and you can get it for free in many local healthcare centers. The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) organizes free vasectomy programs every November.

Will it affect my daily tasks?

Like any minor medical procedure, you need to rest for a few days. But after recovering, you can go back to regular programming like nothing ever happened. You can even continue working out!

“Two days after [the procedure], I was already pushing stretchers, wheelchairs, admitting patients, and [living] my normal life. [I go] to the gym at least twice a week. Mahilig [din] akong mag-bisikleta” recounts Bien.

Even Paul concurs:  “Napakabilis ng recovery. After two days, wala nang pain.”

Will it affect my performance in bed?

A vasectomy doesn’t do anything to your sex drive or affect your performance. “Kung concerned kayo sa pag-function ni manoy, it [still] works great,” says Paul.

The only thing a vasectomy does is it stops sperm cells from mixing into your seminal fluid. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, your testes will continue to produce sperm, but the sperm die and are absorbed by your body.

In other words, you won’t have to worry about getting your partner pregnant, and you can enjoy all the sex you want!

Why is it a good contraceptive method?

There are many other reasons for getting a vasectomy aside from what Paul and Dr. Bien mentioned. They could be for financial or health reasons, or perhaps having children simply isn’t something you and your partner desire.

Whatever those reasons are, always weigh the pros and cons.

For men like Edwin Bien and Paul Villanueva, a vasectomy guaranteed that they’ll have enough time and resources to care for their families. Maybe, that’s also something you’d consider.

“Vasectomy gave us peace of mind,” Paul says. “I believe it’s a very small price to pay that we can do for our partners. It’s also one of the best ways we can show our love to our family. We’re willing to give them better.”

“I encourage you: Be a hero for your family,” Dr. Bien adds. “Walang mangyayaring masama. In fact, mas safe ka pa, at garantisadong may tiwala, dahil alam mong you are helping plan your family.”

There’s a saying that not all heroes wear capes. Indeed, some just simply wear the titles “Dad,” “Husband,” or “Boyfriend.” 

And if you’re someone who’s considering getting a vasectomy for your family, then you deserve to be called a modern-day hero as well.




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