A vasectomy is your husband's payback for childbirth

Feb 17, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET

There aren't many times when I think the pain of childbirth should be used as leverage, but there is one instance that comes to mind. When a woman has popped out one or more children, she wants something in return — and it's not a pat on the back. It's a vasectomy.

Let me start out the great vasectomy debate by sharing my personal story. I had two unmedicated childbirths, one in a birthing center and one at home. Both of these birthing options were my choice completely — my husband didn't talk me into it.

So, for that reason, the pain that I endured in childbirth doesn't often come up in conversation. That is, until my husband and I started discussing permanent birth control after we discovered that two children were exactly as much as we could handle. No more kids besides the two that we love very much, thank you, please.

I would have been fine getting a tubal ligation, but since I didn't give birth in a hospital, it would have been much more effort to set up the procedure. Much more effort, in fact, than an outpatient vasectomy that takes just a few hours from door to door.

My husband was game. He picked up my vibe that he owed me one for the two adorable kids sleeping down the hall without my having to say it. Within just six weeks of having our second baby (that's how serious we were about closing up shop), he was in a backless gown at a urologist's office getting the snip. What a guy.

I thought that this type of permanent birth control give-and-take would be a natural turn of events after having kids, but boy, was I wrong. Just a little digging into internet forums, along with some eavesdropping among friends, and I discovered — most dads aren't too keen to go under the knife.

Some women who feel that they have to convince their husband to get a vasectomy after going through labor say that it isn't fair. Another forum mom confesses that she has been trying to talk her husband into getting a vasectomy after two kids in an 11-year relationship. She says, "Vasectomy." He says, "Get your tubes tied."

I'm sorry, but what? The cost of a tubal ligation versus a vasectomy is no contest. A vasectomy is much cheaper. A vasectomy has less downtime. Across the board, doctors consider a vasectomy to be faster, cheaper, safer and more effective than a tubal ligation.

In 99 percent of cases, it is not OK to manipulate your husband into doing something for you by guilt-tripping him about your painful labor. But as the saying goes, all's fair in love and vasectomies. If you and your spouse can't decide on permanent birth control, put your foot down on this one. It's only fair.

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