Permanent Birth Control Survey Results

Jay Dee

Permanent Birth Control Survey Results

Mar 05, 2014

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on non-procreational sex, and still plan to write one on birth control (I did, it’s here), but I had a reader asking about permanent birth control, so, I thought I’d tackle this first with a survey.  He

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Permanent Birth Control Survey ResultsA few weeks ago, I wrote a post on non-procreational sex, and still plan to write one on birth control (I did, it’s here), but I had a reader asking about permanent birth control, so, I thought I’d tackle this first with a survey.  He (who shall remain nameless, because I didn’t ask if I could use his name) asked:

We have four kids ‎and decided that was enough.
What do you think of a vasectomy? What do other men say that had it done?
And so as to not alienate the women, I thought I’d ask about tubal ligations as well.
This survey was really two parts.  The first was generic, and the second was based on whether or not you’ve taken permanent birth control measures.  I realize I was a bit unclear on whether or not you have, or your partner has, so I’ve tried to adjust the answers as best I could from the comments.  Luckily many explained their answers and situations.  Again, my wife’s comments in purple throughout.

Generic Questions

Number of respondents: 164

I didn’t really give people a lot of time I’m afraid.  I got the question Monday and it’s my habit to write on Tuesdays and post on Wednesdays, and wanted to tackle this one, so 164 in just over 24 hours…I’m pretty happy with that.

Age Ranges

  • 20-24 – 2%
  • 25-29 – 11%
  • 30-34 – 13%
  • 35-39 – 17%
  • 40-44 – 18%
  • 45-49 – 15%
  • 50-54 – 13%
  • 55-59 – 6%
  • 60-64 – 2%
  • 65-69 – 1%

By the way, those couples in the 60+ range who are still reading blogs about how to improve your sex life.  You’re my heros.  I’m looking forward to a long sexually fulfilling marriage, and you are an indicator that it’s possible.

I love that there are older people on blogs using technology like this to help their marriage! I don’t think my mother has ever read a blog, and my mother in law, not a chance! 

Years Married

  • First Year – 1%
  • 1-4 – 9%
  • 5-9 – 18%
  • 10-14 – 20%
  • 15-19 – 13%
  • 20-24 – 15%
  • 25-29 – 10%
  • 30-34 – 9%
  • 35-39 – 3%
  • 45-49 – 1%

We don’t get a lot of readers who are in the first 5 years of marriage.  I’d suspect it’s due to that 7 year itch, 7 year wall, 7 year whatever you want to call it, that shows up in a lot of statistics about marriage.  It seems that somewhere in the 7-14 year range, couples start having serious issues regarding marriage, and particularly sex.  Or maybe they’ve had issues all along, but 7 years is too much to deal with it.  Or, it could be that that’s generally when kids start really interfering with your sex life, and so people start looking for answers.

Again, amazing that people that have been married more then 25+ yrs are looking to improve their marriage using blogs like this! 

How many times a week do you have sex?

  • Less than once a week – 13%
  • Once a week – 21%
  • Twice a week – 27%
  • Three times a week – 18%
  • Four times a week – 15%
  • Five times a week – 2%
  • Six times a week – 1%
  • Seven times a week – 1%
  • Eight times a week – 1%

Gender

  • Female – 41%
  • Male – 59%

Have you been married before?

  • No – 86%
  • Yes, once – 12%
  • Yes, twice – 2%

I expected the remarriage rate to be much higher…perhaps I’ve alienated some divorcees by stating my views on divorce, and so my readership is a little skewed.

How many children do you have (including step-children)

  • None – 9%
  • One – 7%
  • Two – 31%
  • Three – 28%
  • Four – 14%
  • Five – 5%
  • Six – 4%
  • Seven – 2%
  • Eight – 1%
  • Ten – 1%

Nothing surprising here I don’t think.

Have you had a tubal ligation or vasectomy?

  • No – 50%
  • Yes – 50%

I kid you not! It’s dead even!  So, we should have some decent data then.  I know, someone is going to complain that it’s not 5000 data points, but hey, for our purposes, 82 on each side is pretty decent.

Questions for those who have had taken permanent birth control measures

Do you feel you have more or less sex now than before the procedure?

  • Less – 6%
  • More – 29%
  • Same – 65%

Now, the problem with asking this is that often we can’t trust the answers.  Our brains have a funny mechanism that tends to downplay the past making our present seem better (and by extrapolation, the future seem bright).  Yep, we have a built in hope generator by lying to ourselves about our past.  So, this tends to skew questions like this.  Still, I was curious what people thought.  I did check the answers later against the averages, and it turns out people answered fairly accurately according to the averages.  Those who are having sex less are having sex once a week (less than the average).  Those who answered “same” are about 2.3 times per week (which is average), and those who answered “more” are having sex on average 3.2 times per week.  Quite a significant increase.

It must feel so great to not have that feeling of stress of causing a pregnancy that may not be expected or wanted. I know for myself, I am happy with my family size, I am scared to death of another pregnancy. So I’d consider it unwanted. If it were to happen, it’s not like that child would be unwanted, I love babies and I love my kids, and I would learn to accept what was happening, my point being I can just see that these people that have more sex are stress free, am I right?

Whose idea was it to have this procedure?

  • My idea – 51%
  • My spouses idea – 33%
  • The doctor’s suggestion – 16%

I’m a little surprised the doctor’s influence is so high.  I’m not surprised that in 33% of cases, it’s the spouses idea.  Frankly I thought that would be higher, but I don’t really understand why I expected it.  I mean, I’d never suggest a procedure like that to my wife.  That would need to be her idea.  If I felt that convicted about it, I’d suggest it for myself, not her, and I believe my wife feels the same way. 

I think for a lot of women, they know it is harder on her then it it is for men, so perhaps that is why the spouses idea is higher. I think if we were to take the step to talk about this, I would bring up that something needs to be done, and we would look at the options and the pros and cons and do a lot of research about it. I wouldn’t tell him he has to go get it done, but I don’t think I would be too quick to volunteer myself either.

When did you have the procedure done?

  • During this marriage – 98%
  • Prior to marriage – 2%

This question didn’t pan out so well.  I was expecting a higher divorce rate, and that would have made this question more informative.

Did you have any complications during or because of this procedure?

  • No – 86%
  • Yes – 14%

14%!  That seems high to me…

Questions for those who have not taken permanent birth control measures

Would you consider permanent birth control?

  • No – 26%
  • Not sure – 22%
  • Yes – 52%

What types of birth control do you use?

  • Barrier Methods – 30%
  • Implantable devices – 9%
  • Hormonal Birth Control – 13%
  • Continuous Abstinence – 6%
  • Natural Family Planning – 6%
  • Prayer – 11%

Yep.  Prayer is the #3 most popular method of birth control.  I’m not sure what to say about that really.  On the one hand, you have the “quiverful” people who treat this more as a “hey, God, this is what we want, but your will be done, so we’re not going to get in your way.”, and on the other hand, you have the people who just got caught up, or the condom broke or whatever, and are praying “I’m sorry God, we messed up, please don’t let us be pregnant!”

I am pretty sure I remember saying a prayer like that second one. We messed up tracking my fertile time and didn’t pull out, and we prayed that it wouldn’t result in pregnancy. It didn’t, Thank you Lord. I do admire the “quiverful” people, it is such a big step of faith to put your complete trust in him about your family size, but it’s not just family size, I think the whole “quiverful” thing is much bigger then just that. I really do admire you guys!

Interesting correlations / combinations of data

Well, honey, the doctor said after I heal, we should be having more sex…

OK, I don’t understand this one.  If the idea was your spouses or yours to have a vasectomy or tubal ligation, then your sex life will be pretty average (2.2-2.4 times per week respectively).  However, if the doctor suggested it, for some reason, those couples are having sex 3.2 times per week.  I don’t have an explanation for this one.  Any ideas?

If the doctor suggested it, perhaps there is no resentment on either side for who’s idea it was to have it done. There is no blaming or anything towards the spouse that thought, “Hey hunny, why don’t you go make an appointment and get a little snip snip”. I think some men would feel a little emasculated by that. So when the doctor suggests it, you are free to enjoy sex without the stress of unwanted pregnancy or hostile thoughts in the back of your mind. Perhaps there is more to it, would love to hear from the people who’s doctor’s suggested it why they have more sex now then before?

Permanent birth control & amount of sex

Now, this is the big question, isn’t it?  Well, it is to me.  After all, the reason we see in the media and such for having these types of procedures done (at least when they are being sold to men) is that you don’t have to worry about birth control, so it’s sex all the time isn’t it?  Well, no, not all the time.  But, there does seem to be an increase.

Marriages that have not taken some form of permanent birth control measures seem to have sex about 1.9 times per week, while the marriages who have taken this type of measure have sex 2.5 times per week.  So, we’re talking about a difference of about one more sexual encounter every 2 weeks.  Hardly a sex-fest, but not nothing.

Survey Comments [sic]

What were your reasons for having this procedure done?

  • Medical reasons.
  • Health reasons. My last pregnancy and delivery (of twins) was very rough and my husband didn’t want me to go through it again. Plus we were happy with the size of our family.
  • Birth control and not wanting to use condoms
  • very difficult pregnancies and we had the family we wante
  • We had 3 children and knew we didn’t want more.
  • I have cerebral palsy and the doctor’s said it would be wise to wait for anymore kids. I was allergic to all other birth control, my husband was worried for me so I had the tubal because it was the only thing public aid would pay for….
  • We have 4 kids, are done with having more. Husband doesn’t want to wear a condom, and no one likes me on the pill!
  • Kids cost too much and take too much time.
  • I had our youngest when I was 40 and it was a very high risk and difficult pregnancy. It was more of a mutual decision between myself, my husband and my doctor. I we were younger, we would have not had it done and had 1 or 2 more children Lord willing.
  • We were through having children.
  • We have enough children
  • preferable to diaphragm which was our previous option
  • Difficult births and horrendous haemorrhaging.
  • 4 kids is plenty for us.
  • We were done having Children.
  • Because I like it when doctors take scalpels to my testicles. Duh. Better than my bride taking a tubal and we were done having kids.
  • Wife was on birth control pills approaching menopause and her Dr thought it would be a good idea so that my wife could stop taking the birth control pills.
  • rough pregnancy and didn’t need to get pregnant again
  • To eliminate the possibility of more children without my wife having to take oral contraceptives any longer.
  • My husband and I agreed we were done having children.
  • Doctor said it was a bad idea for my wife to have more children. So I got it done. I did not feel good about it after. And guess what 5 years later my wife got pregnant with number 4. So I don’t think I am in control as far as this is concerned. God is in control I have learned!
  • My husband did not want any more children.
  • Financially we decided we could not have any more children.
  • We were done having children after three due to several reasons.
  • I had 6 c-sections. During my last c-section I almost died because my body could not handle another c-section.
  • not wanting children
  • Our family was complete. Plus 3 very eventful pregnancies meant that I personally was ready for the drama to be over, plus as an older mom, I did not want to have kids after the age of 40. My last delivery occured after I turned 38.
  • would rather have vasectomy than have my wife on hormonal birth control… this is partly because we just prefer not to be on drugs in general and partly for convenience.
  • 4 c-sections and complications during pregnancy and birth. Drs didn’t even want me to have the four I have but I wouldn’t do something so permanent before I was 30. During my 4th pregnancy the Drs convinced me and my husband that we were playing a dangerous game of life and death.
  • Mutual decision- wife was on oral contraceptive and we did not want her to continue after we had our second planned child.
  • We had 4 kids. She did not want to worry about getting pregnant. less invasive that a tubal.
  • My husband (and I supported him) felt like he had reached his max in providing (mentally, financially, emotionally, spiritually) the family (i.e. number of children). And we had no indication from God that he was calling us to have more children.
  • After having our first (and only) child 11 yrs ago, we decide that I should have a vasectomy because the pregnancy was very hard on my wife and we almost lost her and the child. We decided not to risk another pregnancy after that. In the end both she and the child were fine.
  • 4 was enough kids and we didn’t want to have to depend on condoms for the next 15 or so years.
  • three kids was enough 🙂
  • So we wouldn’t have to worry since we were done having kids, plus my wife didn’t want to be on the pill anymore.
  • We knew we were too old to have more kids and with a preemie and 2 c-sections…we were done. I had it during my second c-section but probably would not have had a separate surgery for it.
  • I had a vasectomy because at the time we only wanted 2 children and my wife has medical issues with birth control and neither of liked condoms.
  • Wanted no more children. Barrier free sex.
  • We were pregnant with 2nd child. That’s all we wanted.
  • No more kids wanted
  • I had many complications during my pregnancies and was told by the doctor that if I got pregnant again that it could be life threatening for me and the child.
  • I was always afraid of getting pregnant and we felt that six children was enough children for our family.
  • My wife has tubal ligation after our second child. We were happy with two and she felt it best to do it while she was in the hospital for the birth.
  • It is easier for me to get a vasectomy than to put my wife through surgery, and I also feel it is the mans responsibility to deal with this.
  • The topic came up after it was determined it was too risky for my wife. There was less risk for me, the husband, so I had it done.
  • Much better than condoms. Didn’t want wife ingesting hormonal bc.
  • To permanently prevent pregnancy. Free us from other birth control methods.
  • We have 2 girls (adopted) and felt like our family was complete and we were ready to stop using condoms all the time.
  • Didn’t want to use hormones– birth control pills and wanted reliable birth control
  • Birth control
  • Perm birth control. Don’t want more kids and don’t want to wear condoms.
  • Not to have anymore kids. And not to have to pull out.
  • We wanted to have no more children and she cannot use the pill
  • For birth control, we only wanted to have 1 child together since we had 3 together from our previous marriages.
  • Wife got tubes tied after our third child by c-section (while she was already surgically open). Just seemed like a logical thing to do. Although I do have some guilt due to my Catholic background.
  • Was advanced maternal age with 3rd child (age 36 when he was born), first born with special needs (calcium channelopathy ), had a scheduled C-section and figured might as well have a tubal while they were in there. I have never regretted the decision.
  • A vasectomy is safer and less invasive, so when we decided to get fixed it was the only choice. We knew we were done with kids, and we were tired of the hassle of birth control.
  • No more messing with hormones or with condoms! (no more room for more kids also 😉
  • I had 4 kids
  • To not worry about getting pregnant
  • My wife has extreme sickness during each pregnancy, to the point where she lost over 20 pounds and had to be taken to the ER for dehydration and not being able to eat without throwing up.
  • We just felt we were done having children and I have had 2 c/s and my uterine wall was thin so because of this if I had another pregnancy it would be higher risk.
  • Done with kids
  • When our second was about a year old, after a particularly trying day with both of them, we both looked at each other at the same time and said, “Enough is enough…when the Indians start outnumbering the cheifs…it is un-democratic”…I had the vasectomy, and we have never looked back or regretted that decision. Note: my wife has also had pre-mature hysterectomy due to health reasons.
  • We were on the fence, but more effective meds for my Rheumatoid Arthritis were only avail if one of us was sterilized. My RA was excruciating and so we stopped waffling.
  • Didn’t want any more kids.
  • Hormonal birth control did not agree with my body. It altered my disposition for the worse. I felt generally horrible and had absolutely no desire for sex. In the end, birth control pills gave me continuous migraines. I was on them for a total of 3 years. SO, my husband decided to have a vasectomy to solve all the problems. He is such a wonderful man!
  • We were finished having children, and my wife cannot take the pill, so it was a logical step to take.
  • Delivering our twins (3rd & 4th child) by c-section when I was 36 it was an easy decision to have the tubal at the same time.
  • To get wife off of hormonal birth control pills.
  • Another child would have created a financial burden that would hamper us greatly from meeting our obligations to the children we already had.
  • He refused to have a vasectomy – coward.
  • We had the number of children we believe God wanted us to have.
  • Get wife off hormonal BC
  • We had four children, and my husband didn’t want any more at the time. Also, I am allergic to condoms and do not do well on birth control medication.
  • Didn’t want any more children

It seems the most common answers are either they had enough children and felt their family was complete or for medical reasons.  Although quite a few mentioned getting their wife off hormonal birth control.

I was on the pill for 5 years or so, and wow, I had no idea how badly it affected me. I slipped into a depression and now finally I am finally getting out of it, 4 kids later. I don’t think anyone should be on the pill, and husbands that have wives on it, perhaps you might want to consider how you can get her off so that she can be herself, she may just be much happier person without drugs messing with her.

If you had complications, what sort did you have?

  • early peri menopause type symptoms starting right after the surgery that contiued for 16 years up till actual menopause
  • just had it post poned multiple times , then have had alot of small aches and pains that I have found were from scarring from the procedure and then the hormonally changes they also never tell you about.
  • Pain for a few months. And at this point almost 3 years later I have yet to have “clear” semen sample.
  • Healing took longer than normal.
  • Weight gain and painful irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Not sure if it’s a complication, but it was a very painful procedure. I swelled up a lot and got very black and blue.
  • The doctor did not have his favorite suture thread so I was openned up for about 10 minutes after the c-section birth of my daughter. I do have some nerve damage and some scarring after having 2 c-sections 17 months apart but nothing that affects sex.
  • Not really a complication, but since she has diminished sensation in the genital area and her libido has been just about non-existent.
  • Very, very minor pain a few times over the first couple of years. Nothing since (a decade)
  • minor infection at the incision point, easily treated with antibiotics.
  • extended hospital stay due to something going wrong with the anethesia.

I always wonder, if you had these complications, but now have the freedom to enjoy sex without worry of pregnancy, would you go through it again despite the complications? Was it worth it?

Why would you consider permanent birth control measures?

  • Have considered it – using condoms for now and it is working fine
  • Relieve the worry. Don’t want more kids and it would be great to not have to worry about it. I think I could be more free.
  • Would consider if we knew we did not want any more children. How so many fertility issues to have 1st two that third is unlikely but leaving it in God’s hands.
  • I would do it once I had peace that we were set with the children the Lord had provided. We currently have 3. The benefit would be to remove the possibility of pregnancy to our already full quiver and to get rid of condoms.
  • After our fourth child is born…
  • To keep from having more kids keep us from sleeping at night.
  • Husband attempted to have vasectomy, it did not go well as a out patient procedure. He was going to have to be sedated. So he chose not to do that. Did consider tubal ligation but it was time away from home as that was a inpatient procedure so never had time for it.
  • Eventually. Husband doesn’t like condoms, but we are struggling with how many kids we want.
  • No more condoms
  • I plan on having my uterus removed when I am done having kids for health reasons and as a method of birth control.
  • I had an essure device placed which is a form of sterilization.
  • Many hormone type birth control methods, pill, IUD will stop a fertilized egg from implanting in uterus. That is a baby, so its just an abortion with knowing your pregnant… Ideally I would prefer to just trust in God and if He blesses one with a child, to rejoice. The vasectomy or tubal may be viewed as a sin against my own body, but its just that.. birth control pills can be a sin against an unborn child..
  • we would prefer not to have kids at our age and for health concerns
  • I would rather my husband get a vasectomy, cause I would still want my options open. My husband never wants to have any children.
  • My wife thinks I should get a verse tommy when the time comes, because her dad did. I’m nervous about it but the positives will probably outweigh the negatives. However, we haven’t even started having kids yet so we have plenty of time to discuss it.
  • Not to cause pregnancy.
  • Easy and convenient. I do not want an “accidental” pregnancy that we are not prepared for.
  • I refuse to take chemical forms of birth control…we are done having kids and we both have decided on a vasectomy. I’ve worked in surgery and it’s the better choice between it and tubal ligation.
  • I don’t want to frequently worry about having another baby. I know I don’t want anymore kids so I’d like a permanent solution.
  • We have 4 kids and we are good with 4 we have.
  • When we have had as many kids as we want to have on purpose, we plan to get a vasectomy because we don’t love using condoms and we really hate hormonal birth control.
  • Got pregnant on the shot and condoms
  • There will come a point, soon, when it is unwise for my wife’s health and safety, or the health and safety of a potential baby, for her to get pregnant again. She has already had 2 emergency C-sections, and while we’re open to another child, any future babies will absolutely have to be born by C-section. There is only so much scar tissue that the uterus can handle before it becomes unusable, and based on two very early term miscarriages that she’s had since our last child was born, may already be there.
  • Because I can’t take medication I need to treat deteriorating conditions while there is any chance of falling pregnant. It’s not relevant right now as I probably want more kids, but when we’re finished trying for kids.
  • I have had a c-section with each of my children. My husband and I would like one or two more children but aren’t sure that it would be healthy for me to continue having c-sections after that. A tubal ligation immediately following my last delivery makes sense since I would already be on the operating table. Hormonal birth control methods were not kind to my sex drive early in our marriage (pretty much killed it during the best time to be setting good intimacy patterns in your marriage) and I don’t have a regular enough cycle for natural family planning to work well.
  • I don’t want anymore kids. Only reason we haven’t done it is that my wife isn’t ready to close the door. This is an area on contention for us.

Why wouldn’t you consider permanent birth control measures?

  • You’ll never know when the Lord wants to bless your family with another child. There is a 3 way agreement in a marriage and he should have that right, unless the health or mortality of the mother or father (especially the mother) is at risk.
  • Not necessary. There are plenty of other methods without requiring surgery.
  • My wife and I are not able to procreate. However, we adopted a boy.
  • Perhaps when decidedly done having children, but my wife and I are yet to have our first child!
  • I have done a bit of research and believe both a tubal and vasectomy can have the potential to affect hormones and sex drive. I also would love as many children as God sees fit to bless us with even though my husband does not want more than 4.
  • We don’t want to do anything permanent. When we decide to be done (not sure yet) we will continue to use natural family planning and if we’re meant to have more, then we will, but otherwise we’ve always had success with natural family planning.
  • it’s to permanent… you never know where God will lead you or what your desires will be for the future.
  • I believe Christian couples should be open to God’s gift of children.
  • Post menopausal
  • We felt children were a blessing and wanted a large family.I was talked into an IUD after our first child. It went missing when we wanted more children. Subsequently, it worked for 11 years while we tried to have children. We adopted, then a Dr. found the IUD when taking care of another problem. We went on to have three more children, to adopt again, and to foster 18 other kids.
  • We don’t have insurance and we try to avoid doctor visits.
  • It’s a permanent desecration of our bodies. It’s like disfiguring your face or removing a limb.
  • -we don’t believe in interrupting the body’s natural processes. -avoid negative side effects of both; there are no clear health benefits. – there are clear health benefits to NOT doing either procedures. -we are comfortable doing natural family planning (which is different than rhythm method, so they should be on two different lines on your option below) -in case we want kids afterward
  • because part of having sex is pro creation acorrding to God
  • God made me unique and everything in my body has a purpose. If I go and cut myself up so I can have pleasure without the responsibility of pregnancy is not God’s choice for me, but mine own.
  • After 4 children we prayed and asked God about birth control, because we were ready with making children. God said He is the One who opens the womb and He is the One who closes the womb.
  • He will provide for the children He wants to give us. Are we going to let Him bless us with the children He is in store for us or are we going to go do it our own way.
  • The next 4 years the sex was wonderful, because we didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant any more. We have 6 beautiful children and God takes cares of all of them financially and spiritually.
  • No desire to break what God made.

I was surprised at how many answers mentioned a moral reason in some form or another.

I love seeing people honouring the bodies God gave us by not messing around with their insides when it isn’t medically necessary.

Why are you not sure about permanent birth control measures?

  • Because I’m scared
  • Good is in control and prevention is not up to us.
  • I think there is always going to be an underlying fear of something going wrong that could lead to sexual problems. Whether this fear is valid or not…the very idea of someone messing around in this area will always have a certain cringe factor for men. In my current situation…I am also not 100% sure that our marriage will go the distance…so the thought of giving up the opportunity to have children in the future is also a factor.
  • I am more open to my husband having a vasectomy than me having a tubal ligation. If I have a tubal, then I would ‘know’ that my child bearing years are over. As it stands, I’m not looking forward to menopause for that same reason.
  • We decided a long time ago to let God choose our family size. Now that we have 8 children (we thought we were done with 7, lol), my husband doesn’t want anymore. So he may consider Vasectomy. He already knows, and agrees with me that I will never have a tubal ligation. I know several women who have had them and they all had health problems because of it later down the road.
  • I’m happy to have as many children as God sees fit but my husband is not on the same page. I know that permanent birth control is probably in our future but I’ll leave that for my husband to decide when and how.

My thoughts

So, dear unnamed questioner, here are my thoughts (which are purely my own opinions and biases, please don’t take them as me telling you what to do):

  1. I’ll admit, the idea of a vasectomy causes an irrational fear in me.  If that makes me a coward, as one respondent accused her husband of being, well, so be it.  There is a rational component as well (I believe anyways, it’s that or I’m rationalizing post emotional response).  The risks seem high, and the potential risks sound debilitating (pain during sex, unable to maintain erection, etc.).  Now, I understand these types of complications are rare, but 14% of people in this survey said they had some complication.  That’s not rare. I am scared of the procedure as well. I have spent enough years with messed up hormones from the pill, I don’t want to risk a tubal messing them up again permanently!
  2. It’s permanent.  I’m not a fan of permanent decisions.  I don’t like putting holes in my head, I don’t like the idea of getting tattoos.  Why?  Because it’s permanent.  You can’t change your mind later on, and I know the man I am today is very different than the man I was 10 years ago.  How much more so in the next 10, 20, 30, or, God-willing, 70 years? Some will say it’s not, you can get it reversed. but there is no guarantee that it will work. and it’s expensive!!!
  3. We are considering a copper IUD.  It fits our theology regarding birth control measures (which I still have to write about), it’s not permanent, and it’s not a major operation (I know, they say a vasectomy is not, but if you are cutting and tying something inside the body that might mess with my penis…that seems major to me). We say considering, because it’s still scares me. Putting a foreign object inside my body doesn’t sounds like a walk in the park. I get very anxious thinking about the procedure. Plus I’ve heard a few people in my circles that have gotten pregnant with an IUD, so I don’t know if it would alleviate the stress that sex might still result in a pregnancy.

So, in short, no, I won’t be opting for these measures I don’t think.  But I have no qualms or judgment against those who do.  I have many friends who have had this done, and had no issues or complications (I think one had to have it redone, because the first didn’t take).

Your Turn

So readers, what did you think of the survey results?  Anything surprising in here?  Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.  If you didn’t have a chance to fill it out, please do so as I may be using this data for my post on non-permanent birth control measures later on.

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28 thoughts on “Permanent Birth Control Survey Results”

  1. Jeremy says:

    One of the concerns I had about getting snipped was the idea that I would risk the being able to “get it up” when I needed to, but after taking to the doctor as well as some of the guys in the men’s group I was in at the time, all of them told me that that hadn’t been an issue for any of them. The doctor explained that the odds of being snipped affecting my ability were so small that it was basically a non-issue. In the 11 yrs since I found that what they all said was so true. My wife and I enjoy better sex because she is more relaxed and she is able to enjoy it more with make it better for me.

  2. Dan says:

    “I love that there are older people on blogs using technology like this to help their marriage! I don’t think my mother has ever read a blog, and my mother in law, not a chance! ”

    All things considered, that may be a good thing. 🙂

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I don’t think she meant our blog, just any blog on marriage.

      1. Dan says:

        I figured. Just sayin’.

  3. Robert Leachman says:

    I had the “no needle/no scalpel” vasectomy. No real pain and no problems with swelling as I brought ice bags with me and applied it on the way home.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Ok, how does that work?

  4. Robyn Gibson says:

    I’m stunned … seriously, I’m not rendered speechless very often 🙂
    — it’s the contrast of the verse from God about the blessings of many quivers against people deciding for themselves how many is too many. Medical reasons, I get that. But to just say enough, because I believe I know better than God – seems a pretty scary place to be. It’s probably because I come from the perspective of wanting a large family; but that not being the plan God had for us.

  5. Romantha Dearne Harrison says:

    This is off topic, but i wasnt sure where else to ask. Do you think there is a such thing as wanting too much sex? Im new to your blog, so forgive me if you have already answered this in a previous post.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Welcome to the community!
      Actually, I don’t think I have.

      I would think that yes, there is such a thing as wanting too much sex. But it would have to be pretty extreme. For example:
      If you are missing work because you can’t say no to sex, or “have” to have it or if you are being a negligent parent because of sex.

      But those are pretty extreme, and I’d bet pretty rare. Other than that. What is “too much”? We have some readers who say they have sex twice a day or more. Is that too much? Some would say yes, some would say no (obviously).

      I find most often it’s the lower-drive spouse saying their higher-drive spouse wants “too much” sex, and that typically seems to be a reflection of their own attitudes about sex, that they don’t think it’s a priority, necessary, or perhaps that it’s dirty or sinful, or just a waste of time, or, they just don’t enjoy sex that much, or they have trouble getting their mind to change gears into “sex mode” so often.

      Does that answer your question?

      1. Romantha Dearne Harrison says:

        Yes it does! Thank you for answering!

        1. Jay Dee says:

          No problem.

  6. Butterflywings says:

    Hi Jay Dee… just had a question about the mention that “you” are considering an IUD. That’s what I’m currently waiting to get done. Because it’s (hopefully) within 6 months of having a c-section and my uterus being a mess of adhesions from my first baby 12 years ago (also a c-section, and found out in labour that due to the mess my insides are in, that they should have told me I would always need a c-section no matter what) that I can’t get a GP to insert an IUD, have to wait for a specialist (probably a gynocologist) to do it. Being broke means waiting for the public system which could mean up to a year or more wait. Not that our sex life is happening. Having a baby seems to be an invitation for hubby to have even less sex – 3 times in 10 weeks.

    Anyway, my question was your thoughts on IUDs. Obviously you’re not morally opposed to them if you’re considering one. My questions are around the morality of them. I haven’t decided whether to go for the copper one or the mirena. The specialist sexual health GP I saw assured me that the hormonal effects are only local, therefore avoiding the horrific weight gain of other forms of hormonal birth control (I gained 10kg in the first 1-2 weeks with the pill, the injection and the implant – with the implant that was 10kg twice and the extra 40kg has been impossible to lose – lost 8kg when getting the implant removed, but that was over nearly a year and involved dieting and heavy duty exercise, far more than my doctors recommended with my other health problems and led to all sorts of problems with torn ligaments on a regular basis (something I’m prone to with my health problems) and arthritis deteriorating faster.

    After a long discussion with the doctor, the only difference she said between the copper and mirena IUDs was periods getting heavier with the copper one and lighter with the mirena. That the risk of ectopic pregnancies, or pregnancy in general was the same, and that the risk to a baby was the same with both types. I can’t get a straight from doctors about whether an IUD stops an embryo from implanting or not. I’m guessing if it’s something you’re considering, you have evidence it doesn’t stop an embryo from implanting? Do you have somewhere online you could point me towards to for this evidence for my own peace of mind?

    I mean, we’re not ready to stop having children, but a pregnancy so soon would nearly definitely kill me, and it would probably never come to that because it’s nearly guaranteed I would miscarry and I could not cope with that. It would break me to go through that. And I know people talk about not worrying about finances and “just trusting God” but I’m a firm believer that we shouldn’t make stupid choices and just expect that God will dig us out of a hole. We have four of us (hubby, me, baby and our nearly teen daughter) living in a two bedroom place that is already too small. We can’t afford my medical bills as it is, earning just too much for a health care card. I can’t even get to a GP to find out why sex is painful (incredibly painful and bleeding every time since the baby was born) because we can’t afford the $40 gap payment. There is no way we can afford another baby when I need constant medical care during pregnancy and we can’t afford a single visit to the local doctor. I know some people just say trust God to provide – well I’m trusting now and there is no provision. Sometimes God just says no. Or at the very least says wait.

    Anyway, I’m just not sure if an IUD is morally “safe”. Could I get your long opinion on it please?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’d love to, but I need time to write out my long opinion. I’m planning this topic for next week’s post actually. Can it wait until then?

      1. ButterflyWings says:

        lol now I want an answer right now 😛 just kidding. It will be months before I get into see the gynocologist so we’re stuck relying on condoms on the rare occasions hubby wants sex so I’m in no rush.

        Can I add I did have a good chuckle at the guy who wrote “Because I like it when doctors take scalpels to my testicles.” 😉 Nice to see someone with a sense of humour about the topic

  7. alice says:

    Don’t forget there are newer nonsurgical options for permanent birth control in women than tubal ligations if the idea of being cut open is holding you back. Permanent birth control was the best decision of my entire life.

  8. J at HotHolyHumorous says:

    Thanks for compiling the results and sharing them! One question I did have a problem answering for myself is whether my husband’s vasectomy was his idea or mine. Because it was OURS. I simply don’t recall one person suggesting it. We agreed on the number of children, the desire to have a permanent fix (I’d also had some pregnancy complications…), and then we chose the least invasive/fewest side effects option. For us, that was vasectomy. It was a no-big-deal procedure, and things have worked out great. If we had to go back, we’d make the same decision again.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, the problem is if you give a “both” option, most people will pick both simply to be “fair”. And then the data is useless. I understand what your saying, and that’s why we have a comments section. Thanks for clarifying your answer. But out of 180 people, you seem to be the only one you mentioned it being truly a joint decision, instead of someone saying “hey, why don’t you get snipped/tied?”

  9. Jane says:

    Butterflywings,
    Please note that there have been lawsuits filed in the US against the mirena IUD. The negative effects are very dangerous. Their have been magazine ads and TV commercials announcing the lawsuit. Please consider an alternative method and speak in detail with your dr. before making a final decision.

    1. Stephanie says:

      I’m SO glad you mentioned this. After the birth of our first daughter I was advised to wait at least 3 years before trying for another due to prior miscarriages and pretty severe complications with me during the pregnancy (emergency surgery at 14 weeks along to remove a torsed, cyst covered ovary and tube). After tons of research and discussions with my hubby and OB we decided on the Mirena to both help ease the endometriosis that plagued me and prevent pregnancy. It was great the first year, periods stopped which eased a lot of the pain, but then all heck broke loose. I kept getting kidney infections (having no prior problems with UTIs or infection) and for the better part of almost 2 years battled one after another only to have them reoccur within a couple weeks. I was going crazy. After numerous labs and tests it was finally ruled that the Mirena was the cause. Turns out I had a pelvic infection they’d somehow missed that caused the whole deal. I had the Mirena removed immediately, was finally given the right combo of antibiotics and viola, all better. Turns out the “strings” were acting as a gateway for bacteria into my uterus after the Mirena decided to “readjust” itself. The thing is, when doing the research I didn’t come across any real negative reviews, HOWEVER, after the while ordeal it seems like women have been coming out of the woodwork with similar and worse horror stories of what damage it caused them. I would highly recommend AGAINST the Mirena.

  10. Mel Caldicott says:

    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  11. Bonnie @ Love, Marriage and Sex says:

    Interesting results! Clearly this is an area that people have a variety of opinions about. As for me, I have the Mirena IUD and I’m loving it. No problem or complications and no pregnancy in about 8-9 months since I got it . My husband has that irrational fear of a vasectomy but that would really be the best option, I think. All of the men I know who have it (and that number is pretty high) love it and would do it again so they don’t have to worry about kids. I think that, many times people research certain procedures and read the “horror stories” and think that it is common to have problems when it isn’t. When people have a good experience, they tell 3 people on average. When they have a bad experience, they tell 7. I wouldn’t rely on Internet research when making a decision like this. Permanent birth control is very low risk and high reward, especially if you don’t want any more children. My mother is a gynecologist and can attest to this. I wish I would have had a tubal while getting my second C-section but didn’t know at the time I didn’t want more kids. I would like the hubby to have a vasectomy now because it would give me that assurance and is less invasive for him.

  12. Rachel R. says:

    I wonder if the divorce/remarriage rate is lower here *because* it’s a sex blog. That is, I wonder if readers who go to the trouble of following a blog like this one are less likely to get divorced. Just a theory.

    Also, in case you (or readers who would want to know) didn’t know, IUD’s are designed to prevent implantation. I know for a lot of people, forms of birth control that work that way are NOT okay with them, so just wanted to make sure you’re aware. :)

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, that’s very true, it’s pretty rare to find a bad marriage that has a healthy sexual component (and visa-versa).

  13. Anonymous says:

    After our forth child my husband decided to get a vasectomy. About 1 – 1 1/2 yrs later we got it reversed. He was experiencing pain and having problems with erection. These problems are still present, but to a smaller degree now. His tests show he has no sperm in his semen, but because he was still concerned with the possibility of having another child, I got the copper iud.
    I have always had heavy flows and severe cramping with my periods. I can’t remember if my periods were this painful or not without the iud, because I’ve had it for so long now, but I do remember flashes of laying on the floor crying in high school, so I figure it is still about the same. One nice thing though, the periods are shorter. And the other thing that makes it the best choice for us is my husband has peace of mind.

  14. Elizabeth Ours says:

    Interesting survey! I did not take it in time for this post, but I just took the survey so my opinions will be added to your results for future research and reporting on this topic.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Elizabeth!

  15. abram says:

    Such an interesting read. Thank you for doing all this research.

    My husband and I are both in our 30s. We have 4 wonderful children. God saw fit to give my hyperemesis gravidarum throughout the entire pregnancies all 4 times (it roughly amounted to just under 1,000 of starvation by nausea and unrelenting vomiting while on bed rest in under 8 years!). God blessed us with healthy babies/children, but the toll it took on my body resulted in early onset menopause — the fertility translation is, I could still get pregnant, but it is unlikely that the baby would live. I’ve tried hormone birth-control but the side effects weren’t sustainable (plus, the long term use very unhealthy), we tried condoms (no, thanks, they mute all that wonderful feeling), we tried a diaphragm (this was the best option of “lite” barrier methods, but it still had it’s cons, and I couldn’t bring myself to use a IUD because the increased odds of miscarriages caused by them (even the copper ones). So we opted for a vasectomy — I offered to get a tubal, but my sweet husband wouldn’t hear of it, “You already went through 4 difficult pregnancies, I’ll take the hit this time.” The procedure had some complications, but nothing long lasting and he (and I) have no complaints.

    To folks who don’t think making a “permanent” birth control decision is biblical, let me point you to God’s sovereignty. We don’t think we can override God’s plan by surgical birth control. God is the one who opens and closes my womb. If He wants be pregnant, no vasectomy (or any other preventative measure) will stand in His way. We are content with the 4 children we have, and my husband would like to protect me from the pain (both physical and emotional) of repeated miscarriages if possible — that is job – to love/protect me) but of course we would welcome more if God wants us too. After much prayerful consideration, we just don’t think that would be wise to have more kids (if it is possible at all). So we made our plans, but the Lord directs our steps and has ultimate authority and we joyfully submit ourselves to that. To think that we really have any control of the situation (either in use of birth control or intentional decline of it) is folly and pride. It is our responsibility to wisely make judgment calls/decisions, but to hold them loosely. My God is more powerful than birth control. Using or not using isn’t a matter of holiness, it is a matter of discretion.

    (As far as fear of permanence goes, this seems like a fear that would be worth expelling. We have permanent souls, we have a permanent God, if you are married, you made a permanent decision, when you had kids you did, too. Fear of permanence is very similar to fear of commitment (which is bad for everyone).Whether its tattoos or birth control, if you’ve prayerfully sought wisdom and feel it is wise, you have nothing to fear!)

    And for the record, yes, him having a vasectomy as really liberated our sex life. It is one less thing on my mind when I’d rather be focusing on him and I.

  16. Kevin says:

    When I married My first wife she had two children. We were both comitted Christians. We had one more, then she developed a fear of further pregnancy. She would use at least two birth control methods, and also mechanical methods (withdrawing, stopping early etc). This was not easy for me to endure. We discussed a vasectomy for me. I was 30. I was afraid and unsure, and the doctors knew it, I knew it. After 12 months of negotiation I had it done but I still felt brow-beaten into it. The result was no phobias on her side. She was more receptive. Then a year later she left me. Various reasons, bankruptcy, lack of respect, conflict. Lots of reasons.
    The doctors told me all the negative stuff about reversing it, and how uncertain, risky and expensive, so I could not have children any more. My second wife knew and accepted it with bitter anguish. It meant no children ever for her. My comment is, I thought Marriage was forever, being Christians. Not so always. Be VERY sure why you are having the procedure. Don’t do it too young, and 30 was far too young. Reversable is best,
    We’ve been married 23 years now, and it’s tough. The lack of Children has taken a huge toll emotionally on us both. The sex life is non existant. This whole subject is a hurtful confusing mess of frustration, and near impossible guidelines, but these are topics for discussion in other areas of this forum.
    Kevin

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