How Will You Choose Permanent Birth Control?

There are two things that are crucially important to a marriage: 1) communication and 2) intimacy. Typically, in my experience, you can’t have one without the other.

Recently, a fellow Dad of the Round Table exhibited great transparency and vulnerability when he posed the question, “How many is enough?”

I’ve read and re-read his article and the mass of comments that followed. Regardless of the number of children – one, two, or ten – his is a question that haunts many men and families. In his post, we discover that the couple has come to an impasse, and the ultimate decision is, “We don’t have sex anymore.”

I’ve had no trouble being candid about the vasectomy I had this past year, as evidenced here and here. The reality is, I knew it was coming six plus years ago before my oldest son was born. For me, it seemed like such an easy discussion with my wife. Knowing that we would have to delicately plan our pregnancies, due to her having a medical condition, and that it would be necessary for her to have a c-section, there was no question that I too would be subjected to going under the knife.

The discussion went something like this…

My beautiful wife: “I’ll be getting cut open to have your children, so you’ll be getting cut when we’re done having children!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am…” what could I say, she already had my balls in her purse.

Of course, I’m kidding (mostly), but there was one thing that my personal research and discussion with doctors told me; a vasectomy was the only permanent birth control there was. Condoms break, rings are just creepy (my personal opinion stemming from little dead girls climbing out of TVs), and I’ve heard too many stories about tube tying being ineffective. Even the IUD my wife had was not guaranteed.

Sure, there are those very rare cases that a vasectomy ends in a surprise pregnancy… can you imagine the finger pointing and accusations!? The chances of a vasectomy failing are estimated at 1 in 2000 or 0.05%. Guys, you had a better chance of being a professional baseball player than that. Compare the failure rate of tubal ligation and you’ll find a clear choice of which is the safest, more permanent choice. Siting Comprehensive Gynecology, states that, “Failure occurs in about 5 per 1,000 (0.5%) women after one year and 18 per 1,000 (1.8%) women after 10 years.”

Whoa! 10 years after the fact, my wife is more likely to get pregnant after getting her tubes tied than after the first year. Not just, “No,” but “Hell, no!”

So, fast forward two kids later and our decision to move forward with the vasectomy. The hardest decision was deciding we were absolutely, 100% done with kids. We had baby fever off and on even just a few months before I took my turn under the knife.

At six and four, our kids were fairly self sufficient for their age. Potty trained, feed themselves, sleep through the night (mostly), and we don’t have to pack up the house and take it with us when we go to visit the grandparents. Naps are even becoming optional… except when I need one. Bottom line, we have a ton of fun with our kids because we don’t have to worry about whether or not we forgot the baby wipes or staying on a schedule ’cause the baby will get fussy.

Having a son and a daughter, for us, is perfect. Stopping after two children is right for our family. A vasectomy, even decided before our children were even conceived, was the right permanent birth control for my wife and I.

At the end of the day, these decisions were made based on two things that are critically important to a healthy marriage: 1) communication, and 2) intimacy.

Have you had the conversation with your spouse about permanent birth control? When the time comes, what choice will you make?


The Beginning
About Chad Miller

I'm an active Husband and Dad to a son and daughter. I passionately pursue, encourage, and inspire others to help change the image of Dads from family idiot to Family Leader. You can follow my journey at

It's not always about what you learn in the class room

22 Things More Important Than…

I'm a big fan of life experiences.  I think a kid … [Read Article]

Schrod's cat

How Human Rights will Benefit from…

Many people don't realize the close connection … [Read Article]


Is It Time We Stop Applauding Dads…

My son, Aaron Gabriel, was born Monday 07 December … [Read Article]


  1. happiestdaddy says:

    We have two boys — 2 and 9 months. I consulted a doctor about a vas but eventually decided to postpone the decision. For now, my wife is using birth control because we’re not ready to make a final decision. My wife really wants a girl and even though I’m at peace with having 2 kids, we’re still in the decision-making stage.
    Long term, I still foresee an operation in my future but for now, Plan B is working out fine.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us…It’s important stuff.

    • It sounds like you’re talking about it. Though it’s not a constant conversation, the communication is still there, and that’s key. Most couples don’t even have a Plan A, so you’re ahead of the curve.

  2. Hank says:

    We did talk about it before and early in our marriage. Things have changed in many ways in 13 years. We have four boys between 2 and 10 (one 8 yr old with medical special needs) and have a fifth child on the way (gender to be learned at birth). No we are not trying for a girl. 😉 I am not sure I will know how to act if we have a girl after ten years of parenting this many boys.

    The reoccurring theme I see is parents regretting making a decision to make things permanent. Some have adopted and others just seem to waller in it.

    • Hank, my personal opinion is that if you’re “wallering” in your decision, it wasn’t a unified decision in the first place. Honestly, to feel sorry for yourself, and have regret is extremely selfish. I tip my hat to those who find that they want more children after a vasectomy and choose to adopt.
      I’m making a very broad statement here, of course. There are many variables that can be discussed that I’m not including, nor am I discounting.

  3. Sue Diamond-Phillips says:

    I realize this is months old now, but I’m trolling this site reading up on the ol’ peen-chop since the husband and i are talking about it again…we have 5 kids and he was totally going to get one after #3 was born, heard horror stories, and shaboom we have 2 more after that:) I so wish i could comit to it, i know he would do it at this point without regrets but yup, i’m the gum on his shoe with it. It’s the official end of an era…no more surprises…that’s hard! no pun intended. Really appreciate the topic on this website/blog!

This is what I think...