What you need to know if you're considering a vasectomy: Rob Delaney tells of his experience

Caroline Allen
·3 min read
Rob Delaney, pictured here in 2016, has written a candid essay about his vasectomy. (Getty Images)
Rob Delaney, pictured here in 2016, has written candidly about his vasectomy. (Getty Images)

Rob Delaney has opened up about how it felt to have a vasectomy and how he came to the decision to have one after he and his wife had four children.

The 43-year-old actor and comedian wrote candidly about his experience in The Guardian, explaining matter-of-factly: “I did this because my wife and I don’t want her to get pregnant again.”

A vasectomy is a form of permanent contraception that involves a surgical procedure to stop sperm getting into a man's semen. In 2019, reproductive health charity Marie Stopes UK provided almost 6,000 vasectomies across the UK.

Delaney said it was the “least he could do for his wife” who “had taken birth control for decades”.

Read more: Husband slammed for having secret vasectomy

Just mentioning the word vasectomy is enough to make some men wince, but Debi Hammond, UK head of vasectomy and commissioning at Marie Stopes explained to Yahoo UK that although the procedure is considered to be uncomfortable, it’s “quick and simple” and is usually complete in less than 10 minutes.

“We know how many couples value the reassurance they get knowing the risk of an unwanted pregnancy is behind them. It only requires a small dose of local anaesthetic, there is no need for a scalpel, no hormones, and nothing to insert.

“The key thing to consider is that you are sure you don’t want any more children. Vasectomy is considered to be a permanent method of contraception and though reversal is possible, it may not be successful, so you need to be 100% confident in your decision.

“It is also important for men to be aware that vasectomy is not successful immediately. So you will need to continue using your normal method of contraception until you have had a semen sample checked to ensure there are no sperm in it. Once you're informed that the sample is clear, you can stop using contraception.”

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Delaney said that while the procedure wasn’t altogether pleasant, he comforted himself “with the knowledge that what I was enduring would probably feel like a pleasant respite compared with what my wife went through four times to bring our chunky sons into the world”.

After the procedure, he was allowed to leave once he had done his “first successful pee”, which didn’t hurt, incidentally.

The “discomfort” following the procedure lasted for a couple of weeks, but since then, Delaney has suffered from no loss of libido, lingering pain or scars.

Hammond wants to reassure men considering the procedure that this is usually the case: “Vasectomy has no effect on a man's sex life; in fact in some cases men have said that it improves their sex life, reducing the fear of an unplanned pregnancy.”

If you feel a vasectomy might be the right choice for you, Marie Stopes offers expert advice and support on the phone: 0345 300 0212.

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