Why I Had a Vasectomy

Loving my wife meant limiting the number of children we conceived together.

As I mentioned last week, we will be offering a variety of personal essays about the choices Christians have made about the use of contraceptives. Today, Matthew Towles, PhD, explains why he decided to have a vasectomy:

I wonder how many life-changing conversations happen in the parking lots of doctors’ offices. I’ve had a few, but none more important than after our doctor said that Sunday, my wife, might consider getting a tubal ligation while he performed her second C-section.

“If this is your last child,” our doctor said, “you can have your tubes tied at the same time. We’ll be in there anyway.”

In the doctor’s office, I was relieved. My wife could give birth to our daughter while simultaneously eliminating the risk of having another child via emergency surgery. The doctor’s calm tone coupled with my relief that she wouldn’t have to endure another pregnancy settled it in my mind.

In the parking lot, though, I discovered she had already decided too: “I’m not getting my tubes tied. I’ll have enough going on without putting that in there.”

(If you’re smiling imagining this disagreement, you should follow us around: you’ll smile a lot.)

It’s not that Sunday’s pregnancies were especially bad. She didn’t have the worst sickness, and she certainly wasn’t on bed rest. Yet her body—at the structural level—seemed to grow babies in a way that literally tore her apart. Her long legs and very short torso stretched her abdominal muscles to a tearing point. (After the second pregnancy, she had to have surgery to correct the diastasis rectus abdominis.)

Many women take on the physical burden …

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