In Search of Birth Control after 40
My husband and I are in need of some birth control. We had our 5th baby in May. Yes, I said 5th. He is our amazing, unexpected blessing. And as much as I love even numbers and would relish every Brady Bunch reference, we aren't looking for a 6th.
I had every intention of getting my tubes tied when I had my required c-section. I was told it’s easy! It takes 3 minutes! As long as the doctor has already cut you open, why not?! But a few weeks before I opted out.
I chose not to do it because I started reading about the risks and I wasn’t happy. There are women suffering from something called Post-Tubal Ligation Syndrome. There are a whole range of symptoms including anxiety, depression, weight gain, headaches, heavy periods, night sweats, hot flashes, chills, decreased libido, thinning hair and fingernails and more!
Whoa. I wasn't taking a chance of any of that happening.
With that option off the table, I started looking at other methods of birth control. I wasn't interested in going back on the pill or trying anything like Mirena, a hormonal IUD that comes with a whole host of side effects for some women. In fact, after giving birth to five children, I didn't really feel like doing anything at all.
And that's when I turned to my husband and mention the V word: vasectomy. He was very open to the idea (probably because he was envisioning a life of condoms). He met with a urologist who insisted we watch a video on the topic.
The video was entitled, Everything You Need To Know about Your Vasectomy or maybe it was called You Will Never Want a Vasectomy after Watching This or something like it. As we watched, I winced frequently and I don't even have those boy parts.
Then the video discussed some of the minor risks like infection or bleeding. Loss of manhood is not one of them. Next, it mentioned some extremely rare risks but didn't give any details. None. Like you have to be part of some secret society and know the special handshake to learn the extremely rare risks.
After watching the video - I said to my husband, "You don't have to do this. Seriously. Condoms aren't so bad! They'll make us feel young again! We can have sex in the back of your parent's Volvo."
But he's on board with the vasectomy so it looks like we've got our birth control plan.