Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Vasectomy after age 60

Seriously thinking of having a no scalpel vasectomy. still very active, I had always thought I wanted the responsibility of that with my wife but she had a tubal ligation several years ago.  That has haunted me ever since because I did not want that at all. I don't mess around but really been seriously thinking of this proceedure.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Why?  Any procedure is a risk, and if you don't mess around and your wife can't have kids, don't quite understand the motivation or the usefulness.
Avatar universal
Oh, I see you have a particular problem in that area, is that the reason?  
3 Comments
More of a mental issue that I should have spoke up long ago about my feelings.
as for the hydrocele not much of an issue just can be uncomfortable at times and
concerned with the fluid becoming stagnant.
My view is, if you don't need a doctor doing anything to you, don't do it.  Only do it if you need to, as any procedure has its risks.  But that's just my view.  
If this is mostly to try to get over how you feel about being unable to stop your wife from having a tubal ligation all those years ago, a vasectomy seems like the opposite of the solution. You wanted kids. A vasectomy would be a total rejection of the very thing that was your heart's desire. (As the saying goes, like "drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.") I feel like you'd wake up from your procedure of the hydrocele and the vasectomy and really regret the vasectomy. Can't see that it would empower you in any way.
134578 tn?1614729226
You say you don't mess around, if that is true, and you're married to someone who has had a tubal ligation, why are you thinking of doing a procedure whose only purpose is to prevent producing children? Are you thinking of ending your marriage, or perhaps looking ahead and thinking you might wind up a widower and not wanting to have this operation later in life? (That would be some interesting planning ahead.) My thought is, your wife will think you are intending to play around. (Or were you intending not to tell her about the vasectomy?)
9 Comments
Actually I was so upset when she had her tubal ligation 33 years ago that I went to a doctor after her procedure about a vasectomy, and even had my wife stop in at that time and sign off on the vasectomy.  By the way, did you know that for a husband to get a vasectomy the wife has to sign off BUT for the wife to get a tubal ligation the husband is not even involved.   At that time I did not go through with the vasectomy because I had hoped the tubal ligation would fail and she would become pregnant with our 3rd child.  Then I would have gotten the vasectomy after our 3rd child.  I had always wanted a larger family since childhood.   Anyways, the day of her procedure I told her in the parking lot going into the hospital that we did not have to do this and I was told to "settle down"  then once she was prepared for surgery I told her and the surgeon I was not sure I wanted this done.  OF course no one listened to me.
And yes, I have spent time with a phycologist discussing the situation.
and as for not telling her this time if I do get the vasectomy I have not decided if I will or not.
I'm confused.  Are you in the US?  It's hard for me to believe any adult has to get another adult to "sign off" on any medical procedure.  Not saying I know for sure and not interested enough to research it, but it sure doesn't sound like health care in the US.  But you never know, I guess.  My view remains the same.  You aren't going to produce more children anyway given your age and marriage.  I guess yeah, you could end up single again at some point.  But that doesn't seem to be your motivation.  My only concern is that all medical procedures can go wrong, and sometimes very wrong.  I know docs don't advertise that, but I can tell you from personal experience, if you can avoid doctors by all means do so.  Everything doctors and dentists do can harm us, so we should only do it when we need to do it.  You don't need to do this.  But it's your life, and if you want a random doc cutting into you for no reason, it's your life.  I know I wouldn't do it.
Yes this is in the USA and Pennsylvania
This is such an interesting situation. Most of the time, it's women who have had to get a man to sign off on a surgery - tubals, hysterectomies, etc. They don't do that so much anymore, but it used to be very common.

You may be the first man I've heard of that had to have his wife sign off on his vasectomy.

I don't understand your motivation, either. Are you still angry with your wife? Is this some kind of quid pro quo? You seem angry about it still.

As Pax says, there are always risks with surgeries. Maybe the energy you'd put towards surgery would be better spent towards therapy instead. If your wife isn't aware of all this, definitely make some appts for marriage counseling.

I'm not judging you. Your life was seriously altered in huge ways and while she may have her side to this story, it still wasn't how you wanted or expected it to be. A vasectomy isn't going to fix any of this, and just puts you at risk. If you're planning on staying with her, and you're both in your 60s, you could have 20 or 30 more years together. Invest in ways to make them good ones.
You're right, Pax, in thinking it can't be a legal requirement. A doctor might make it a policy to require that the spouse be informed, but that would be because they don't want the hassle of an angry spouse trying to sue them later or drag them into a divorce case, not because there is a law against giving someone a vasectomy without informing his wife. (Similarly, kdfa386tc could have put together a lawsuit on the basis that he didn't give consent for his wife to get a tubal ligation, but such a suit wouldn't get any further than if a woman sued a doc regarding her husband's vasectomy.) People have agency; one adult cannot force another to have (or not have) a medical procedure. Unless Pennsylvania had a weird law on the books 33 years ago (which it doesn't sound like they did or kdfa would have been able to use it to prevent his wife from having a tubal ligation), the reason the doctor had kdfa's wife sign a form was probably about not being sued later in a nuisance suit.  
A younger guy I work with just recently had a vasectomy.  At the hospital he said the nurse handed him the paper to sign them handed it to his wife to also sign.  The young guy commented the the nurse told them what is funny is that if she were getting her tubes done he would not even have to know about it. For a woman they just want her signature.
So apparently that thought is still in effect in Pennsylvania!
I just did a quick google on this, and it's not uncommon. There are reddit posts, different articles, etc. Who knew?

Your marital stuff aside, I think that's terrible. If I can have a tubal or make reproductive decisions on my own (rightfully so), you should be able to do the same. I saw one post from a retired urologist that said he always required the wife to come in and sign off because he didn't want to get in the middle of marital problems. How about he minds his own business and just practice medicine?

That's crazy.
At least, the idea is in effect at that hospital or with that doctor. But, never take the words of a nurse holding a form as any kind of legal expert telling you that you must do it. Hospitals ask people to sign a whole bunch of stuff because they want to head off possible nuisance lawsuits (or because they want someone to take responsibility for payment), not because they are enforcing any law.

For example, my husband's elderly aunt needed something done at a hospital, and because he was there, they badgered him to sign a bunch of forms approving the procedure. But, he is not legally her relative. (She's his aunt because she married his uncle, they are not related by blood.)  If he wanted to protest something because he's her nephew and cares about her, it wouldn't work because the courts would say he doesn't have legal standing to do it. I was talking to her lawyer (who has her power of attorney -- he signs at the hospital for her when they insist someone other than the aunt herself sign), and he said "Hospital forms aren't based in the law." No matter what a nurse said to your friend, at most she is just quoting either the hospital policy or a doctor's policy.
134578 tn?1614729226
It sounds like 33 years ago, your doctor was more or less pulling the wool over your eyes for his own cover-his-a** reasons.

Here's from https://goodmenproject.com/newsroom/are-men-legally-required-to-ask-their-spouses-permission-for-a-vasectomy/

"There’s no legal requirement for spousal consent and no minimum age for vasectomy other than the minimum age of consent. But while it’s not necessary to have spousal consent, it’s a really good idea, and involving the spouse in the decision is encouraged."

and

"Doctors can impose requirements in a private setting in order to protect themselves legally. It’s their choice that they want to do that. While it would be pretty difficult for a wife to successfully sue a doctor for doing a vasectomy on her husband, it wouldn’t surprise me if their legal counsel insisted that they would be better off getting that consent. That said, nobody I know is imposing that kind of requirement."

Evidently anyone can have a vasectomy as long as they are of legal age and sign the consent form.

I'm still puzzled about this overall, though. If, 33 years ago, your wife felt strongly enough about not having more children that she had this operation even in the face of your opposition, that was clearly a fight (one of the biggest problems between spouses to solve is disagreement about how many children to have). And it also had to have been a huge disappointment to you that she did it in the face of your opposition. But, even if you were furious with her, what would be the point (then, or now after stewing over it so long) in having a vasectomy if you wanted more kids?

Why give her the satisfaction of cutting off your own ability to have children if that's not what you wanted then, and not what you even much want now (or at least, having no more children was sad for you?) Do you think it would make you feel more in control of this decision? Is this a backhanded way to make your wife sorry she had the operation? (She won't be.) It just seems like it's pretty convoluted and won't do what you think it will do for your sense of agency.

Life is unpredictable. You're 60. My husband and I had our son when he was 62. Think it over ... you just don't know what will happen in the future.

1 Comments
I would add two things.  First, I will play the lawyer card, even though I didn't really practice law for very long I am a certified law school graduate and did practice some law.  And what I can tell everyone reading this is, never believe what people ask you to sign if it sounds weird.  Research it first if you have any objection.  What you were asked to sign was more likely a waiver of rights of some kind to sue, possibly forcing you into mediation or arbitration, or it could have been a scam knowing most people believe what doctors tell them.  There used to be all kinds of things people had to sign to enter into a business deal, as anyone who followed the wonderful Trump years should know by now, but you don't have to sign it and it's a good sign to find another doctor.  We sign away all kinds of rights just to go on websites like this one but a lot of that boilerplate language is actually unenforceable in a court of law.  The second point is that you can't make your wife feel bad by unnecessarily going under the knife, nor can you change her personality.  There must be a solid foundation of love there and I think perhaps this is an opportunity for you to learn how to forgive and forget, as there's nothing you can do about it now.  Maiming yourself included, because you're doing it to yourself, not to your wife.  Let it go, but if there are other things your wife does without your approval that really should be mutual decisions then that is something worth exploring with her in a way that doesn't poison the well.  But if not, leave it be, go on with your life, and love your wife for all the things you love about her and forgive her this one.  You'll both be happier that way.  But again it's your life, not mine.  Peace.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Men's Health Community

Top Men's Health Answerers
1622896 tn?1562364967
London, United Kingdom
139792 tn?1498585650
Indore, India
11369760 tn?1449504372
Southwest , MI
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Sean Cummings discusses which available erectile dysfunction treatments may have the best outcome for you
They got it all wrong: Why the PSA test is imperative for saving lives from prostate cancer
10 prostate cancer misconceptions debunked.