By Melissa Avstreih
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Sarah Whitt couldn’t believe the discharge instructions for her husband’s vasectomy. Turns out, she was right to question them.
After their second baby, Whitt and her husband decided their family of four was large enough. She and her husband debated birth control or a vasectomy, and reluctantly Whitt’s husband agreed to the surgery. Whitt said she assumed her husband’s recovery would be pretty easy.
“I thought he’d just sit around for a few hours a with bag of peas on his balls,” she said. “My jaw dropped when I read his discharge instructions.”
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that renders a man unable to impregnate a woman. It involves cutting or blocking two tubes, called the vas deferens, so that sperm can no longer get into the semen.
The American Academy of Urologists recommends men limit activity for 48 hours. They advise men to avoid heavy lifting, pushing, or straining. They also tell men to ejaculate 30-40 times for the proceeding six weeks.
“My husband basically told me he planned to sit on his ass for two days, and then wanted to have sex 30-40 times in the next six weeks,” Whitt said. “Thirty times is like a year’s worth in this house.”
When Whitt questioned the instructions, her husband’s urologist defended them and mansplained that a vasectomy is a complicated surgery performed on a sensitive part of the body.
“I came home from the hospital with baby number two and 14 stitches in my vagina. My only discharge instruction was to sleep when the baby slept,” Whitt said.
Thinking the instructions were complete bullshit, Whitt googled the phrase ‘female urologist’ and found one in her area, Jennifer Detweiler, a physician with Alexandria Urology Associates in Northern Virginia.
Detweiler said the discharge instructions gave her a good laugh. With all surgery, resting as much as possible is always advised. There, however, is no medical reason for men to ejaculate 30-40 times in six weeks.
“Whatever sperm is left after a vasectomy can’t live more than five days, so this makes no sense,” Detweiler said. “It’s clearly just a sad ploy for men to get laid.”
Whitt said she was relieved by Detweiler’s assessment.
“Now when my husband starts rubbing my back when we get into bed, I just keep looking at my phone.”
About the Author
Melissa Avstreih uses her Harvard journalism degree to write sarcastic articles about sex and parenting. She relies on coffee and wine to survive being a working mom. She lives in Arlington, VA with her sleep deprived husband and two truck obsessed little boys.