Health

These Friends Got Vasectomies Together For Their Wives

As most great decisions do, this all played out in a group chat.

1. These three couples have known each other for years.

Lisa Diaz

The couples — Lisa and Paul Diaz, Sabrina and Basilio Santangelo, and Vanessa and John Lambrechts — each have two kids and live in the LA area.

2. They go on vacations together and watch their kids grow up together — and recently, the husbands got vasectomies together.

UCLA Health

3. All three couples had already been considering the long-term birth control option.

Lisa Diaz

“My husband Paul and I decided we were very happy with our family size and had been talking about possibly closing up shop so that we can soon ditch the diapers phase and get on with our lives,” Lisa told BuzzFeed Health. “And no, I was not about to get back on the Pill or have [a tubal ligation], so my husband was open to learning more about the procedure.”

“It was my idea first,” Sabrina told BuzzFeed Health. “We always knew we wanted two kids. We’ve been blessed with two healthy boys, so it was the perfect time.”

“Vanessa and I talked in the past that we didn’t want more than two kids,” John told BuzzFeed Health. “Why risk it? I heard the surgery was a quick recovery and she had already been through childbirth, so that was my contribution.”

4. Luckily, they all happened to have a mutual friend who works at the department of urology at UCLA Health: John’s sister, Sylvia Lambrechts. When they asked Sylvia for advice, she recommended the same doctor to all three.

Sabrina Santangelo

Lisa and Sabrina asked Sylvia for a recommendation in their group chat. They later found out that John and Vanessa were on board, too.

“We started a group chat with all of us over text and came to realize Sylvia or her office had booked us the same day, one right after the other,” said Lisa.

And so, all the guys all got snipped on Dec. 16, 2016.

5. During a vasectomy, a urologist cuts and blocks the tubes that deliver sperm from the testes (called the vas deferens).

Their urologist, Dr. Jesse Mills, director of the men’s clinic at UCLA Health, told BuzzFeed Health that the procedure typically takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, so he was able to do all three vasectomies in one afternoon.

Mills performed a no-scalpel vasectomy, where a small hole is poked right over the vas deferens (rather than the larger incision made in a standard vasectomy), minimizing pain, risks, and recovery time.

“It’s like pulling a worm out of a tiny hole in the ground. Once you pull out a loop of it, then you just put two little titanium clips on either end, take out that segment, and put it back like it was never there.”

Recovery usually takes about a week, and Mills said patients should refrain from heavy activity or lifting to minimize pain and swelling.

6. In the US, male sterilization is much less common than female sterilization (tubal ligation), despite it being a more effective and lower-risk procedure.

Interestingly, the reverse is true in Canada and the UK, where vasectomies are actually more common than tubal ligations.

7. “It was definitely a better experience having your friends go through it with you. There is strength in numbers,” said Basilio.

UCLA Health

“There was pain, as to be expected, followed by a few days of soreness, but overall it was fast and easy,” said Basilio. “The procedure was done on a Friday afternoon, and by Sunday I was OK and went to brunch with my family.”

“The procedure was fine. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but a couple of days later I felt 100%,” said John. “I think most guys are a little worried of having a knife by their family jewels, but once you get past that it’s really not that bad.”

8. And the wives were very appreciative.

Lisa Diaz

“I am so grateful to my husband for taking one for the team, and we are both feeling a sense of relief knowing that there will hopefully be no surprises!” said Lisa.

“I really enjoyed being pregnant, but with anything there is always a risk, and seeing as I birthed two beautiful boys naturally, I felt it was fair for daddy to do this,” said Sabrina.

9. “My advice would be just to get it done. You have to ice your jewels constantly for about three days, and pop a few Advil,” said Basilio. “But overall I healed quickly and I’m happy I did it.”

Lisa Diaz

“I feel by the second day I was back to normal and could go along with my usual routine,” said John. “I would highly recommend it to others. It’s fast and easy and gets the job done.”

10. “We are a very close group of friends, our kids were born months apart, we’ve traveled together before kids, and now with kids, and we’ve shared some pretty awesome milestones together,” said Basilio. “We never thought we’d share this!”

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