Kiki wants her boyfriend to get a vasectomy. They’ve had a few kids together and she doesn’t want to have anymore. Her boyfriend is worried that a vasectomy will make him “less of a man.” Kiki has also read a few vasectomy horror stories on the internet and is worried about the procedure. How can she convince her boyfriend, and herself, that he should get a vasectomy?

Dr. Fisch’s Advice:

A vasectomy is actually a very simple procedure that often takes less than 30 minutes and doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay or much post-surgery down time. A tubal ligation, also called having the “tubes tied,” is surgery on the fallopian tubes and is a more dangerous procedure.

There have been several advances in the area of vasectomies over the last few years. There is now a no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy procedure with very little discomfort associated with it. There’s a 3% failure rate with tubal ligation (tubectomy) and only 1% with the no-scalpel vasectomy.

Many guys are just scared to undergo surgery in their genital region so you can’t force your boyfriend to undergo a surgery that he doesn’t want. There are sometimes side effects associated with the procedure including chronic pain, but, pain can often be a mind-over-matter issue. Someone like that may experience more post-surgery pain because there’s an emotional component involved.

Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University.