• How Men can Participate in Birth Control

    Contraception is a major component of reproductive health, which is important to both men and women. Interestingly, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, both men and women believe that women feel more responsible for children and that women have more influence on a couple’s decision to have children. Half of the men surveyed said they don’t know much about contraceptive options. Why would that be? Men certainly have a stake in contraception, because pregnancy leads to paternal responsibility.  

    One reason men are not necessarily as involved as they should be in contraceptives is that reproductive health care services aren’t typically geared to men’s needs. Family planning services, whether at sexual health clinics, obstetricians’ offices, or hospitals, traditionally tend to focus on women. There’s not much funding for male services, and often a predominantly female staff will not have sufficient training to meet men’s needs. Of course, part of this is because women need prescriptions for contraceptives, while men can buy condoms over the counter. The only men who would typically involve their health care provider in their contraceptive choices are those who get vasectomies, and that is a one-time procedure.  

    Would men be willing to play a greater role when it comes to birth control? That same survey indicated that twothirds of men would be willing to take male birth control pills, nearly half would take Depo-Provera shots, and over a third would be interested in getting a Norplant if these options were available for me. This is significant, but until science catches up with the good intentions of men, how can they be more involved in birth control? 

    As a start, men can educate themselves about contraception. There are websites with information about this topic, as well as reference books, so it’s easy to become informed. Men can also communicate with their partners, letting the women in their lives know that they’re interested in being more active participants in contraception and reproductive health.  

    Some men choose a vasectomy as a way to take charge of contraception, but sometimes circumstances change and the need arises to restore fertility. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our caring and skilled team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a vasectomy reversal or have other concerns about their fertility. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just have questions and want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.  

  • Facts You Should Know Before a Vasectomy Reversal

    It happens more often than you might think. A man decides he does not want any more children, gets a vasectomy, and changes his mind later. In fact, as many as 30,000 men decide each year to have vasectomy reversals. If this is something you’re considering, here are some things you need to know.  

    • Vasectomy reversal is definitely doable. Even though vasectomy is considered a permanent form of sterilization, vasectomy reversal actually has high success rates. It’s a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that simply restores continuity to the vas deferens. Using microsurgery techniques, the surgeon stitches the tubing back together, and in most cases, the patient can return to work within just a few days. It’s safe, too, with the risks of bleeding and infection at less than one half of a percent.  
    • Vasectomy doesn’t stop the production of sperm. The vasectomy procedure doesn’t keep the testicles from making sperm, it just prevents the sperm from leaving the body. That’s why it’s possible to restore normal fertility with a vasectomy reversal. After a recovery time of about three weeks, during which time he’ll need to abstain from sex, a patient can begin trying to conceive. It may take as long as a year for fertility to return, however, particularly for men in whom there was a blockage in the epididymis.  
    • Time can get in the way of a successful reversal. Vasectomy reversal works best, with a success rate of up to 95 percent, when the vasectomy was performed within 10 years. If it’s been more than 15 years since the procedure occurred, the success rate begins to decline. Even after a successful reversal, though, fertility may still be an issue, depending on the health of the man and his partner.  
    • It’s important to consider your partner’s fertility as well as your ownWhen considering a vasectomy reversal, a man and his partner should be examined for any fertility issues. The quality of the man’s sperm, the age of the woman, and other factors may come into play and make other options more effective. Sometimes, a sperm retrieval procedure is used to enable in vitro fertilization.  
    • Insurance doesn’t typically cover vasectomy reversal. If you are considering vasectomy reversal, be aware that you’ll probably need to pay for it out of pocket. When looking for a surgeon, it may be helpful to find one with flexible payment options.  

    If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our caring and skilled team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and we also offer a payment plan option for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just have questions and want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.  

  • Dads and the Bedtime Routine

    Being a father is rewarding, but sometimes it’s hard to work in enough quality time. A dad who works full time may not be home in time for dinner, and often, families pack so much into weekends that there’s very little time left for relaxing and enjoying your kids. The solution? For many dads, the answer is to take charge of the bedtime routine.  

    What’s so great about bedtime? It’s a peaceful time, in which kids and dads can have time together that’s relaxed and enjoyable. As an added benefit, at the end of this time of bonding, the kids are usually asleep. It’s a nice thing to do, too, because studies show that women tend to carry the bulk of the “mental load” of raising kids. When dads step up to handle bedtime, it gives moms the opportunity to take a much-needed break.  

    As a dad, you’re probably always looking for ways to spend time with your children one-on-one. Giving your children this kind of attention at bedtime can make them feel special and important, which benefits everyone involved. They’ll remember these special moments all their lives, and being involved in caring for your kids can help you appreciate the unique individuals they are. If you have more than one child you’re putting to bed at a time, consider taking turns putting them to bed, so that each parent gets the opportunity for this focused time with each child individually.  

    What constitutes a good bedtime routine?  

    • It’s consistent. Regular sleeping and waking times are important for children, even on weekends. By sticking to a set bedtime, you’ll help your children get enough sleep so that they can be well-rested during the day.  
    • It has a pattern. This pattern will shift as the child grows and reaches different developmental stages, but in general, it should include all the things a child needs to do to get ready for bed, along with some relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to gentle music, and talking about the day. Try to keep the bedtime routine to 30 minutes or less, not including bath time, and be firm about when it’s time to go to sleep. Sticking to a familiar routine can give a child a feeling of security and a sense of well-being. 
    • It’s healthy. A good bedtime routine can include a healthy snack, light enough that it doesn’t interfere with sleep. Dental hygiene should also be part of your bedtime process because instilling good dental habits will have lifelong benefits. The bedtime routine should not include any stimulating activities like video games or screen time. In fact, these types of activities should be discontinued 30 to 60 minutes before you begin putting the child to bed.  
    • It’s cozyThe room should be dark, quiet, and cool but not cold, the child should be dressed comfortably, and the noise level in the house should be low. If your child does not like the dark, use a night light or leave the hall light on and the bedroom door open. A security object like a doll, stuffed animal, or blanket can make a child feel secure, comfortable, and in control when falling asleep.  

    When dads take over the bedtime routine, both they and their children benefit. Being a dad is a great experience, and sometimes men who didn’t think they’d want to play that role may find themselves regretting their decision to have a vasectomy. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our caring and skilled team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a vasectomy reversal or have other concerns about their fertility. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just have questions and want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.