Are You Having Second Thoughts?
Sometimes, men have a vasectomy, thinking they don’t want any more children, but then have second thoughts. About 300,000 men in the United States have vasectomies each year, and somewhere between three and six percent of those men later decide to reverse those vasectomies. In the past, this was a long shot. Today, vasectomy reversal is safe and effective. But is it the right option for you? Here are some factors to consider when making the decision.
Conception is Not Guaranteed After a Reversal
Vasectomy reversals are much more successful than they used to be, but no procedure is 100 percent perfect. Sometimes, it takes up to 12 months for a stable semen analysis test, and sometimes other factors make conception difficult. Your partner’s age and fertility status come into play, as do things like testicular issues, the length of time since the vasectomy was done, and problems with the vasectomy itself.
There May Be Health Risks
Serious complications are rare with vasectomy reversal, but they do sometimes occur. Bleeding within the scrotum, infection at the surgery site, and chronic pain can all result, though they are uncommon.
Vasectomy Reversal Can Be Costly
Vasectomy reversal can be expensive, even without considering costs like anesthesia fees. What’s more, health insurance often will not cover it. Talk to your fertility specialist about the cost, and make sure there are no surprises when you receive your bill.
Finding the Right Surgeon is Important
Vasectomy reversal is a complicated procedure, involving complex microsurgery. Ultimately, the original surgery can have a major impact on the reversal. For a successful reversal, choose an experienced, trained microsurgeon. Ask about the success rates of any surgeon you are considering, and check credentials before committing.
Three Vasectomy Reversal-Friendly Situations
- Your life has changed significantly. Maybe you’ve become a widower, or you’ve divorced, and now you’re remarried. Maybe you have lost a child. Whatever the reason, if your life changes make you re-evaluate the decision not to have more children, a vasectomy reversal may be the right choice.
- You’ve had a sincere change of heart. You might have been 100 percent sure, earlier in life, that you didn’t want children or that your family was complete already. Now, later in life, you’ve come to regret that decision. Vasectomy reversals can be reversed many years after the original procedure, so if you have changed your mind, talk to a specialist about whether a vasectomy reversal is right for you.
- The vasectomy has caused issues for you. Sometimes, men experience complications following a vasectomy. This is not common, but if it does happen, your surgeon may recommend a vasectomy reversal to correct the problem.
Fertility Experts Offering Exceptional Patient Care
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Can you travel with a baby?
Before you had a baby, travel was easy! You could pack up and go any time you had a whim and some time off, with very little hassle. Now that you have a new little one, though, the idea of packing up all the baby gear and heading off on a trip feels daunting. Can you even travel with a baby? How old does a baby need to be before it’s safe to travel? You probably have a million questions, so we’ve got some tips to help make traveling with a baby easier.
When can you go?
Before you make plans to jet off to Grandma’s with your newborn, slow down and talk to your pediatrician. Little ones are still developing their immune systems, so it’s important to get guidance from a healthcare professional before planning a trip. When you do travel with your baby, make sure you wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, and avoid visibly ill travelers, to help keep your little one safe and healthy.
In addition to clearing the trip with your healthcare provider, make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date and that you pack all medication and important documents you will need on the trip. Whether your child is an infant, and older baby, or toddler, it’s better to have more than you need than to forget something. While you’re planning your trip, research your accommodations and amenities, making sure you will have everything you need for a successful stay with your little one. Be prepared for travel-related maladies like colds, sore throats, diarrhea, and car sickness, as well as things like mosquito bites and bedbugs. Take preventive measures to avoid these issues, and have remedies on hand just in case. Perhaps most importantly when planning a trip with a child, allow plenty of extra time for packing the car, getting to your destination or to the airport, going through security, checking into your hotel, or eating at a restaurant. When you have plenty of time and you’re well-prepared, the trip will go more smoothly.
What to Pack
Really, when packing to travel with a baby or small child, more is more. Make sure you bring everything your baby will need, from a traveling crib to a stroller to bottles, bibs, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and plenty of clothes. Bring favorite toys and blankets, pack books, craft supplies and other activities, and bring bedding from home to help your child feel more at ease. Check the weather for your destination and pack accordingly, being prepared for the weather to take an unexpected turn.
Where to Go
Plan trips that are age appropriate and will be interesting to your child. When visiting the grandparents, take time to visit playgrounds. When planning a vacation, consider a beach or some other location with plenty to do and explore outside. Make sure, wherever you go, that you’re keeping a close eye on toddlers and small children who can easily get into dangerous situations, particularly around water.
What to Keep on Hand
You’ve packed all the essentials, but some things need to be easily accessible while you’re traveling. A first aid kit, plenty of water, disposable diapers, and snacks should all be on the list when you’re traveling with a small child. Be prepared to provide entertainment for an older baby or child, whether that means singing songs, playing games, or reading a book. Pro tip: if you have older little ones, audiobooks are a wonderful way to occupy the whole family on a long road trip.
Consistency is Key
The younger the child, the more important it is to keep feeding and sleep schedules consistent when you travel. If you are going to cross time zones during your trip, try to gradually adjust the schedule to the new time zone two or three days before you leave for your trip. Having a consistent routine will help your child feel more secure, and will make for fewer meltdowns.
Your child may experience some big feelings when the routine changes. Sleeping in a strange bed, being away from home, and missing the normal routine can be hard for kids to manage. Stress, confusion, and fear can all come out in the form of temper tantrums, crying, or otherwise acting out. Some of this can be alleviated by keeping a regular sleeping and eating schedule and bringing familiar items from home. It’s important, though, to allow your child to make some decisions, and to respect their boundaries, avoiding forcing them into any activities or interactions they strongly resist.
Sometimes, you’re going to have to move more slowly than you’d like on a trip with a baby. Children need breaks, naps, and down time, and it’s not easy for them to sit for long stretches in a car or on a plane. Plan for this, building in breaks, helping them “get their wiggles out”, and giving them extra hugs, snuggles, and overall patience.
Don’t be shy about asking the flight attendant if there is something special available for a fussy child, like a pack of crayons or a picture book. If you need something from the hotel, ask. If you’re staying with family, don’t try to care for your baby all by yourself, but accept help from well-meaning family members.
Help With Starting a Family
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Embracing New Parenting
Do you have a new baby? Congratulations! New babies are amazing, and even though people told you before you became a parent, you probably were unprepared for how much you’d love this little person. Unfortunately, even though people probably also told you how overwhelming parenthood can be, you might have been fully prepared for that, either. Being a new parent is a wonderful gift, but it’s also hard, and if you are feeling frustrated, you’re not alone. Don’t worry! We have some hacks and tricks from experienced parents to help you navigate this brand new experience with your brand new little person.
Care and Keeping of Baby
- Bathing your baby in the kitchen sink means you don’t have to bend or kneel to reach the bathtub.
- Cradle cap can be managed by moisturizing it with a little bit of coconut oil and then using a baby comb to gently remove it.
- If you don’t have baby nail scissors, nose-hair scissors with rounded tips are the perfect substitute. Whatever you do, don’t bite your baby’s nails! Another nail tip: cut your baby’s fingernails when your little one is sleeping or feeding, to make it easier.
- When you need to give your baby medicine, stick the medicine dropper in a bottle nipple and administer the dose while your baby is happily sucking the nipple.
- Layer few covers on your changing pad, so that you can easily change to a clean one. Alternately, skip the covers and buy a simple changing pad you can wipe clean.
- Fold your newborn’s diaper waistband down to keep it away from the umbilical cord area while it’s healing.
- Swipe a wet wipe under your baby boy’s belly button immediately before a diaper change. That way, he’ll get a cold sensation that causes him to pee the diaper before taking off the diaper allows cool air to prompt the same reaction and cause him to pee on you!
- Olive or coconut oil on a newborn’s bottom will help make cleaning sticky meconium easier.
- Before you take off your baby’s diaper, put a fresh diaper underneath it, just in case.
- Rather than a diaper pail, you can use a regular trash can, keeping plastic bags in an empty wipes container so that you can throw away poopy diapers conveniently.
- When the inevitable blowout happens, pull the onesie down instead of over baby’s head. That’s why onesies have those little folds on the side of the neck hole- to widen the neck area and make them easier to pull down.
- Make foaming baby wash with equal parts baby wash and water in an empty bottle of foaming hand soap.
- Start tummy time with your baby on your chest or belly, so they get the benefits while also feeling close to you.
- Instead of onesies or PJs, use newborn nightgowns in the early days.
- When choosing sleepers, pick the ones that zip instead of snapping. All those little snaps never seem to line up correctly when you’re trying to change your wiggly baby in a hurry.
- Make swaddling easy with a swaddle that has Velcro.
- Get your baby into a good day and night routine. Interact with your little one during the day, making it easier for everyone to sleep at night.
- Use a white noise machine so that your baby won’t wake up with every noise. You’ll be glad you did when your child is a sound sleeper.
- Dream feed your baby, waking your infant for a feeding right before you go to bed for the night.
Hushing the Fuss
- Hold on to the exercise ball you got for labor so you can bounce your baby during fussy times.
- If your baby fusses at bath time, try swaddle bathing, wrapping the baby in a tight blanket and carefully unwrapping one limb at a time to wash, rinse, and rewrap.
- Learn the 5 S’s. Swaddling, shushing, swinging, sucking, and side laying are the perfect techniques for calming a fussy baby.
- Gripe water is a lifesaver and the fastest way to ease a baby’s gas to quiet a fussy tummy.
Out and About
- Keep your hands free by using a backpack instead of a diaper bag. This is especially helpful if you’re wearing your baby.
- Pad your car seat handle with a cut-up piece of pool noodle to make the heavy car seat easier to carry in the crook of your arm.
- Bring a change of clothes for yourself as well as your baby, in case of a spit up, diaper, or breastmilk incident.
- Use a baby hammock to hold your baby in a grocery cart so that you can shop and your baby can be comfortable.
Making Your Life Easier
- Stash wipes all over your house and in your car, because baby messes can happen anywhere.
- Create a portable diaper changing station to keep near you so you don’t have to keep running back to the changing table. This is particularly useful if you live in a multi-level home.
- Breastfeed while lying down so that you can get some rest while the baby eats.
- Grab a water before you breastfeed, to keep from getting dehydrated.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps is not a cliché. Even if you feel like you need to get things done, it’s better to get some rest whenever you can when you have a new baby.
- Learn to wear your baby. This can promote bonding while also leaving your hands free so you can get things done while your baby is awake.
- Keep a pack and play nearby. Set up your pack n play in a room you use frequently, so that you can set your baby down safely when you need to get something done.
- Take help that is offered to you. This is perhaps the best tip we can offer to new parents! When people offer help, let them do something for you, whether it’s bringing you dinner, watching the baby long enough for you to take a shower, running an errand for you, or helping you with housework. Other parents understand how hard it can be when you have a new baby, and their offers to help are sincere, so don’t wear yourself out trying to do it all on your own.
Center for Vasectomy Loves Helping Parents
We hope these tips helped you get a handle on how to manage your newly growing family. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Infertility is a Shared Problem
About one in six couples globally struggles with infertility. While this is often considered a female issue, approximately 40 percent of infertility cases in the United States are connected with male infertility, making it, most definitely, a couple’s issue. While both partners experience emotional distress and relationship stress, the perceived social stigma regarding male infertility and, indeed, male emotional response to infertility, make it challenging for men to find support. Here, we offer advice for couples navigating male fertility challenges.
Men Have Feelings Too
Let’s just start by stating the obvious. Boys and men are conditioned by society to avoid vulnerability, hide their feelings, and be strong, no matter what, but that doesn’t mean their feelings don’t matter. Infertility and pregnancy loss are very painful experiences, and can deeply affect a person’s mental health. It can be hard to process this very private kind of trauma, but infertility is definitely painful. Feelings men experience as a result of infertility can include:
- A deep sense of loss and grief can accompany the knowledge of an inability to conceive a child.
- Guilt and shame can result from not living up to societal expectations of virility and fertility.
- Men sometimes experience a sense of inadequacy, feeling they’ve failed their partner.
- It can feel isolating to experience infertility, and men feeling the pressure to be strong and stoic may not feel able to ask for support.
- Anger and frustration are natural when dealing with infertility, especially because it’s easy to feel powerless when faced with failed attempts, the inability to find a specific reason for infertility, or seemingly endless fertility treatments.
- Anxiety and depression are common for both partners experiencing infertility, as financial strain mounts, disappointments recur, and the future seems uncertain.
Navigating Infertility as a Couple
While men may have difficulty expressing their emotions, and may feel the need to be strong for their partners, the truth is that infertility is a shared concern. Like many things in a partnership, it is best addressed together, working as a team. How can you work together to overcome the mental and emotional challenges of infertility?
- Talk about it. Communication is important in a relationship, and it is crucial during challenging times or periods of stress. It can be hard to talk about difficult topics, but if you can start out with talking about thoughts it can be easier to segue into talking about emotions, too. Make sure that each partner is spending equal time listening and being heard, be honest with each other, and keep it a safe space, where you can each express difficult thoughts and emotions without judgement. Make sure not to rush these conversations, but carve out time for each other and really listen.
- Don’t neglect other aspects of your life. Infertility can feel all-consuming, but it’s important not to let it overwhelm your life. Make time for fun, go out on dates, play games, and spend time with friends and family. Take time out from fertility drama and make sure that other parts of your life don’t fall by the wayside. Spending light-hearted time together can help alleviate the stress you’re experiencing.
- Learn as a couple. There are plenty of resources for those experiencing infertility, but there is also plenty of misinformation floating around. It is important to know how to separate fact from fiction, and to educate yourselves together. It can be hard to find good resources, which is why it is so important to contact a fertility specialist to help you identify solutions that are good options for you.
- Share responsibilities. Make infertility treatment a team effort. Keeping up with all the medical appointments, medication, and bills can be overwhelming, but it’s less so when you’re both shouldering the responsibility.
- Have clear boundaries. Talk to your partner more than you talk to other people. If you are going to share information with friends of family members, make sure your partner is on board with it before you do it. It is important to have support, but it’s also important to protect your partner’s privacy.
- Seek outside support. While you need clear boundaries, you also need a safe space to share what is happening. Joining a fertility support group where you can interact with others who understand what you’re going through, can be a good way to keep from feeling isolated. Support groups can be in-person or online, and they offer a safe, friendly environment in which to discuss difficult topics.
- Don’t equate infertility with failure. Whether or not you conceive, it doesn’t change who you are as a couple. Fertility is not a reflection on your relationship, and infertility is just one of the challenges you will face in your life together. By keeping communication strong, you can also strengthen your relationship and more easily navigate future challenges.
How Men Can Protect their Mental Health
- Express your emotions. Don’t feel you always have to be strong and stoic. Talk to your partner and find others to talk to as well, who will listen supportively.
- Distract yourself. Plan a weekend getaway, go hiking, take a trip, or just go out to dinner at a new restaurant. You and your partner need things to do that don’t have anything to do with fertility.
- Find support. Whether it’s a support group, a counselor, or a trusted friend or family member, think about who you want to turn to when things are tough. Make a list for yourself of people you can call when you need support.
- Manage stress. Maybe it’s engaging in hobbies you enjoy, or maybe it’s meditation or listening to music. Whatever helps you feel less anxious, more grounded, and happier is good for managing your stress.
- Remember who you are. Infertility doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t define your relationship. Look at old photos, reminisce with your partner, embrace new hobbies, and remind yourself that infertility is just something you’re going through, and not who you are.
Seek Help From Fertility Experts
If you are having trouble conceiving a child, help is available to you. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
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