• How to Navigate the Challenges of Parenting Teens

    Father and teenager son playing video games.

    Parenting in a Shifting Landscape

    One thing about parenting is that it is everchanging. Just when you’ve got one stage under control, your kids move on to the next one, and you have to relearn the job all over again. The teenage years are one of the most challenging stages, because it comes with so much change, as your teens transition from children to adults. These years are hard on everyone. They’re hard on the teenagers because they are going through so many changes, and hard on you as a parent because of your changing relationship with your egocentric teen.  How can you support your child and ease the transition, while maintaining a good relationship?

    Understanding Your Teen’s Mind

    The teen years are a time of breaking away from childhood attachments and forming an independent identity. Your teens may cycle through activities, interests, peer groups, and mindsets, in search of a persona they feel is authentic. Managing all of this through hormonal changes, while overcoming insecure feelings about their bodies, can be extremely challenging. Many teens are intensely self-critical and self-doubting, and this negative self-perception can lead them to spend time alone and avoid their parents. Hyperconscious of all of these changes, parents may begin to criticize and question more than before, and be more suspicious and protective, because of their own anxiety. The anxiety is understandable. Teenagers take risks, act like they don’t care, and lie to, pick fights with, and manipulate their parents. If parents can take a step back from their own anxious feelings, recognize that transitions are natural, and remember what it’s like to be a teenager, this time will be a little bit easier. It can also make conflict with your teens easier if you recognize that teens who are comfortable enough to be contentious with their parents are actually displaying trust. If you can reign in your instinct to demand obedience and instead be willing to debate issues, it will foster respect in your relationship.

    Providing Support During Transitions

    One of the best things you can do for your teens, as they’re navigating this challenging landscape of change, is to be supportive. Understand that your teens have a lot of big feelings, and be willing to listen without judgement. As much as possible try to maintain steady routines, and encourage your teen to focus on healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and managing stress. Offer your teens the chance to voice their opinions and make choices, but maintain rules and boundaries so that your kids feel secure and know what to expect. Counter your teens’ anxiety by reminding them of past accomplishments and successes, and try to manage your own anxiety in a way that keeps it separate from theirs.

    Guiding With Empathy and Encouragement

    It is easy, as adults to forget how intense things felt when we were teenagers. The challenges teens face today are different than those of past generations, but the physical and social changes are similar, and if you listen, you might discover that your teen is facing some of the same difficulties that you experienced when you were a teenager. Be mindful of this, and try to extend some grace. Maintaining empathy for your teen can help you stay connected, and if you can talk to your teens about some of your experiences, they may be more willing to listen to your viewpoints. When kids are little, they respond to positive reinforcement and praise, and these tactics are just as impactful for teens. Work on helping your teens build their self-confidence, focusing on their positive characteristics and helping them to cultivate a sense of self-compassion. Encouraging them to help others through acts of service can also help them feel better about themselves and give them a sense of purpose.

    Navigating Conflict

    One thing common during the teen years is clashing with parents. Fortunately, these conflicts do not mean that the relationship is weak. Teens may rebel against authority, parents try to clamp down and preserve their authority, and this escalates the conflict. It is important to understand that teens pick fights over everyday issues because they see them as deeper problems that challenge their identity. Limitations on their activities may be seen as a lack of trust or a challenge to their maturity, and this can trigger self-doubts that cause the teen to respond with anger. It is important for parents to listen to their teens and help guide them toward the right decisions, rather than setting unenforceable limits and causing teens to rebel and distance themselves further. Keep the lines of communication open can help let teenagers know that they can go to their parents for support and validation.

    Staying Connected

    It can be difficult to stay connected to your teenagers, when they keep their heads down, looking at their phones, and then lock themselves in their rooms without talking to you. Keep engaging, so that your teens know you’re a safe space and someone they can come to with issues. Recognize that physically distancing from you is a developmentally appropriate move for a teenager, and their self-imposed solitude allows them the time and space to try out some autonomy, spend time in introspection, learn to regulate their moods, and figure out who they are. Keep trying, modifying your connection to meet your teenager’s life stage. If your teenager is pulling away physically, try giving pats on the back instead of snuggles. Keep saying I love you, even if your teen doesn’t say it back. Stay accessible and available, because even when your teens seem to be pulling away, they still need their parents’ love and guidance.

    Support for Your Family as it Grows

    We hope these tips will help you to guide your teenagers and promote harmony in your home as your family grows. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy 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.

  • Understanding the Vasectomy Reversal Procedure: How Does it Work?

    Couple reading about vasectomy reversal procedure.

    Vasectomy vs Reversal

    A vasectomy is a type of permanent sterilization, performed on men who do not wish to father any more children. It’s an outpatient procedure that’s minimally invasive, and about 500,000 men in the United States undergo a vasectomy each year. Of that number, about six percent later change their minds and opt for a vasectomy reversal. How do the two procedures differ? And can a vasectomy be successfully reversed? The vasectomy reversal process is much more complicated than a vasectomy, but medical science has made great strides in vasectomy reversal over the past several decades, and the procedure has a success rate of up to 90 percent.

    Having a Vasectomy

    During a vasectomy, the surgeon cuts and blocks the tubes known as the vas deferens, which are responsible for carrying sperm from the testicles to the semen. After a successful vasectomy, a man’s semen no longer contains sperm, making pregnancy impossible. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes, is relatively simple, and recovery is quick, with most men able to resume normal activity within a day or two. Sexual relations can even be resumed within just a few days of a vasectomy. Vasectomies are typically covered by insurance.

    The Vasectomy Reversal Procedure

    Unlike a vasectomy, a vasectomy reversal is not usually covered by insurance. And though the procedure is typically outpatient, it can take three or four hours to complete. It is a complicated microsurgery, in which the surgeon reattaches the severed ends of the tubes to each other. The first step is to identify the level of blockage in the tubes, after which fluid from the vas deferens is collected and analyzed under a microscope. Once this examination is complete, the surgeon decides on one of two vasectomy reversal procedures.

    • Vasovasotomy (VV) involves stitching the cut ends of the vas deferens together. This is the most common and simplest type of reversal.
    • Vasoepididymostomy (VE) reconnects the vas to a point on the epididymis past the blockage. Though this is less common, up to 40 percent of men require this more complicated procedure.

    Efficacy of a Vasectomy Reversal

    Vasectomy reversals are up to 90 to 95 percent effective. VV procedures typically have higher success rates than VE surgeries, but a vasoepididymostomy still has a success rate of 65 to 70 percent. The reason this procedure is so much more successful than in decades past is because o the advent of microsurgery, in which the procedure is performed with assistance of an operating microscope. A vasectomy reversal is more likely to be successful within 10 years of the original vasectomy procedure.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and 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. Dr. Green has had extensive training in urology, microsurgery, and vasectomy reversal, and he founded the Center for Vasectomy Reversal to provide the highest level of patient care while delivering optimal surgical results. To learn more about how our experienced team can help you reach your reproductive goals, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Navigating the Decision: Factors to Consider Before Opting for Vasectomy Reversal

    Man doing research on vasectomy reversals.

    Understanding Vasectomy Reversal

    A vasectomy is a common procedure, with about 500,000 vasectomies performed in the United States each year. Vasectomies are a minimally invasive and highly effective form of permanent birth control, usually done as an outpatient procedure. It is possible to have a vasectomy reversed, and about six percent of men who have vasectomies later decide to reverse them. In contrast to a vasectomy, however, a vasectomy reversal is very complicated. The procedure involves the surgical reconnection of the tubs that carry sperm from the testicles into the semen. Pregnancy rates vary after vasectomy reversal, ranging from about 30 percent to over 90 percent, depending on various factors.

    Factors to Consider

    If you are among the number of men desiring to reverse a vasectomy, there are some things you should think about before moving forward. A vasectomy reversal is difficult and costly, and insurance often won’t cover the procedure, so careful consideration is necessary. Asking yourself a few questions will help you determine if vasectomy reversal is right for you.

    • What are your reasons? Why do you want to reverse your vasectomy? Maybe you have remarried, have suffered the loss of a child, or have just had a change of heart. Consider whether your desire to conceive a child is strong enough to warrant undergoing a complex surgery, or if other options may be open to you, like adoption.
    • How long ago was your vasectomy? The larger the span of time between the vasectomy and its reversal, the lower your changes of conceiving naturally. The good news is that, within 10 years of a vasectomy, a vasectomy reversal performed by an experienced surgeon has a 90 percent chance or higher of resulting in pregnancy.
    • Are there additional circumstances that would impair your ability to conceive a child? You should be examined by a reproductive specialist, to determine whether you can still produce healthy sperm and if there are any medical complications, like scar tissue or a blockage, which could impede your fertility. Your partner must undergo an examination, too, to determine her level of fertility. Women over age 40, and those who have never had a child, may have difficulty conceiving.

    What’s to Decide?

    Once you’ve determined whether you are a good candidate for vasectomy reversal, decide whether this is really the route you want to take. There may be other fertility options available to you, like sperm retrieval and IVF. Talk to your doctor about the different options to help you achieve your reproductive goals.

    The most important decision you will make on your fertility journey is the choice of surgeon. A vasectomy reversal is a complex microsurgery, and requires an experienced and highly-skilled surgeon to successfully complete it. Sometimes, a vasectomy reversal requires a more complex repair, called a vasoepididymostomy, which requires an extremely skilful surgeon.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and 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. Dr. Green has had extensive training in urology, microsurgery, and vasectomy reversal, and he founded the Center for Vasectomy Reversal to provide the highest level of patient care while delivering optimal surgical results. To learn more about how our experienced team can help you reach your reproductive goals, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.