It's World Vasectomy Day today and they were talking about it on the wireless this morning. One point made was that you could do no better for your carbon foot-print than by not loading another human being on the poor groaning planet. Obviously, that argument applies more to those of us living in the Wasteful Western Democracies than to some poor bloody subsistence farmer in the tropics who sees a child (probably more specifically a son) as a pension or at least a hedge against an uncertain future. We have been blessed in our children but after 20 years of reproductive activity we said enough is enough and I was tasked to find a vasectomist. I went straight to a slightly more senior member of the Protestant Ascendancy for advice. I reckoned that, as any form of contraception is a mortal sin to Catholics, he'd be more likely to know where to get a real high quality snip. I also knew that a friend of mine had been, shall we say, disconcerted to have been in a sports' changing room a few years before with this same Chief of Protestants. He had been invited to view the scar! Vasectomy scars are so small and tissue is so crinkly than you need to get up close to be sure of what you have in view. An interesting experience.
A few years before this, as the Go To Guy for searching the bio-medical literature on the new-born interweb, I had been asked to do some research by a friend of mine. Was there any statistically significant epidemiological association between vasectomy and prostate cancer? That set an interesting hare a running, because there were some earlier studies that reported a positive association but subsequent research had shown that these early findings were anomalies. It's quite hard to tease these things apart because the chaps who are getting vasectomies in their middle years are also more likely to be getting prostate trouble, so the data are likely to be correlated without one being the cause of the other. In any case, I was able to re-assure my pal, who was actually a qualified doctor himself, not to hold himself intact on that account. A few years later, we met up again, and it transpired that he still hadn't gotten himself fixed. Turned out that the only chap he knew who offered vasectomy service in Ireland was a fellow GP who lived in Kilcock. The subliminal message of association with impotence [kill cock, geddit?] was just enough to slow the process down.
Condom, sorting out the pilgrims as they trudge to Santiago de Compostella. My snip-doctor had been at a loose end after all her children had grown and didn't want to go back to full medical practice, so set up to serve a niche market. It took two visits, one so the expert could poke [with a pencil IIRC] at the parts to assure herself that there was nothing weird down there that would need more attention. A bit like a reconnoitre to map out the paths of approach, but also so that I had a week to reconsider. It's not the sort of thing for an impulse buy. A week later I was on the couch getting a a local anaesthetic down there: it was remarkably similar to being in the dentist. A few minutes later:
She: That's you.
After removing a section of the vas deferens, [see cartoon R] efficient doctors cauterise the two open ends to make sure they don't heal up together - it has happened. Snip, snap, all done, it only took 20 minutes and £120. To be recommended. I can't help my comrades in Ukraine except by google. But drawing one penis inevitably opens up the floodgates of schoolboy hilarity [R from the Mirror].
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