Spenser Cattin, 30, never wanted to have children and said he first considered having a vasectomy eight years ago. He talked about the procedure with his partner, who also doesn’t want children, several times over the years, but didn’t take any action until October 2021. At the time, Katyn spoke to his primary care physician for a referral to a urologist and had a consultation within the month.
In mid-May, Katyn finally scheduled his vasectomy, which coincided with the leaked draft decision. that overturned Roe vs. Wade. Although Katyn had wanted a vasectomy for years, he says the news about Rowe solidified his decision. Cattin underwent the procedure on June 30 (just days after Raw was officially revoked) and publicly shared his experience on Facebook.
Below, read Cattin’s story as told to SELF Associate Health Director Melissa Matthews. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
When the draft Supreme Court opinion first came out, there was a nagging thought in the back of my head saying, They came for everyone, and when they came for me, there was no one to speak up. I felt like I was watching time turn back. Being a gender-symmetrical white male, there wasn’t much of a threat to my physical independence. This was a huge part of my desire to have a vasectomy sooner rather than later. After the verdict, I was chomping while waiting for my already scheduled date to be accomplished.
For me, accountability was a big reason why I chose to have a vasectomy. I’ve had conversations with new partners in the past about birth control, but no one has ever asked me if I’ve had a vasectomy. Carrying a child requires two people, and not all of this responsibility should be placed on one of these two people. I’ve also been reading that it can become difficult for someone with a uterus to get certain types of contraceptives such as the IUD. It was almost irresponsible to do nothing when I felt that having a vasectomy was such a simple option.
The procedure was remarkable in ways I really didn’t expect. My consultant took about five minutes, and I only remember being asked if I had children. By comparison, I know women in their forties who were told by their doctors to abstain from tubal ligation in case they wanted to have children. You don’t realize how easy it is to get it until you’ve done something really simply that isn’t available to others. I wondered why it wouldn’t be easy for everyone.
On the day of the procedure, I was told someone needed to take me to and from my appointment, but no further preparations were made. I didn’t feel nervous at all. I had a greater fear of taking time off work than I did about a vasectomy.
The entire process, from local anesthesia to getting out the door, took about 30 minutes. I went in, was given a local anesthetic, and the doctor asked if I wanted a game-by-game of the whole procedure. He was very calm and made it clear that some people like to know each step while others find it troubling. I’m the kind of person who wants to know what’s going on, so my urologist explained the process in detail. He made a small incision on one side, cauterized the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm), and did the same on the other side. Then, I put on a jockstrap that had gauze on and was told to wear it for 48 hours, which meant I couldn’t shower for two days. As I left, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders because I no longer had to worry about having children.