A FATHER who had a vasectomy operation on the NHS says he now wants the procedure reversed after starting a new relationship.
But unemployed Jamie Hancock, 28, has been told he will have to find £3,700 to pay for the operation himself.
Jamie was just 25 when he had the operation done in 2009.
At the time he was married and he and his wife had two children and didn't want any more.
But they are now divorcing and Jamie has fallen in love with Charlotte Beesley, 22.
He said: "One day she's going to want to have children and she deserves to be able to but I can't give them to her.
"Then we'll have to go our separate ways and neither of us wants that."
Jamie, who lives in Bideford, said he didn't feel he was offered enough counselling or advice when he opted for the vasectomy, but his GP denied this.
Jamie, who hopes to start a new job as a bus driver next month, said: "I was 25. I didn't really know my own mind and I think I should have been made to think more about what I was doing.
"Even if I can't get my vasectomy reversed I want to make sure anyone else who's considering it knows what the consequences can be."
Jamie said he went for a vasectomy because he could do it in a day.
He said: "My wife wanted her tubes tied but that meant she'd need two weeks off work.
"For a young family with two kids and a mortgage, at the time it made financial sense."
Jamie believes he was the youngest of his surgeon's 7,000 vasectomy patients.
He said: "I just want the chance to start a family with Charlotte in the future."
Charlotte, who is from Bideford and works at the Instow Arms, said Jamie's situation doesn't change the way she feels about him but that she would still like to have kids.
She said: "What woman wouldn't want children? But I'm prepared to sacrifice that to be with Jamie."
Dr Robin Buckland, the Northam GP who performed the surgery, said: "All patients who are referred for a vasectomy to Northam Surgery are counselled by their GP and further counselled in detail by the surgeon performing the operation.
"They are also given written instructions and are informed that vasectomy is an irreversible procedure and that reversal of vasectomy is not funded by the NHS.
"It is unusual for patients under 30 to be offered a vasectomy but there are always exceptional cases.
"Both the GP and the surgeon would have to be happy that this is in the patient's and his partner's best interests.
"As with all patients, Mr Hancock was fully counselled and was made aware that this was an irreversible operation and that he would not be able to get a reversal vasectomy on the NHS, unless exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated."
DISCUSSION: Who should pay for the procedure?