I went to see my GP about getting a vasectomy but, to my surprise, he didn't want to refer me and said I was too young.

I might only be in my twenties but my wife is a little older and we've got three great kids, which is all the family we want. Contraception is a real chore and we think we're ready for a more permanent solution. Vasectomy would seem to be the easiest and safest option, hence my visit to the GP.

My wife and I have known one another since we were children and, after 10 years of marriage, are still very much in love.

She wants to go back to work though, so having another child would be a disaster. Should I see another doctor?

While you could see another doctor, if you have, until now, had a good relationship with your GP, I'd encourage you to go back and talk about it again. Re-state your case to see how he reacts; if he's still negative then ask to see another doctor. Alternatively, you could consider private treatment from an organisation like Marie Stopes (mariestopes.org.uk), a registered charity. The cost of private treatment would probably be around £500. Whether you go through the NHS or privately, you will almost certainly have to go through a counselling session - usually some days before the operation - to ensure you are sure.

I get on well with my family but right now they're driving me spare, as they think I've made a big mistake in getting engaged to my boyfriend of two years. He's 24 and has just started a new job in the Merchant Navy, which means he will be travelling and away for long periods. We decided we wanted to make a commitment to one another before he went off on his first long trip, and I'm glad we did.

My mum, though, thinks we should have waited to see how things go before we committed ourselves and my dad backs her up. We know it's not going to be easy, but we love each other and are prepared to work hard at it. I'm getting so fed up with all their 'advice' and wish I could just tell them to mind their own business.

I'm sure your family are concerned for you and have your best interests at heart, but I understand too much unwelcome advice can be tiresome. Calmly point out that an engagement will give you a chance to see how a long-distance relationship works before you make that next commitment.

And although you're not yet married, you might find the organisation SeaWives (seawives.com) helpful.