The Contraception Conundrum-Vasectomy vs. Tubal Ligation

Every couple whose family is complete comes to a fork in the road and asks which partner is going to get either a vasectomy or a tubal ligation.  This blog will answer a few questions that may help you make a more informed decision.

First of all both procedures should be considered a permanent form of contraception or sterilization.  A vasectomy isn’t nearly as costly and invasive as the surgery to reverse it. And the odds that you’d be able to father a child again aren’t good enough to count it as a fall-back option down the road, Shih says.

What Could Go Wrong?

A report in a medical journal pointed out that women were 20 times more likely to have a serious problem related to a tubal ligation than men who select to have a vasectomy. In addition, men tend to recover more quickly from a vasectomy.  Most men can return to all activities, including sexual intimacy, 3-4 days after the procedure.   A tubal ligation requires a general anesthesia and incisions into her abdomen.  Both of these can result in significant complications.  However, if a woman is going to have her tubes tied during a planned C-section delivery, the added risk of the tubal is less of a concern.

A vasectomy can be done in the doctor’s office using a local anesthetic and usually takes less than 15 minutes.  The most common problems related to vasectomy include bruising, infection, and inflammation in the epididymis, a sperm-holding structure near the testicle. But each of these seems to occur in less than 5% of cases.  Now that the procedure is performed without an incision but through a tiny puncture wound and does not even require a needle to provide the local anesthesia,

If you’re looking for instant results, a tubal holds the edge: It works immediately. After a vasectomy, a man can still get a woman pregnant until lingering sperm are flushed from his plumbing which usually requires 15 ejaculations.  So it’s crucial for couples to use a backup method of contraception until your doctor says you’re in the clear. And men need to provide a semen sample after a vasectomy that is examined under a microscope to be absolutely certain that no sperm are present.

The Essure and Adiana devices, which are inserted into the Fallopian tubes, also require a checkup to ensure that they’re installed properly and the woman can’t get pregnant.  If you choose these options, be sure you’re going to do the follow-up work. During the first three months after insertion of the device, another form of birth control must be used.

If you’re thinking about your bank account, In terms of cost, a vasectomy is definitely more cost-effective. In general, a tubal costs about three times as much as vasectomy.

Bottom Line:  Most couples are happy when children are planned.  When the time comes to cut off  “reproduction production”, consider either a vasectomy or a tubal ligation.

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One Response to “The Contraception Conundrum-Vasectomy vs. Tubal Ligation”

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