• June 30, 2020
  • Geoff Cashion

A vasectomy and tubal ligation are two of the most popular permanent birth control procedures, and appreciating the differences between the two, the risks and benefits, can be an important part of understanding what is the best option for you and your partner. 

A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure of male sterilization that consists of cutting or blocking off the two tubes in the male scrotum that carry sperm out in the semen. As a result, the semen won’t have any sperm in it, and that won’t cause an unexpected pregnancy. On the other hand, tubal ligation involves making an incision in the abdominal wall and closing the female fallopian tubes.

Which Is Better: A Vasectomy Versus Tubal Ligation?

If you and your partner are considering a permanent birth control option but can decide between vasectomy and tubal ligation, please considering continuing to read this article for understanding the differences, and what points might help to make the best decision for you both.

Cost

In terms of price, a vasectomy is a more affordable procedure than tubal ligation, as tubal ligation is a much more involved and detailed form of surgery. In most cases, a vasectomy can be thousands of dollars cheaper than any sterilization method for women.

Simplicity

A vasectomy is usually done just with a local anaesthetic, which usually takes 20 to 30 minutes and can be performed in a doctor’s office rather than an operating room. The patient can leave almost immediately after finishing the procedure.

With the no-scalpel technique, a vasectomy will involve no scalpel incisions. It is done through a poke-hole opening and instead of cutting the skin, a tiny instrument pokes into the scrotal sac and spreads it open a little, this way there is no actual cut on the skin. Some of the benefits include 5 times fewer infections, hematomas, and other health risks. The procedure is almost painless and you can return to your normal routines sooner than with a conventional vasectomy.

Tubal ligation though involves a general anesthetic, and it is a much more invasive procedure than a vasectomy. The woman needs to get it performed at an operating room and it takes a longer time to recover.

Health Risks

All surgical procedures carry risk, but the health risks associated with a vasectomy are minor. They typically involve bruising, swelling, and in rare cases, infections. Tubal ligation however, is subjected to other health risks like nausea, vomiting, bleeding, bruising, and dysfunctions with the bladder or bowel function. In addition to this, it has a higher risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy, this is what happens when a pregnancy develops outside the uterus and can happen due to incomplete closure of the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous health condition that requires emergency surgery.

More Effective

Both surgical procedures have a high success rate of about 99%, but the success rate for a vasectomy is a bit higher, around 99,9%, with a failure rate of less than 1 in 1000. While tubal ligation has a failure rate between 0,25% and 0,5%, depending on the age of the patient.

After getting a vasectomy done, you need to use a backup birth control method to make sure that there is no sperm left in the sperm carrying tubes.  And you should follow-up with your surgeon within 8 to 12 months to check the sperm count in your semen to ensure the procedure was a success.

On the other hand, after the tubal ligation, the patient is considered sterile and doesn’t require any follow-up tests.

Vasectomies Are Reversible

A vasectomy is a reliable way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and you shouldn’t go under this procedure if you are unsure about not wanting to have more children in the future. But if you ever get it done and you decide to reverse the procedure you can do it. About 30,000 men out of 500,000 patients each year choose to reverse their vasectomy. The success rate ranges from 30% to 90% depending on factors like; how long ago you had the procedure done.

Final Verdict: Is Vasectomy better than Tubal Ligation?

In the end, the decision is a personal one, there is no right answer. You and your partner will have to consider many factors when choosing the right permanent birth control option for yourselves and your future plans. It isn’t an easy choice but in terms of safety, cost, and effectiveness, the vasectomy has many preferred factors over tubal ligation.

If you wanted to discuss your circumstances in more detail, contact us at Vasectomy Australia to arrange a personal meeting, where we can discuss and compare these methods, and ensure that you select the right path for yourself.