A vasectomy is a common form of birth control for men that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It stands as the most frequently performed non-diagnostic operation by urologists in the United States. Nearly half a million men receive vasectomies each year in this country. This accounts for approximately 5% of all married males in their reproductive years. It has the benefit of being both permanent and involving only a minor surgical procedure. It also has been shown to be over 99% effective, even over an extended period. A study from Penn Medicine shows that only .001-.002% of women with husbands that have received a vasectomy in the last year get pregnant.
How A Vasectomy Is Better For Men And Women
A woman who has is going to have their tubes tied is looking forward to a serious surgery that will be performed under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has worn off, the surgery will be followed by an extensive recovery time. Given the invasive nature of the surgery and the need to work around other organs in the area, tubal ligations have a significant chance of complications. Especially when they are compared to the relatively simple nature of the vasectomy.
A vasectomy, on the other hand, is a relatively minor surgery that can be performed in 20-30 minutes in your doctor’s office and has a short recovery time. It is incredibly effective, with the risk of a pregnancy being as little as 1 in 2,000 for those who have received one. This makes it as effective as tubal ligation.
General anesthesia is not needed for this procedure. Instead, a local anesthetic is all that’s necessary. Patients who are experiencing nervousness or anxiety can be provided with oral sedation to help relax them during the procedure. The steps in a vasectomy are as follows:
- Clean the surgery site and locate the vas deferens
- Inject the local anesthetic
- Two small incisions are made to access the vas deferens
- A cut is made to sever these tubes
- They are tied, stitched, or cauterized to seal them
- The vas deferens are returned to the scrotum and the stitches closed
One thing that makes a vasectomy preferable for many partners is the ability to use it for long-term family planning. While most receive a vasectomy when they are no longer planning to have children, it’s a relatively simple procedure to reverse it should it be desired. Reversal success rates vary but range between 30-90%. Between 5-10% of men who receive vasectomies opt to have them reversed.
Vasectomies are a significantly less-effective procedure than tubal ligation, in part due to the ability to perform it in a doctor’s office. The lack of general anesthesia, and thus the need for an anesthesiologist, also greatly reduces the cost. Even better, this procedure tends to be covered by most insurances. There have also been no reported cases where a vasectomy has impacted sexual pleasure or function.
Choose The Safer Option For Permanent Birth Control
Given the reduced cost, recovery time, and proven effectiveness of a vasectomy, it’s the logical choice for those seeking to avoid pregnancy. Speak to your women’s health provider for more information about both procedures before making a choice.