Vasectomy vs Tubal Ligation

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD


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How Does Vasectomy Compare To Tubal Ligation?

Tubal Ligation vs VasectomyTubal ligation involves ligation of the fallopian tubes in a woman.  Tubal ligation is typically an outpatient procedure.  Tubal ligation is performed under general anesthesia.  Because fallopian tubes are located in the pelvis, tubal ligation is an abdominal surgery, usually performed laparoscopically.

Risks of tubal ligation are related to general anesthesia and abdominal surgery.  While risks are rare, potential risks if they occur are significant including injury to the bowel and other pelvic organs.

Both vasectomy and tubal ligation are permanent methods of contraception.  Both contraceptive methods are designed and appropriate for people who are certain that they do not want any more children in the future.

Recovery After Vasectomy Vs Tubal Ligation

Typically recovery after vasectomy in shorter and less involved with minimal pain for a few days; recovery after tubal ligation takes longer due to abdominal nature of the procedure and the need for general anesthesia.

Cost of Vasectomy Versus Tubal Ligation.

Because vasectomy avoids general anesthesia and abdominal surgery and can be performed in the office settings. The cost of vasectomy is significantly less than the cost of tubal ligation.  In addition after vasectomy, the number of lost days of work is significantly lower than was tubal ligation.

Vasectomy Reversal vs. Reversal of Tubal Ligation

A small number of men and women change their mind after vasectomy or tubal ligation and the desire to have children.  In general, vasectomy reversal is easier to perform, less expensive and has higher success rates than a reversal of tubal ligation.

Considerations for Men and Women with Multiple Sexual Partners

Neither tubal ligation nor vasectomy protects against sexually transmitted diseases.

Considerations for Men with Multiple Sexual Partners

If a man has more than one sexual partner, tubal ligation in 1 partner will not prevent pregnancy from other partners.  Vasectomy is a more certain method to prevent unwanted pregnancy for men with multiple sexual partners.

Considerations for Women with Multiple Sexual Partners

For a woman who undergoes tubal ligation, as long as tubal ligation is effective she cannot get pregnant even if she has multiple sexual partners.  Tubal ligation is a more certain method of contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy in women with multiple sexual partners.  However, her sexual partners may be able to get other women pregnant if they do not have a vasectomy or do not use another method of contraception.

What You Need to Know:

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