Tubal Ligation Vs. Vasectomy

The two most popular forms of surgical birth control are the vasectomy for men and the tubal ligation for women. These procedures are very effective at rendering a man or woman sterile however there is some debate on whether it is easier for the man or the woman to undergo their respective procedure. Which operation is easier to recover from? Who should be ultimately responsible for birth control the man or the woman?

Communication is of key importance and both men and women must discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure to come up with a viable plan for permanent birth control. It is important to understand what each procedure entails, the recovery time, the cost, health risks involved and side effects from the surgery as well. These factors will all play into making the best decision for a couple’s lifestyle.

Comparison of the Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation

Women have a lot more complicated “plumbing parts” in their bodies than men do. For this reason, a vasectomy is often much easier than a tubal ligation. The vasectomy takes only about 30 minutes and can be performed in a doctor’s office or an outpatient health clinic. There is some minor post-operative pain as well as swelling or bruising but the effects last mere days and recovery time is fast. Most men are ready for normal activities and even sex within a week or two.

Of the two permanent forms of birth control, the vasectomy is also cheaper than a tubal ligation. The main reason is because the vasectomy is not a major surgery that must be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. A tubal ligation for a woman requires this which boosts the costs to as much as four times the amount of a vasectomy. In addition, women are pretty much out of commission for weeks, often up to two months. There is more pain for women as well.

While the failure rate for the vasectomy is quite miniscule, it is much higher for women who undergo a tubal ligation. Up to 15% of women can still get pregnant despite a tubal ligation. This does not constitute a reliable form of permanent birth control now does it? In addition, some women will experience painful periods as well as pelvic pain during each menstrual cycle quite a downside to the tubal ligation. Plus, there are more risks during the surgery such as perforated intestines, infections and even embolisms.

Sexual Roles of Men and Women

When the subject of permanent birth control comes up between partners, invariably the men instinctively say no to a vasectomy because of the fear or sharp objects near their private parts. However, they no longer have that excuse with the new no-scalpel and no-needle methods of vasectomies.

Women have long been the responsible parties when it came to birth control and except for the pill or some type of IUD, the only other option was tubal ligation. With an IUD and the pill, there is always a good chance of adverse reactions and the tubal ligation is not a sure bet. The vasectomy for men however is virtually 100% effective with little pain and recovery time. When laying out the facts and not bringing emotion into it, the vasectomy is the clear winner in the race for permanent birth control because women have too much to lose.