Women and Vasectomy

It is important for women to know about, and be able to discuss with their partner, options for permanent birth control. The options include vasectomy, tubal ligation, and Essure.

When comparing Vasectomy vs tubal ligation the former is usually more effective, faster, safer, simpler, and four times less expensive. Vasectomy can be performed in the office with local numbing medication, whereas tubal ligation requires a hospital or surgicenter setting, use of formal operating room, and general anesthesia. Tubal ligation performed in the United States is usually via the laparoscopic method. Risks of laparoscopic tubal ligation include bowel injury, bleeding, infection, DVT and pulmonary embolism, and anesthesia complications.

In 2003 the female procedure of Essure was introduced as an alternative to the more invasive tubal ligation. This technique involves the endoscopic insertion of tiny metal coils into both fallopian tubes. These metal coils induce fibrosis and block the fallopian tubes, thereby preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Depending on anatomic variations the procedure can be difficult, and less effective than vasectomy. After the Essure procedure there is no easy means to confirm successful blockage of the tubes. Vasectomy success can be confirmed with a post vasectomy microscope semen check, whereas Essure requires at least one post-procedure somewhat invasive hysterogram X-ray test. Most importantly, over the past several years the US FDA has been examining a growing number of adverse event reports associated with the use of Essure. Any patient considering Essure should review the new FDA black box warnings with their physician before deciding on this form of birth control.

For comparison purposes please review our vasectomy FAQ SECTION for review of vasectomy risks and benefits.

The couple should discuss these options with their physician. When considering the time, cost, and risks and benefits, vasectomy is often the logical step in family planning. Please feel free to make an appointment with us to discuss the decision in more detail.