Tubal Ligations and Vasectomies
At some point, for one reason or another, approximately 4 million men and 10 million women in the United States become voluntarily sterilized . Generally thought as a method of contraception, sterilization is a viable option for couples or individuals who do not want to have children. The two most common forms of sterilization procedures available for individuals or couples that decide they do not to have the ability to conceive children are tubal ligation and a vasectomy. A tubal ligation is a procedure performed on a woman which involves the cutting of a woman’s fallopian tubes in order to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. A vasectomy involves the cutting of the vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testicles, and tying, clipping or burning shut the ends. While both procedures are quite common, the safer, far more effective and less invasive treatment is a vasectomy.
Women throughout the United States undergo tubal ligations in order to not have to worry about birth control or contraception. In light of other surgeries, tubal ligation is rather simple. However, what is compared here is the viability of tubal ligation over a vasectomy and which one is more feasible medically, financially and practically for men and women. Without a doubt, it is far more practical for a man to receive a vasectomy than for a woman the receive a tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation is a complicated procedure that must be performed on a woman while she is under anesthesia. 1 or 2 out of every 100,000 women who receive the procedure actually die as a result of operation . Furthermore, the list of complications to the procedure is long and frightening: Trauma to organs such as the bowel, bladder, ureter, uterus, and cervix can result from cautery, occlusion, and sharp and blunt traumas.
Common sense would tell a couple that is debating which procedure to undergo that a tubal ligation is not worth the medical risk to a woman when a man can simply have a vasectomy. The risk of complications is significant enough to warrant a look at a simple procedure that has a mortality rate of zero and a list of complications that is extremely minimal in light of those for a tubal ligation.
If not for the medical reasons alone, financial incentives also point towards the benefits of vasectomy over tubal ligation. According to an article in American Family Physician, “Vasectomy is among the most reliable and cost-effective methods of contraception”. While the average tubal ligation costs between $1000 and $3000, the typical vasectomy ranges from $500 to $800. However, despite the considerable difference in cost and health complications, only two men receive vasectomies for every three women that receive tubal ligations.