There are so many contraception options, it can be difficult for patients and their respective partners to choose one. If you do not want any more children, then vasectomy may be a perfect option for you. No-Scalpel Vasectomy is a safe and highly effective form of contraception. Abstinence is obviously the most effective and safe form of contraception. However, vasectomy offers a variety of benefits over other forms of contraception options. If you are worried about becoming pregnant after vasectomy, then compare the different type of contraception below.
Becoming pregnant after vasectomy is rare. Compare the effectiveness of different forms of contraception options we commonly see used in Australia below ¹.
|METHOD||PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN WITH UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY|
|Typical use||Perfect use|
|Combined oral contraceptive pill||9||0.3|
|Mirena Intra-uterine device (IUD)||0.2||0.2|
|Implanon (the bar)||0.05||0.05|
Comparing vasectomy to other birth control methods
VASECTOMY VS HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION OPTIONS
Hormonal contraception options are the most popular forms of contraception that couples use. They are reversible and some most do not require an invasive procedure. As you can see above, it is relatively common for couples to have an unexpected birth whilst using the pill for birth control.
The longer-acting reversible contraceptives (the main examples are the Depo-provera injection, Implanon NXT bar and Mirena intrauterine device) are significantly more effective than the pill. Their effectiveness is fairly comparable to vasectomy. Side effects include weight gain, mood changes, menstrual irregularity and risks associated with procedures including infection and anaesthetic risks. These methods do require procedures to be repeated at allotted time intervals. If ongoing birth control is required, the Mirena usually needs to be removed and replaced every 5 years, and implanon is every 3 years. Having multiple procedures increases surgical and anaesthetic risks.
VASECTOMY VS TUBAL LIGATION
Tubal ligation (getting tubes tied) is a permanent contraception alternative to vasectomy. This procedure involves disrupting the fallopian tubes in females (sometimes known as getting tubes tied). A number of different methods can be used. Overall risks of no-scalpel vasectomy under local anaesthetic are low, reported to be around 0-2% and no deaths have been attributed to vasectomy. Compare that to tubal ligation which requires a general anaesthetic. Tubal ligation is more expensive and complicated and carries a higher surgical risk including damage to bowel, bladder and rarely death. In addition, becoming pregnant after vasectomy is rare with a failure rate of 1 in 3000. Tubal ligation carries a failure rate around 18.5 per 1000 procedures². That means 1 in 3000 couples will fall pregnant after vasectomy vs more than 55 after tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation may be a good option is if a couple is expecting a child and delivery will be with an elective Caesarean section (C-section). In this case, tubal ligation can be performed at the same time as the delivery. Please discuss this with your obstetrician.
Vasectomy costs – how much does vasectomy cost compare to having another child?
Having a vasectomy is a personal decision for a man and their respective partner. If you do not want any more children then it is likely that a number of different factors have made you come to this decision. Financial planning may be one of these factors. It is estimated that the average cost of raising a child in Australia is more than $400000 and climbing³. Therefore, considering how effective, safe and affordable it is, a vasectomy may prove to be a very worthwhile investment.
- Trussell J. Contraceptive failure in the United States. Contraception. 2011;83(5):397-404. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2011.01.021.
- Peterson HB1, Xia Z, Hughes JM, Wilcox LS, Tylor LR, Trussell J. The risk of pregnancy after tubal sterilization: findings from the U.S. Collaborative Review of Sterilization. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Apr;174(4):1161-8; discussion 1168-70.
- Phillips, B. The Cost of Raising a Child in Australia. AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth report. Issue 33. May 2013. http://www.natsem.canberra.edu.au/storage/AMP_NATSEM_33.pdf