5:50 pm Martin Bastuba

A vasectomy is a method of male birth control that should be considered carefully. Before you move forward with this surgery, it is important to review vasectomy alternatives that are available.  If you have any doubts about having children in the future, you should explore temporary birth control options.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation, commonly referred to as getting your ‘tubes tied,’ is a procedure used for female sterilization. The fallopian tubes are closed off by various methods (severed, sealed or pinched) to block the eggs from reaching the uterus.

Vasectomy Tubal Ligation
Procedure Time 10 minutes physician’s office 1 day hospital
Procedure Considered a minor procedure Considered a major surgery
Anesthesia Local General anesthesia
Recovery No heavy lifting for the following 48 hours No physical activity for 1 week
Complications Rare, light swelling Slight risk of bleeding and infection
Failure Rate 1% 2%
Long Term Health Risks None Pelvic pain, post tubal ligation syndrome, high risk of hysterectomy, mortality is 4 in 100,000
Cost Covered under most health plans, $1,395 for consultation and surgery if out-of-pocket Hospital costs, anesthesia, etc. $1,000 – $ 5,000


Essure is a permanent method of birth control where small metal coils are placed in the fallopian tubes. The coils cause scar tissue to form which blocks the eggs from reaching the uterus. The coils are inserted vaginally during a hysteroscopy procedure. Unlike tubal ligation, there are no incisions or anesthesia used. Birth control is needed for several months after the procedure until the scar tissue has completely formed.

Temporary Birth Control

If there is a possibility that you might want more children in the future, please consider temporary forms of birth control that are non-surgical. There are a variety of options available including condoms, birth control pills, cervical cap, diaphragm and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the alternatives to vasectomy?

One alternative to vasectomies is temporary contraceptives, which include condoms, diaphragms, birth control medications, hormonal treatments for women, or even the “rhythm method,” which is the act of avoiding non-protected sex during a woman’s monthly window of fertility. These methods vary in effectiveness but are decent vasectomy alternatives for individuals and couples who may possibly want children in the future.

However, if you and your partner are positive that you don’t want any or more children but still want an alternative to vasectomy, your main option is tubal ligation. Tubal ligation is a procedure for women in which the fallopian tubes are closed off by sealing, severing, or pinching, which prevents the egg from reaching the uterus. In comparison to vasectomies, tubal ligations are considered to be an invasive form of major surgery, have a longer recovery period, and are typically more costly than vasectomies. 

If you’re looking for an alternative that is permanent but also protects the possibility of having children in the future, then pre-vasectomy sperm banking may be the solution you’re looking for. While freezing your sperm prior to vasectomy isn’t really an alternative in the traditional sense, it still keeps your options open should you ever change your mind.

Can you get a temporary vasectomy?

There is no such thing as a temporary vasectomy. By its very nature, vasectomies are designed to be a permanent form of birth control. However, although they’re permanent, they’re also reversible. Through a procedure known as vasectomy reversal, the vas deferens can be reconnected to the male reproductive system.

Which is more effective – tubal ligation or vasectomy?

As permanent forms of contraception, both tubal ligation and vasectomy procedures are very effective in terms of preventing pregnancy, with vasectomies having the edge over tubal ligation. It’s estimated that only one out of every 1,000 vasectomy cases results in a pregnancy, whereas for tubal ligation the odds are one out of every 200 cases. This translates to an effectiveness rate of 99.9% for vasectomies versus a rate of 99.5% for tubal ligation.

However, in the event that either procedure fails and results in a pregnancy, there is a greater chance of having birth complications after a tubal ligation than it is after a vasectomy. For example, tubal ligation can increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy, which is a condition in which a fertilized egg implants itself somewhere outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. If left untreated, this condition can be life-threatening. With vasectomies, there is no increased risk of having a serious pregnancy complication.

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