What To Think About
Vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control. Once your semen does not contain sperm, you do not need to worry about using other birth control methods.
Vasectomy is a safer, cheaper procedure that causes fewer complications than tubal ligation in women.Reference 1
Although vasectomy is expensive, it is a one-time cost and is often covered by medical insurance. The cost of other methods, such as birth control pills or condoms and spermicide, is likely to be greater over time.
A vasectomy does not protect against Reference sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Opens New Window, including infection with the Reference human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Opens New Window. Condoms are the most effective method for preventing STIs. To protect yourself and your partner from STIs, use a condom every time you have sex.
If you are considering a vasectomy, be absolutely certain that you will never want to father a child.
A vasectomy is not usually recommended for men who are considering Reference banking sperm Opens New Window in case they decide later to have children. Discuss other options with your partner and your health professional.
Surgery to reconnect the Reference vas deferens Opens New Window (vasectomy reversal) is available. But the reversal procedure is difficult. Sometimes a doctor can remove sperm from the testicle in men who have had a vasectomy or a reversal that didn't work. The sperm can then be used for Reference in vitro fertilization Opens New Window. Both vasectomy reversal and sperm retrieval can be expensive, may not be covered by insurance, and may not always work.
Some older studies showed a risk of prostate cancer in men who have had vasectomies. But many years of research have found no clear evidence that vasectomy is linked to prostate cancer.Reference 1
Some doctors or health insurance plans may require a waiting period from the time you request a vasectomy and the time the procedure is done. This time allows you to be certain about your decision.
Researchers are studying other male birth control methods, such as reversible vasectomy or hormonal methods. Reversible vasectomy involves plugging the vas deferens and then removing the plug when birth control is no longer wanted. Hormonal methods include pills or injections that the man would use to prevent sperm production. So far, no new method has been shown to be effective enough, with low side effects, to be marketed for men.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 3, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology