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Vasectomy (cont.)

Vasectomy vs. Tubal Ligation

In countries with a high rate of vasectomies, such as Canada and New Zealand, two-thirds of couples choose vasectomy over the alternative surgical contraception of female tubal ligation. In the United States, one-third of couples choose vasectomy, while two-thirds choose tubal ligation. Efforts are presently under way in the United States to inform couples that vasectomy is much safer and easier than tubal ligation.

Table 2. Comparison of the Two Most Common Permanent Sterilization Procedures: Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation
Consideration Vasectomy Tubal Ligation
Useful duration Permanent/long term Permanent/long term
Failure range 0.02%-0.2% 0.73%-1.85%
Insurance Usually covered Usually covered
Type In-office procedure Hospital or surgery center
Time required 30 minutes or less One hour or more
Anesthesia Local General
Postoperative care Return home immediately May require overnight stay
Time off work 48 hours or less Four to seven days
Cost $350 - $1,000 $1,000 - $3,500
Pain Mild pain, soreness, bruising, swelling, inflammation Significant pain, chronic pelvic pain in some women
Risks As associated with reaction to local anesthesia As associated with major surgery and use of general anesthesia
Complications In rare cases, infection or hematoma As with any surgery, possible bleeding, infection, and even death
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