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Tubal Ligation vs. Vasectomy

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Parenting, Families, & the Community > Tubal Ligation vs. Vasectomy


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Get tubes tied during C-section, or vasectomy?

Sept 2007

Hi, I am scheduled to have my 2nd c-section next month with my 3rd child. (had twins 1st time around) My husband and I are sure we don't want anymore kids but can't decide if I should get my tubes tied during the c-section, or if he should get a vasectomy.

My concerns are that I have heard that some women have hormonal and other issues (palops, more painful menstual cycles, etc) after having their tubes tied. With my experiences thus far and history, I think if there are issues to be had because of tying tubes, it would happen to me. I just don't really want to take the chance. On the other hand, it seems silly to have my husband go in for a procedure if he doesn't have to. So, my question is...has anyone had any issues after tying your tubes during a c-section, has anyone had issues after a vasectomy, and any other advice you may want to share. Thanks k


I can't speak to the tube tying thing. But have you thought about getting an IUD? Very effective, reversible, lasts 10 years. My doctor believes they are safe. I've had one for the last 4 years (and had another one for many years when I was younger) and really like it. I have the non-hormone-releasing version. No more kids for me
I have had multiple c-sections and after the last one, my husband got a vasectomy. The procedure for him was an out-patient, very simple, practically painless operation. I too thought that I should have a tubal ligation since I was ''there anyway''. But after I did some research on the web, I decided that the risk of complication was too great. A vasectomy had much less risk. My husband wanted to have the procedure because he said that throughout our relationship the burden of contraception had been on me and he wanted to take the responsibly himself. After the procedure, he said that he felt so free - that he had worried his whole sexual life about getting someone pregnant unintentionally and now he didn't have to worry and could just completely enjoy sex. If your husband is willing, let him do this for you. After all you've given him two beautiful children. been there
When the time came for us to choose who would be cut, my wife felt that she had been the one responsible for ''contraception'' all her life and so it was my turn. It was no real issue for me, so I had the procedure done, it was quick, and realatively painless. I'm glad that I had it done. If you have any fears, or worries for your own health, then I would certainly put the task on your husband. Good Luck Happy to be cut
I got an IUD- Mirena- and it lasts 5 years, then it is removed and you can decide what you want to do from there. What sold me is the fact that I have had no side effects as stated by my OB, or none I am aware of. And just in case we do want to have another child, which I know is not your dilemma, we have not made a huge mistake on the body. I dont know your age but if you have the IUD it might just naturally take your through to menopause and not need anything permanent done Good luck jill
I just had my tubes tied after my second c-section. Since I was already open down there my husband and I decided it was easy to do since we knew we were done having kids. I haven't seen any adverse side effects yet and am so happy not to ever have to use birth control again. I know others who have had their tubes tied and said all was well after. Anon
Maybe neither of you has to have a surgical procedure: I used an IUD --best thing I ever did. Despite a bad rap, they're actually quite safe, extremely effective, and hormone-free. They work for 10-years and are then easily replaced. Besides the fact that IUDs are totally and immediately reversible; Iíd be willing to bet that their drawbacks/side-effects are also better than those of either tying tubes or having a vasectomy. --IUD advocate
As several people recommended, try an IUD before either of you gets snipped. I had a copper-T (no hormones) for several years and it was very low-hassle birth control. The only downside was that it made my periods much heavier and longer, so I eventually decided not to stay with it. I understand the the Mirena IUD will actually make periods lighter, but I'm leery of anything hormonal 'cause I'm at high risk for stroke. (Someone will leap in here and point out that the progesterone in the Mirena does not contribute to stroke risk.... The rational part of my brain will readily acknowledge that's true, but the non-rational part of my brain still isn't comfortable with the idea.)

As for vasectomy vs. tubal ligation... My partner and I have 4 kids between us, and there's just no way we'd want more. We looked into both options, and vasectomy seemed much less invasive. The day of the surgery he was moving pretty slowly and carefully, but was almost back to normal the next day, and overall was very pleasantly surprised by how quickly and smoothly the recovery went. This was all pretty recent, so I can't give you the long-term perspective, but the short-term perspective is that it was simple and straightforward. Hope this helps. Sign me, Grateful to my partner


we did neither. i highly recommend what we did. i has essure inserts put in (the same material used in stents). these block the fallopian tubes. no incisions. it is done vaginally and they just slide them into your uterus and into the tubes. i suspect a similar procedure is used to slide in an iud.

to verify the tubes are blocked (3 months later), as they grow around the inserts and seal, you need an hsg. for the insertion you need local anesthesia (just like most things going into the uterus via the cervix i think). i was sort of wiped out that day, but able to lift up my 5 year old and carry him up a flight of stairs when he hurt himself that evening. you should look into it! it is permanent, on the other hand both people still have their egg/sperm if for some reason you did want another child. i wish i'd done it sooner. there's info at www.essure.com . it's new. i had it done at alta bates in berkeley with dr. huibonhua, i recommend her highly. but the essure site also has a list of physicians who do it. anon


Post-op experience with tubal ligation vs. vasectomy

June 2007

Am considering vasectomy or tubal ligation after our last child is born this summer. Interested in first-hand accounts of post-operative experiences of both. What were your immediate side effects from surgery, recovery time, short- and long-term physical and mental ramifications? Recommend one over the other? Alex


Tubal ligation is a more invasive procedure than a vasectomy. I would not have volunteered to have one unless there was a good reason for my husband not to have a vasectomy.

My husbandís recovery from his procedure was relatively easy. There was pain the first day, discomfort for about a week afterwards, and no problems since. He Stepped Up


I think I can present both sides because my husband had a vasectomy AND I had a tubal ligation beacuse my husband's vasectomy failed.

My husband seemed a good candidate for routine vasectomy, but once in, the urologist discovered an atypical cluster of veins (variscosity, maybe? I can't remember the term) that were in the way. He told my husband that his recovery would be longer because he really had to work his way around them. My husband had a local and was awake during the surgery, and says he didn't feel much.

His recovery in terms of the incision healing took about 1 week which was longer than average. The first day he pretty much sat around alternating bags of frozen peas and whining. After the first week he was healed and going to work and working out again, but not without saying, ''Ow, my b---s!'' CONSTANTLY for about a month.

Several follow up tests later, he was still positive for live swimmers. The urologist recommended he go in again. I knew that I couldn't live with another month of the complaining and the uncertainty about getting pregnant accidentally. So I scheduled my own appointment and went under the knife. (My husband disagreed with this decision, but then again in hindsight, he didn't think he complained all that much.)

My surgery was laprascopic. I went in early in the morning and got prepped, which involved IV insertion, heart & blood pressure montiors, compression stockings, etc. I was rolled in around 11 AM, knocked out by an anaesthesiologist, and woke up not long after in the recovery room. I was sick as a dog from the anaesthesia and vomited a lot. My husband drove me home around 2PM and I slept for the rest of the day.

My recovery took a full week, during which I was little able to take care of my children, much less return to work. My shoulders and neck felt like they were thrown out - that was from the dissapation of the gas they use for laprascopy - and my incisions, though tiny, made me feel like I couldn't really use my abdominal muscles. Laughing, lifting, bending, etc. My OBGYN had warned me that I should plan on a week at least and I didn't believe her because I'm so tough, but I was wrong.

We agree that my procedure was much more major. Again, he doesn't recall the complaining. In fact, I just told him what I was writing and he said, ''Go for it, dude!''

Both of us agree, worry-free sex is AWESOME. Best of luck to you in your decision. btdt^2


Surgical sterilization procedures involve the surgical division of tubes of the reproductive system. In women, those tubes are the fallopian tubes and are inside the abdomen. In men, the vas deferens are in the scrotum. For women, the surgery must be done in an operating room, under general anesthesia, (in most cases), uses two or three 2 cm incisions and involves recovering from an intrabdominal surgery. In men, the procedure can be done in the office, under local anesthesia with 2 incisions of 6mm each. The procedure, while in a delicate area is not intraabdominal and so has a lesser overall risk and a quicker recovery.

If you are planning a delivery through c-section, doing a tubal ligation at the same time adds little risk and no extra recovery time. However, if you are looking at this procedure unrelated to a delivery, it is a significant surgery for a woman.

When we became pregnant with our fourth child, my husband volunteered for a vasectomy. He had it done on Friday, iced all weekend while lying in bed, returned to work all day standing and sitting on only tylenol. He was sore for 2 weeks slightly swollen for one and has no residual pain or any other bad effects.

My bias is not based on my being a woman, although it seemed like the least he could do considering I had just pushed out the fourth baby who looked just like him, but as a physician, the procedure is much easier to do, has a quicker recovery and less complications in a man than in a woman, so all other things being equal, vasectomy is a valid choice.

Good luck with your decision EL


Considering either a vasectomy or tubal ligation

November 2002

Our family is complete, birth control is a hassle, and we are trying to decide which procedure is best for us, tubal ligation (electrocautery) or vasectomy. I've read about both procedures on WebMD.com but would be interested in hearing from those who have had one of these procedures done. In particular, what would you have liked to know beforehand - the nature of it, any short or long term sexual impacts going under the knife about the actual procedure, recovery, and any other relevant information. Thank you.


Vasectomy ROCKS! The operation takes about 45 minutes, and is basically painless. Depending on the specifics of a man's anatomy, there may be some swelling, discoloration, or NONE AT ALL.

The procedure is FAR less invasive than Tubal Ligation.

Your sex life will improve, either way.
-- ''Sport Model''


The easiest time to have a tubal ligation is right after delivery when the pertinent organs are close to the surface. I have a general for the surgery but I think it can be done under local anesthesia. I hardly notice the scar (very small horizontal). My husband totally would not go for the vasectomy. I think it is a guy thing, plus he said he wanted to still have more kids in case he ever remarried (a very comforting thing to say when you are just delivering your second child...). I have had friends who had vasectomies. Obviously less invasive for the males and they walked around sore for a few days. In sum: I was very glad to have the procedure done and recovery was rapid. Good luck on whichever decision you come to.
I know that you asked for advice from people who have had either procedure before, but I thought I'd add my two cents. I did a research paper for a women's history class that dealt with the various methods of birth control we have access to today. From the information I found, I would not recommend a tubal ligation over a vasectomy. There are many reasons, but primarily this: there are hardly any complications associated with vasectomy, and those that do arise are easily treated (except failure of course...). Vasectomy is also less expensive. Tubal ligation, on the other hand, has many complications associated with the procedure. First, it is major surgery (which has it's own set of risks with anesthesia, etc). Second, if it ''fails'' there is a risk of ectopic pregnancy which is very dangerous. Third, there seems to be a higher risk of hysterectomy post ligation. I don't know what the connection is (or if there really is one), but that was how the statistics were reported. Overall, vasectomy is a MUCH less invasive procedure and the risks are significantly less than tubal ligation. I highly recommend that you look at more than WebMed - search through NIH articles (you can find their site online). If you want to know where I found some of my information, I still have my citations and some of the aticles printed. Good luck with your decision and I hope that I have not offended anyone else out there who opted for ligation. I know that there are many more factors involved than the simplified view I presented here. Freyja
re; tubal ligation v. vascectomy. We were certain that one kid was enough for us. So i vlounteered to have a vascectomy. Yes it's true vascectomy is quick and relatively painless as long as you take the codeine for a few days .In my case there was some swelling and bruising. however..... after four years of ''freedom'' from birth control, i suddenly began to experience testicular swelling and quite severe pain. Worried i went to the doc who had me tested for cancer and tumors ...nothing. eventually the pain and swelling disipated but then last December my wife woke one morning feeling nauseous. She'd also forgetten when she'd last had her period... but we weren't worried becasue i 'd had a vascectomy....right!!

to cut a long story short, let me just say that we are now the surprised but nontheless proud parents of our second daughter born Sept 10th this year.

Just to make sure my wife wasn't about to run off with the mailman i had myself checked out and was astonished to discover that i was all hooked up again and ready for procreation!!!

Depending on who you talk to the risk factor of a vascectomy reversing naturally can vary from 1/10,000 to 1/100. I have a doctor friend who also had a patient whose tubal ligation reversed itself.
she explained it to me like this... The body gets cut.. the body tries to heal.
in my case it worked too well.......

My wife had a tubal done at the birth of our new baby and I'm going to get another vascectomy.... we're not taking any more chances..
stephen d


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