If you have made the decision that you don’t want to have any children in the future, or any more children if you’re already a father, you might be thinking about having a vasectomy. You may be wondering about the effectiveness of the procedure, its cost and what the risks associated with a vasectomy are. We have some useful information that can either supply the answers or help you to find them so you’ll know what to expect.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is also referred to as male sterilization. It is a permanent form of birth control. It is a surgical procedure that involves a physician making a small incision to expose the vas deferens which are the tubes that transport sperm to the testicles. There are a few different methods for interrupting this process. Some physicians cut the tubes, burn the ends and then tie them off, while others simply cut and tie. There is usually a waiting period until no more sperm are present so it is still technically possible to get a woman pregnant until the sperm has cleared. Tests are performed to verify that this is the case.
What are the risks and side effects?
One of the risks is the development of infection after the surgery, which is the case with any surgical procedure. Swelling and soreness may occur afterward. Analgesics and the application of cold packs can ease the discomfort and lessen swelling. Every man is different and while some may experience extreme discomfort, others do not. There is likely to be a period where heavy lifting is restricted, so if a part of your profession involves physical labor and exertion, you may need to plan on taking time off from your job. In addition, if you don’t have sick leave or some other type of work-related compensation, you should figure the lost wages into the overall cost of having a vasectomy done.
How effective is this birth control method?
As many as 350,000 of these procedures are performed in the United States annually. The rate of failure of vasectomy that results in pregnancy is .2 to .4 percent, making it 99.4% effective after a period of time after the procedure is completed. Once the tubes are cut and tied, the odds of them regrowing back to allow sperm through to the testicles is extremely remote. If you change your mind later, however, there is a possibility that you can have a reversal done, but this procedure does not always result in the ability to father children.
How much does a vasectomy cost?
On average, a vasectomy can cost anywhere between $300 to $3,000. This includes the cost of a consultation with the physician performing the procedure, the procedure itself, the cost of anesthesia and tests performed after to confirm that there is no more sperm present in your semen. The cost may or may not be the actual out of pocket that you will need to pay. If you have medical insurance coverage, part or all of the procedure may be covered. Each policy is different, so you’ll need to check with your insurance provider to find out what, if any they are willing to cover.
What if I don’t have health coverage?
If you don’t have health insurance coverage and you meet the income guidelines, you may qualify for Medicaid or some other type of state assistance program. Some physicians and clinics offer their services on a sliding scale fee that charges in accordance with your income. You never know until you ask, so it’s always a good idea to discuss the financial aspects of a vasectomy once the decision is made to proceed. Some clinics may offer a payment plan, so this is another potential help in making a vasectomy affordable.
How much a vasectomy reversal costs
If you change your mind about having children after having a vasectomy, it is possible to have the vasectomy reversed. There are no guarantees that it will work, and the costs range between $3,000 and $15,000, depending on your circumstances and which physician performs the operation. This is a high price for a procedure that may not even work, so it’s best to make sure that you’ll never want to father a child again before having a vasectomy.