Vasectomy is a Woman’s Birth Control Too!
For women only: ladies, today we will discuss keeping vasectomy on the table when addressing birth control now that your family is complete and you do not want more children. There is a point in every committed family’s life cycle where the discussion regarding family expansion becomes priority. At this moment, women pause and review the various birth control methods available to her. Often, women forget that vasectomy for her husband or partner is a real option.
What Is a Vasectomy?
During a vasectomy, the vas deferens (the tubes that connect the testicles to the prostate and seminal vesicles) from each testicle is clamped, cut, or otherwise sealed. This prevents sperm from mixing with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis. After a vasectomy the testicles continue to produce sperm, but the sperm are reabsorbed by the body. This is the same as the natural way of disposing sperms that remain in the scrotum. It happens to sperm that are not ejaculated after a while, regardless of whether you have had a vasectomy. Because the tubes are blocked before the seminal vesicles and prostate, you still ejaculate about the same amount of fluid but without it containing any sperm. Visit our blog post, “Vasectomy Benefits and Risks” for more details.
Why Should a Woman Consider Discussing Vasectomy with her Husband or Partner?
Family planning is a choice between a husband and wife or partner. Therefore, the birth control used should also be a his and her choice including an open discussion to help determine the best course of action based on the health history of each partner. Once a family chooses not to have any further children, then it’s time to talk permanent birth control.
Vasectomy versus Birth Control Pills (the Pill)
Clearly, a vasectomy is a surgery performed on the male while birth control pills are taken orally requiring no surgery, but at a certain age, taking birth control pills become a health concern. Long term use of birth control pills have been associated with increased risk of breast or cervical cancers. The Pill is contraindicated in women with a history of depression or migraines. The FDA suggests that women over the age of 35 or who smoke should not take birth control pills. Also being obese or having a family history of heart disease will increase your chances of having a life threatening blot clot. Even though blood clots are rare, these points and risk factors must be discussed with your physician. As in all surgeries, there are risks but a vasectomy’s risks minimal compared to taking birth control pills if you fall into some of the above categories. About 8% of all women taking the pill will become accidentally pregnant.
Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation
Some women choose to Tubal Ligation or to have their tubes tied. This type of surgery is costly and women can have up 20% more of a chance of complications versus a man dealing with a vasectomy. Comparing surgery to surgery, vasectomy is less invasive and has a strong success rate. Again, only your Urologist and OB/GYN can guide you through understand the risks of vasectomy, tubal ligation, IUDs and birth control pills.
How to Discuss Vasectomy with your Husband or Partner?
Visit your OB/GYN first and learn about your options regarding birth control pill, an IUD, Condoms or Tubal Ligation. Ask your husband or partner to visit his Urologist to discuss Vasectomy as an option. Schedule quiet time together to explore your family’s options based on each of your health status and your family planning goals. Be sure to stay honest and open and go back for a second physician visit if you have more questions.