The Sterilization Decision-Vasectomy vs. Tubal Ligation
You have had all the children you would like and you like to ensure that you won’t have another pregnancy then you need to make the sterilization decision.
So who is going to become sterilized? This him-or-her question should be decided with great care. For couples weighing whether they’re ready to permanently prevent pregnancy, here are some important questions to ask.
At this time men have just one option when they want to permanently turn off the possibility of sperm getting to an egg? and women can choose from several. For men, the option is a vasectomy. A doctor cuts and seals off the two tubes that allow sperm to travel from the testicles to the outside world.
The vasectomy can be done without a scalpel and without a needle to inject the local anesthetic so it is nearly painless. The procedure takes about 10-12 minutes but the man is not sterile right away. He needs to ejaculate approximately 15 times to purge sperm from the vas above the area where the occlusion of vas takes place. (See Figure)
After 15 ejaculations, a specimen must be examined under a microscopic to be absolutely certain that there is no sperm in the ejaculate and then the man is sterile.
Women can have a tubal ligation, also called a “tubal” or “getting your tubes tied.” Her fallopian tubes are sealed off, keeping her eggs from meeting any sperm. Or a doctor can do an in-office procedure in which he inserts tiny devices into the tubes through the uterus, blocking them permanently.
Women become sterilized nearly three times as often as men. About 16% of reproductive-age women had opted for tubal sterilization in 2002, compared to 6% of the male member of the relationship who submits to a vasectomy.
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