Comparing Tubectomy and Vasectomy: Which Option is Right?

November 23, 2023
Tubectomy and Vasectomy

Tubectomy and Vasectomy: In recent years, people’s preferences regarding surgical contraception methods have seen a notable shift. BMC’s Family Planning Department data shows a noteworthy 25% increase in the number of men opting for vasectomy. However, it is essential to understand that more women in India tend to choose tubectomy than men opting for vasectomy.

This trend prompts us to delve deeper into the meaning of tubectomy and vasectomy. Let’s explore the key differences, benefits, aftereffects, and considerations of these two surgical contraceptive options. 

Understanding Vasectomy

Understanding the procedures of tubectomy and vasectomy helps couples go through the most suitable process as per their needs. Both methods sound quite similar but are different in many ways. 

A minor surgical procedure of male sterilisation that consists of cutting or blocking off the male scrotum tubes, known as vas deferens, is called vasectomy.  


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Process of Vasectomy

Tubectomy and vasectomy differ in their steps. The vasectomy procedure is performed as follows: 

  • The scrotum and vas deferens are first numbed by giving local anaesthesia. 
  • The doctor then makes a small incision in the upper part of the scrotum and accesses the vas deferens. 
  • Both vas deferens are then cut, tied, and sealed to prevent the passage of sperm
  • Cutting and tying, cauterisation (sealing with heat), or using clips are the common methods used for this step. 
  • The procedure usually takes 25-30 minutes only. This also becomes the main difference between tubectomy and vasectomy
  • There is also a less invasive non-surgical technique. In a ‘no scalpel’ method, the doctor searches for ductus deferens under the skin of the scrotum. He then holds it in place with a small clamp. 
  • Then, an instrument is used to make a tiny hole in the skin and stretch the opening. Here, vas deferens are cut and tied. 
  • The procedure involves a smaller opening, less tissue trauma, and provides quicker recovery.

After Effects of Vasectomy

The common aftereffects of vasectomy are: 

  • Swelling, mild pain, and bruising may occur for two or three days after the procedure.
  • An ice pack and acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, are usually given to relieve pain.
  • Note: A vasectomy does not affect the production or release of testosterone. The operation also does not affect erections, and the amount of ejaculation remains the same.


Refrain from heavy work, vigorous exercise, lifting, sexual activity, and ejaculation for a week afterward. 

The sperm that can no longer pass through the vas deferens is eventually broken down and reabsorbed by the body. However, it is important to note that vasectomies do not protect against HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases.

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What is Tubectomy?

A report by World Family Planning in 2020 revealed that the demand for family planning among women had seen significant growth over the last two decades. The number of women choosing family planning methods has increased to nearly 1.1 billion in 2020. Additionally, women go for complete sterilisation methods like tubectomy. 

Tubal ligation, also known as tubectomy, is a surgical procedure used for women as a birth control method. Fallopian tubes are tied, clamped, cut, banded, or sealed in this method. This way, an egg does not move from the ovary through the fallopian tube. It eventually prevents sperm from travelling up the tube to meet the egg. 


Process and Effects of Tubectomy

Most of the steps of tubectomy and vasectomy are similar. However, the general steps followed in tubectomy are: 

  • Tubectomy is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical clinic under general anaesthesia. 
  • One or two small cuts are made in the abdomen, and a laparoscope is inserted.
  • This instrument cuts, ties, or seals the fallopian tube.
  •  Cut and tie: The surgeon cuts a section of the tube and ties or clips both ends.
  • Cauterisation: Heat is used to seal the tubes shut.
  • Tubal rings or clips: Small devices are placed around the tubes to block them.
  • The skin incisions are then stitched closed. The patient is discharged within a few hours after the procedure.
  • Doctors also prefer tubectomy immediately after childbirth. They do it via a small incision near the navel or during caesarean delivery.
  • Like vasectomy, tubal ligation does not protect against STDs, including HIV.

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After Effects

The incision sites may be a little uncomfortable afterwards. One may feel pain or cramps, fatigue, dizziness, mild vaginal bleeding, or a sore throat from the anaesthesia.

After a tubal ligation, the patient may feel tired, and their tummy may feel sore for a short time. Those with fever, excessive blood loss at the incision, severe belly pain, trouble breathing, or vaginal discharge should contact a doctor immediately. Complications are rare but may include infection, sometimes bleeding, or ectopic pregnancy.


After tubectomy, women should wait for 48 hours to take a shower. They should not rub or scrub the incision sites for at least a few weeks. Pat the skin dry carefully. One can return to the normal routine a week after tubectomy. But ensure not to lift anything heavy until the doctor says it’s safe.

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Breaking the Myths of Tubectomy and Vasectomy

There are several myths and misconceptions associated with tubectomy and vasectomy. Let’s discuss them one by one. 

Myths about Vasectomy

  • Vasectomy is irreversible: While vasectomies are indeed considered a permanent birth control method, it’s important to note that reversing a vasectomy is more complex but not impossible. The NHS in the UK reports a 75% success rate for reversal when done within three years, with slightly decreasing success rates over time.
  • Vasectomy is emasculating: Vasectomy does not impact a man’s masculinity, sexual performance, or libido. It only prevents the release of sperm in ejaculate.
  • Vasectomy leads to prostate cancer: Vasectomy does not increase the risk of prostate cancer or heart disease. There is no established connection between this procedure and these health conditions.

Myths about Tubectomy

  • Tubectomy causes weight gain: No scientific evidence supports the claim that tubal ligation leads to weight gain. Any changes in weight are typically unrelated to the procedure.
  • Tubectomy increases the risk of cancer: Tubal ligation does not increase the risk of developing cancer. In fact, it may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. 

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Tubectomy and Vasectomy: Comparison

The following table compares tubectomy and vasectomy based on different factors: 

Factor Tubectomy  Vasectomy 
Location  For women who want permanent sterilisation.   For men who want permanent sterilisation.  
Complications Rate  Fallopian Tubes  Vas Deferens 
Effect The complication rate is less than 1% and includes bruising and infection only.  Complications are between 1-2%, with issues including infection, hematoma or, in rare cases, sperm granulomas. 
Recovery Time Provides immediate contraception.  Requires time and ejaculations to clear sperm from the vas deferens. 
Reproductive options  Recovery time is longer and typically takes a week or two.  Generally results in less discomfort and a quicker recovery. 
options  Possible to get pregnant through reversal or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).  Semen is stored in a sperm bank for future pregnancy attempts. 
Cost  The cost varies from a few thousand to lakhs depending upon the hospitals or service providers.  Vasectomy is generally less expensive, and the cost varies according to the service providers.


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Choosing the Right Sterilisation Method

In the end, the decision of choosing between tubectomy and vasectomy is personal. Partners must consider many factors when choosing the right permanent birth control option. It is not an easy choice, but vasectomy has many preferred factors over tubal ligation regarding safety, cost, and effectiveness. Different government policies even support vasectomy by giving incentives. However, the choice is completely yours.

If you are still unsure about tubectomy and vasectomy or have questions, do not hesitate to reach out us. Our experts are here to provide guidance and help you choose the best sterilisation option that suits your needs. Our specialists can assist you in making better decisions for your reproductive options and family planning. Your reproductive health is our priority! 

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Sr. IVF Specialist & Medical Director at NANDI IVF
Dr. Payal Bajaj is an experienced Obstetrician & Gynecologist with over 20 years of experience in the discipline. She is a Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility Specialist. She has Done MBBS From the Renowned Lady Hardinge Medical College. DGO from the prestigious VMMC & Safdarjang Hospital, DMAS From World Laparoscopy Hospital.

She has Completed Her esteemed ASPIRE -ISAR Fellowship in the field of Reproductive Medicine from AFGC, Delhi And St' Mother's Hospital Japan.She has also been trained from the University of KEIL Germany. She has won various academic awards all through her academic career.
Dr. Payal Bajaj

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