A vasectomy is a surgery that prevents pregnancy. This procedure stops sperm from reaching a person’s semen. While the person will still be able to ejaculate, the semen will not have sperm and cannot cause pregnancy.
People may choose to have a vasectomy, also known as male sterilization, if they do not wish to have children. They may also want it if they are not planning to have additional children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this permanent birth control option is more than
If you’re considering a vasectomy, you’ll want to get counseling on the long-term impacts of a vasectomy. You’ll also want to make sure you understand the potential costs of the surgery.
Here, we’ll review how much a vasectomy costs and compare it with other birth control options. We will also look at the costs of a vasectomy reversal.
The final cost for you will depend on several factors, including:
- whether you have health insurance
- whether you have met your deductible or have any co-payments
- where you have the procedure
- what is included in the cost
- which type of vasectomy you have
Vasectomies performed in hospitals or outpatient clinics may be more expensive than ones performed in doctors’ offices. That’s because additional care professionals may be necessary for the procedure, and each of those can bill you or your insurance separately.
If you don’t have health insurance, or if you are paying cash, some clinics may offer a sliding-scale fee. This way, you pay based on your income.
Speak with the clinic’s financial office before the procedure. They can help you understand what out-of-pocket costs might be required of you.
The total cost of a vasectomy may include:
- an initial consultation
- preliminary bloodwork or physical
- the procedure
- postsurgery care
- follow-up semen analyses to confirm the surgery’s success
If you are paying cash, the entire price of a vasectomy, from initial consultation to final analysis, may be included in a package. This way, you have no surprise additional costs after your procedure.
For people with insurance, each element of a vasectomy may be billed individually. That can result in multiple co-payments, depending on how your insurance company processes the charges.
Most private health insurance plans will cover the costs of a vasectomy. But before you have a consultation for the surgery, it’s helpful to request coverage information from your insurance provider. This way you understand your responsibilities.
Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may be required to meet your yearly deductible before the insurance company will pay for the procedure. The deductible is an out-of-pocket cost you must pay a provider. Once it’s met, insurance companies typically cover most or all of your surgery costs.
No, Medicare will not cover a vasectomy. Vasectomies are considered elective surgeries. That is, they are not necessary for your health. For that reason, the national health insurance program will not pay for a vasectomy.
Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) insurance plans may cover the cost of a vasectomy, however. Check with your Medicare Advantage provider to understand what parts, if any, of a vasectomy are covered.
A vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control. It is not, however, the only form of birth control.
If you are looking to prevent pregnancy, you and a partner may consider one of the following alternative birth control options to vasectomy.
Like a vasectomy, a tubal ligation is a permanent birth control option. During this procedure, a surgeon will cut or block the fallopian tubes. This will prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs.
Tubal ligations are about six times more expensive than vasectomies, according to Planned Parenthood. These surgeries are also considered more invasive. In some cases, they may require longer recovery periods.
Side effects of a tubal ligation surgery include:
- injury to blood vessels
- reaction to anesthesia
- spotting and cramping
Tubal ligation is highly successful at preventing pregnancy, but it’s not 100 percent effective. If you were to become pregnant after the surgery, you could develop an ectopic pregnancy. This can be a life threatening medical emergency.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills, also called oral contraceptives, are medications taken to prevent pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says these contraceptives are about
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), birth control pills have become less expensive for most people. As of 2018, most women with health insurance plans had zero out-of-pocket costs for oral contraceptives, according to
GoodRx estimates people who are paying out of pocket for birth control pills spend $226 to $268 annually. Prescriptions for these medications must also be renewed annually, so you will need to factor in the cost of a visit with a healthcare professional.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
An IUD is a device placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. These devices are long-term birth control. Most last between 5 and 10 years.
IUDs are among the most effective forms of birth control. For every 100 women with an IUD, the FDA says
Some people with an IUD can experience side effects. These include heavy bleeding, spotting between periods, and cramps. If you want to get pregnant, a doctor or other healthcare professional will have to remove the IUD.
According to Planned Parenthood, the cost of IUD placement may cost anywhere from $0 to $1,300. People with health insurance may not have to pay anything, while people without insurance may pay varying amounts depending on the maker of the IUD and the medical professional doing the procedure.
Birth control rings
Birth control rings let people with a uterus skip the daily task of taking pills. Instead, they get around-the-clock contraceptive protection with an insertable flexible ring. The rings release hormones, and the hormones prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs that can be fertilized.
Birth control rings are considered highly effective. For every 100 people using the rings,
There are some risks with birth control ring use, however. These include:
- spotting between periods
- breast tenderness
- vaginal infection
- vaginal irritation
Outside and inside condoms can prevent pregnancies. They are also one of the least expensive forms of birth control. The average condom costs $1 to $2. They are also readily available without a prescription at pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
However, outside condoms, also called male condoms, are not as effective at preventing pregnancy as some other forms of birth control. According to the
Inside condoms, also called female condoms, are more expensive, according to GoodRx. They cost about 10 times more than the average outside condom, averaging $531 per year. They are also not as easy to find as outside condoms.
A vasectomy is considered permanent. Despite that, a vasectomy can be reversed. In fact, according to UAB Medicine, 4 to 10 percent of people who’ve had the procedure request a vasectomy reversal every year.
During the procedure, a surgeon will attempt to reconnect the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. If it’s successful, you will be able to ejaculate sperm again.
Most health insurance plans will not cover the cost of a reversal. Additionally, reversing a vasectomy is more expensive than getting one. You can expect to pay around $5,000 to $15,000 for the surgery, depending on factors like where you live and who performs the surgery.
A vasectomy is a permanent birth control option. It’s considered minimally invasive, with few risks of complications.
However, it can be pricey. The average cost is up to $1,000. People who do not have health insurance can expect to pay more out of pocket.
While it’s often more expensive initially, the procedure may be more affordable than decades of other birth control choices. Having a vasectomy is a personal choice. It should be considered with your partner (if you have one) and your doctor.
A vasectomy reversal is possible, but this procedure is not always successful. It’s also many times more expensive than the original procedure.