A vasectomy, also known as male sterilization, is considered to be a permanent birth control method. Each year, there are around half a million vasectomies performed in the United States. Approximately one out of every five men over the age of 35 has undergone a vasectomy. Many men choose to have a vasectomy because this procedure has a failure rate of less than 1% -- this means that once it has been established through a semen analysis that sperm are no longer present in the semen (this can take around three months), vasectomies are over 99% effective.
A vasectomy is considered to be a surgical procedure, yet the cost of a vasectomy is about five times less than the cost of a tubal ligation (female sterilization). Before you seek a vasectomy, it may be helpful to ask your doctor if your state has any sterilization requirements or restrictions. In some areas, there may be:
- Waiting periods
- Age restrictions
- Required counseling (either individually or with your partner)
- Spousal consent
In the United States, a vasectomy costs between $300 to $2000. The cost of a vasectomy will typically cover your initial consultation, the actual vasectomy procedure, anesthesia, and follow-up semen analyses (you may need to have 2-3 of these done after your vasectomy is performed). Though most doctors or clinics will include all of these in one price, some may charge for each individually, so make sure to inquire about this when researching potential doctors. In most cases, the cost is the same for both types of vasectomy procedures: the no-scalpel vasectomy or a conventional vasectomy.
Vasectomy costs may differ depending on where the procedure takes place. Typically, a vasectomy is performed in a doctor’s office, clinic, or outpatient surgical facility/hospital by a board-certified urologist. Your vasectomy may cost more if it takes place in an outpatient medical facility because some of these centers may charge an additional facility fee.
Most health insurance companies will cover vasectomy costs if performed as an outpatient procedure, but you should check with your insurance provider to make sure that they include vasectomy benefits. Usually, health insurance companies will cover most or all of your vasectomy cost after your yearly deductible has been met. If you qualify, Medicaid or other state programs in your area may also cover the cost of a vasectomy.
If you do not have a health insurance plan, some doctors or clinics may offer a sliding scale fee that is determined based on your income. You can also check with your doctor to determine if he/she may offer you a discount on your vasectomy cost if you pay in cash and/or if a payment plan can be established. Make sure you also inquire which payment options your doctor accepts.
In addition to researching various urologists and their vasectomy costs, you should also be sure that you want to undergo permanent sterilization. Of the 500,000 vasectomies carried out each year in the United States, roughly 5 to 10% of men will later decide to inquire about vasectomy reversal options. Of the 500,000 vasectomies carried out each year in the United States, roughly 5 to 10% of men will later decide to find out about vasectomy reversal options. Keep in mind that a vasectomy reversal may cost between $4000 to $15,000, and most health insurance companies will not cover this procedure. Not only does a vasectomy reversal cost a lot of money, the success rate for restoring fertility and achieving pregnancy greatly varies. In general, the more time that passes between a vasectomy and a vasectomy reversal procedure, the likelihood for a successful reversal decreases.
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