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Vasectomy vs Condoms: the real cost of condoms

Vasectomy vs Condoms: the real cost of condoms

When it comes to finances, the choice between condoms and a vasectomy seems pretty obvious. Well it might be time to think again, because not only is a vasectomy far more effective at preventing pregnancy, it also turns out to be a lot more affordable over a lifetime.

Starting from $480 with no private health insurance, the price of a vasectomy can seem steep to some people. We often hear people comparing it to the cost of a condom. However we think it’s important to address the true cost of condoms over the course of a sexually active lifetime.

Based on the Kinsey Institute’s reported male sexual encounters over a lifetime, a man having sex between the ages of 18-69 and using a condom during each sexual encounter would go through an average of 3804 condoms.

Based on the current price of market leading condoms you’d be looking at a total cost of $3233.40 over a lifetime. However because this is over the course of a lifetime you also need to take into account inflation. At a conservative rate of 2.33% per year, you’d end up spending over $10,000 on condoms over a lifetime.

Tubal ligation, the female equivalent of the vasectomy, is a major surgical procedure and can cost more than $4,000 through the private system. Of course this is nothing compared to the $400,000 it costs to raise a child to the age of 21. But it does help to highlight that condoms aren’t necessarily the “cheap” alternative to a vasectomy that they’re often made out to be.

Condoms still play a crucial role though, since a vasectomy won’t protect you against STIs and shouldn’t be considered a reversible procedure. Unless you’re in a monogamous relationship and you both have a clean bill of sexual health, condoms are still necessary for protection.

So if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, your family is complete and you’re currently using condoms as contraception, it might be time to have the conversation about whether you want any, or more children.

About the Author

About the Author

Dr Justin Low

Justin received his medical degree from the University of Sydney in 1987 and completed the RACGP Family Medicine Program (FMP) in 1991. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1993. He received a Certificate of Recognition from the Australian Teleservices Association in 2012 for his work in telemedicine and has had extensive surgical and emergency medicine experience in the hospital system.

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Alright boys, it’s time to talk about the big V! Maybe you’ve had all the kids you want to have, or maybe you’re crystal clear on never wanting any at all. Either way, you’ve been thinking about committing to firing blanks. So what’s holding you back?

Most men have, at some point in their lives, experienced an impact or blow to their testicles. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of having them located where they are. For many men, just the recollection of such an event is enough to bring tears to our eyes. And this memory is often one of the factors that deters men from committing to a vasectomy.

If you’re in a heterosexual, monogamous relationship and have decided not to have any/more children, then you and your partner might be weighing up your options around permanent contraception methods, also referred to as sterilisation. The two to consider are tubal ligation and a vasectomy.

When it comes to finances, the choice between condoms and a vasectomy seems pretty obvious. Well it might be time to think again, because not only is a vasectomy far more effective at preventing pregnancy, it also turns out to be a lot more affordable over a lifetime.

At Marie Stopes we like all of our patients to consider their vasectomy a permanent procedure. While there are reversal services available, it is important not to make the decision to get a vasectomy based on your ability to have it reversed at some point.

The age of men who have vasectomies can vary as much as their reasons for getting one. Legally anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to have one.

There’s a lot of misinformation around vasectomies and sex post-vasectomy. In fact, most people don’t understand what’s involved in the procedure or the impact it can have on your body and sex life. So let’s look at what a vasectomy is NOT!