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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, but 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 life.

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 vasectomy, is a major surgical procedure and can cost more than $4,000 through the private system in MSI Australia. 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, especially when considering the long-term cost of raising a child.

Condoms still play a crucial role though, since a vasectomy or tubal ligation 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 has performed over 9000 vasectomies since 2011 during which time he developed the MSI No Scalpel Open Ended technique with painless needle technique. He is responsible for training an quality assurance of MSI Vasectomy services across the country.

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