The main issue with vasectomies, aside from them not working, seems to be something called post vasectomy pain syndrome. Estimates of how often this occurs vary wildly. It's mentioned only as an afterthought in the link the PP gave (which I'm not saying to knock the link, mind you; I think it's a good one), but I've seen claims of as many as 1/3 of the men having it.
Some women will tell you that vasectomies are bad because men's bodies aren't meant to reabsorb sperm. Problem with that argument is it's the opposite of the truth; men reabsorb sperm pretty much on a constant basis. (The man's suppy is renewed approximately every 3 days, ejaculations or no.) Allegations of it leading to cancer haven't been proven either.
The main issue with a tubal ligation, other than possible issues with the surgery itself, seems to be the possiblity of an ectopic pregnancy. The "failure rate" of a tubal is apparently 1 in 200, and of course not all of those are ectopic, but the ligation does
increase the risk of a tubal pregnancy. And ectopic pregnancies are potentially life-threatening.
Here's a site with a bit of a comparison of the two, though obviously slanted towards vasectomy:http://www.vascenters.com/tubal.htm
Here's another, apparently less-biased link:http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/ste...lizhisorhe.htm
I'll quote the salient portion here:
|Tubal Ligation or Vasectomy?
* Vasectomy is a 30 minute procedure performed in the physician's office. Tubal ligation is performed in a hospital setting, most often on a day surgery unit.
* Vasectomy requires two small incisions in the scrotum performed under local anesthetic; tubal ligation involves a small abdominal incision usually performed under general anesthesia. Occasionally, surgeons will perform tubal ligation under local anesthetic, however, this option is rarely instituted.
* Vasectomy involves the cutting of the tubes (vas deferens) that carry sperm. The vas deferens are then sealed using either sutures or surgical clips on the end of each of the tubes. On the other hand, tubal ligation permanently ends the possibility of pregnancy by one of several methods; these methods typically involve cutting the fallopian tubes and then sealing them or clipping them so that sperm and egg cannot meet. You may have heard people say they had their "tubes tied," however, actually tying fallopian tubes is an antiquated method of tubal ligation that is no longer done by today's gynecologists.
* Recovery from vasectomy usually requires only that the patient refrain from heavy physical activity for approximately 48 hours; tubal ligation requires women to limit physical activity and heavy lifting for at least one week following surgery.
* Complications from vasectomy are relatively rare but can involve bleeding and infection, swelling of the scrotum, as well as the possibility of sperm granulomas (small, inflamed hard nodules at the end of the severed tube)--these usually heal on their own, however in some cases additional surgery may be required. Potential complications from tubal ligation include a slight risk of bleeding and infection.
* The failure rate for vasectomy is about 1 percent. The failure rate for tubal ligation is slightly higher at about 2 percent which translates into a risk of pregnancy occuring following tubal ligation of about 1 pregnancy in 1000 women who've undergone this procedure.