Birth Control Innovations Beyond the Pill

There are more options for women (and men) looking to ditch the once-daily dosing.

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Illutration by Stefano Morri.
See also the history of tubal ligation.

Done, done, done.”

That’s how Lauren describes her childbearing status. For her, four children—all under 11—is more than enough. “We decided a vasectomy was the way to go,” says the West Chester resident.

Lauren was fine with the publication of her last name—her husband, not so much. “He wondered if I should be the one to get something done, and I was like, ‘Seriously? Haven’t I done enough? It’s a 15-minute procedure, and you need a few days to recover. I was pregnant for nine months—four times!”

Thanks to the no-scalpel vasectomy, the procedure has become less invasive, eliminating the need for sedation and a trip to the hospital. Dr. Guy Bernstein, a urologist at Bryn Mawr’s Center for Urologic Care, was the first to perform the procedure in Pennsylvania. “In the 1980s, there were far more tubal ligations than vasectomies, which seemed crazy because vasectomies are surgically simpler. But men don’t like to expose their genitals to surgery,” he says.

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