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Sterilization

(Stare-ill-is-za-shun)

Sterilization is a permanent form of birth control. While the procedures are different, both men and women can have sterilization operations that prevent them from being able to conceive. Because sterilization is permanent it is meant specifically for people who already have all the children they would like and are sure they do not want any more. Sterilization is safe and minimally invasive. Sterilization is a popular method, is highly effective and does not require any additional actions on behalf of the user after the procedure is complete.

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Male Sterilization

Sterilization for males is called vasectomy. It is a permanent form of birth control for men. It can be reversed but the ability to get someone pregnant again is not guaranteed. The reversal is complicated, expensive and typically not covered by insurance. Therefore, the decision to have a vasectomy should be carefully considered.

How does it work?

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that interrupts the route that the sperm takes from the testes (where they are made) out of the penis in ejaculation. The man will still make sperm but their exit out of the testes into the tube called the vas deferens is blocked. Vasectomy does not affect a man's ability to perform sexually, or his sexual satisfaction. It does not affect the balance of male hormones, male sex characteristics, sex drive, or production of semen.

How effective is a vasectomy?

The effectiveness of this method is nearly 99.85% in preventing pregnancy.

What is the process like?

A vasectomy is done in a doctor’s office or family planning clinic. It is a procedure where you will get to go home after it is done. Local anesthesia is used and the actual procedure takes about 15-30 minutes. During the procedure the provider closes off the vas deferens to block the sperm. Follow up appointments including sperm counts post-op are required to ensure that the procedure did in fact block the sperm.

Who should get a vasectomy?

  • Men in relationships in which both partners agree they have all the children they want and both do not want to use or are unable to use other methods of birth control
  • Men in relationships whose partners have health problems that make pregnancy unsafe
  • Men in relationships in which one or both have genetic disorders that they do not want to transmit

Who should NOT get a vasectomy?

  • Men in relationships in which one partner is unsure about his or her desire to have children in the future
  • Men whose current relationships are unstable, going through a stressful phase, or are marked by substantial conflict
  • Men who are considering the operation just to please their partners
  • Men who are counting on having children later by surgical reversal of the vasectomy
  • Young men, who still have many life changes ahead

Does a Vasectomy Prevent STDs Too?

A Vasectomy is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE

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Female Sterilization

Sterilization for females is called tubal ligation. It is a permanent form of birth control for women. It can be reversed but the ability to get pregnant again is not guaranteed. The reversal is complicated, expensive and typically not covered by insurance. Therefore, the decision to have a tubal ligation should be carefully considered.

How does it work?

Closing the fallopian tubes for sterilization can be done in several ways. Tubal ligation is when the tubes are closed off by tying and cutting. They also can be closed by sealing (cauterization) or by applying clips, clamps or rings. Sometimes, a small piece of the fallopian tube is removed. Sterilization won't make you less feminine. It doesn't cause weight gain or the growth of facial hair. It won't decrease your sexual pleasure or cause menopause.

How effective is it?

The effectiveness of this method is nearly 99% in preventing pregnancy.

Tubal ligation surgery

A tubal ligation is done under anesthesia and recovery can be a couple days until a week until you feel like you can return to your normal daily activities. During the procedure the provider seals the fallopian tubes so that the sperm can’t reach the egg therefore, preventing pregnancy.

Who should get tubal ligation?

  • Women in relationships in which both partners agree they have all the children they want and both do not want to use or are unable to use other methods of birth control
  • Women who have health problems that make pregnancy unsafe
  • Women who either have a genetic disorder or their partner carries a genetic disorder that they do not want to transmit

Who should NOT get tubal ligation?

  • Women in relationships in which one partner is unsure about his or her desire to have children in the future
  • Women whose current relationships are unstable, going through a stressful phase, or are marked by substantial conflict
  • Women who are considering the operation just to please their partners
  • Women who are counting on having children later by surgical reversal of the tubal ligation
  • Young women, who still have many life changes ahead

Does Tubal Ligation Also Prevent STDs?

Tubal ligation is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE

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Penis: external male genitals shaped like a shaft. Click Here to see an image of a penis.
Ejaculation: release of semen from penis
Testes: egg shaped glands in the scrotum where sperm is made
Vas deferens: the tube that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra
Cauterization: sear with heat
Menopause: the time in a female’s life where her periods end
Fallopian Tubes: A pair of tubes that eggs travel from ovary to uterus
Sperm: male reproductive cell
Egg: female reproductive cell, also called ovum