NO GOING BACK
Only sometimes it is possible to reverse the operation, but there are no guarantees. Reversal involves complicated surgery that might not work.
Sterilization is a permanent method of contraception that is suitable for people who are sure they do not want children or more children. Sterilization is available for both women and men and there are a few different types of procedures. Before you decide on sterilization, try speaking to an independent counselor or your gynecologist. There are other forms of long-acting contraception which are as efficient in preventing unplanned pregnancies, but without the permanence. Reversal of the procedure is sometimes possible; however, its success rates cannot be guaranteed.
Female sterilization can be achieved through surgical and non-surgical techniques. Both methods completely stop the sperm from reaching an egg in the womb and is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.
Surgical method: The surgical method, called tubal litigation, involves tying and cutting the fallopian tubes. The tubes can also be sealed using an electrical current or closed with clips, clamps, or rings. A medical device is put inside the tube through the vagina with a special catheter. In some cases, a small piece of the fallopian tube is removed. This method requires a considerably longer recovery time due to the invasive nature of the operation. Tubal litigation only affects a woman’s fertility with no effect on her libido or ability to have sex.
Non-surgical method: Non-surgical sterilization works by blocking the passages of the fallopian tubes so nothing may enter nor exit the womb, preventing fertilization. A small, flexible metal insert is put into the tubes through the vagina with a special catheter. The device causes scar tissue to form around the coil, which then blocks the tubes. This method only achieves permanence after 3 months, so you are advised to use a different contraception method during that period.
Male sterilization, also referred to as a vasectomy, is a surgical procedure in which the sperm-carrying ducts are cut, then sealed or tied to prevent fertilization, and may be done under local anesthesia. After the procedure, a man can still ejaculate but there is no sperm present. Vasectomy only affects a man’s fertility but has no effect on his libido or the ability to have sex.
This is probably the most important “How To” of them all and the reason lies in the word sterilization. To make sterile, to remove the chance of getting pregnant for good, forever, for eternity, never ever again, ever. After medical consultation a surgery blocks a man’s vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to other glands, so the semen, the fluid that comes out of a man’s penis, never has any sperm in it. It takes about 3 months to clear sperm out of a man’s system. You need to use another form of birth control until a test shows there are no longer any sperm in the seminal fluid.
To do a vasectomy is quite a decision, consult your healthcare provider to make sure you won’t regret making this decision because once you’ve made it, that’s it, there’s no babies and no going back.
PROS / CONS
- It lasts forever
- Highly effective
- It doesn’t interrupt sex
- It isn’t affected by other medications
- Suitable for everyone who never wants to have a child (or does not want any more children) and wants a permanent contraceptive option
- Hormone free
- It lasts forever
- It may cause pain, bleeding, infection or other complications after surgery
- It may cause tubal pregnancy
- You may need general anesthesia
- Rarely, there can be a failure in which the Fallopian tubes reopen, or closure is incomplete
- Sterilization is sometimes reversible, although the procedure is complicated and rarely successful
- It requires a healthcare provider to do it
- Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No. Most research finds no major changes in bleeding patterns after female sterilization. If a woman was using a hormonal method or IUD before sterilization, her bleeding pattern will return to the way it was before she used these methods. For example, women switching from combined oral contraceptives to female sterilization may notice heavier bleeding as their monthly bleeding returns to usual patterns. Note, however, that a woman's monthly bleeding usually becomes less regular as she approaches menopause.
No. After sterilization a woman will look and feel the same as before. She can have sex the same as before. She may find that she enjoys sex more because she does not have to worry about getting pregnant.
Should sterilization be offered only to women who have had a certain number of children, who have reached a certain age, or who are married?
There is no justification for denying sterilization to a woman just because of her age, the number of her living children, or her marital status. Each woman must be allowed to decide for herself whether or not she will want more children and whether or not to have sterilization.
The tubal ligation is very effective at preventing pregnancy and is intended to be permanent. It is not 100% effective, however. Women who have been sterilized have a slight risk of becoming pregnant: About 5 of every 1,000 women become pregnant within a year after the procedure. The small risk of pregnancy remains beyond the first year and until the woman reaches menopause.
Sterilization is intended to be permanent. People who may want more children should choose a different contraceptive method. Surgery to reverse sterilization is possible for only some women—those who have enough fallopian tube left. Even among these women, reversal often does not lead to pregnancy. The procedure is difficult and expensive, and healthcare providers who are able to perform such surgery are hard to find. When pregnancy does occur after reversal, the risk that the pregnancy will be ectopic is greater than usual. Thus, sterilization should be considered irreversible.