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  Sterilization Birth Control Method

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Birth Control  


Note: Information provided on this page is for reference only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt

Sterilization which is also spelled sterilisation in birth control refers to any of a number of medical techniques that intentionally leave a person unable to reproduce. Sterilization methods include both surgical and non-surgical, and exist for both males and females. Sterilization procedures are intended to be permanent; reversal is generally difficult or impossible.

Surgical sterilization is available in the form of tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. There are no significant long-term side effects, and tubal ligation decreases the risk of ovarian cancer. Short term complications are twenty times less likely from a vasectomy than a tubal ligation. After a vasectomy, there may be swelling and pain of the scrotum which usually resolves in a week or two. With tubal ligation, complications occur in 1 to 2 percent of procedures with serious complications usually due to the anesthesia. Neither method offers protection from sexually transmitted infections.

Surgical sterilization methods include:

  1. Tubal ligation in females, known popularly as "having one's tubes tied". The Fallopian tubes, which allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum and would carry the fertilized ovum to the uterus, are closed. This generally involves a general anesthetic and a laparotomy or laparoscopic approach to cut, clip or cauterize the fallopian tubes.

  2. Vasectomy in males. The vasa deferentia, the tubes that connect the testicles to the prostate, are cut and closed. This prevents sperm produced in the testicles from entering the ejaculated semen.

  3. Hysterectomy in females. The uterus is surgically removed, permanently preventing pregnancy and some diseases, such as uterine cancer.

  4. Castration in males. The testicles are surgically removed. This is frequently used for the sterilization of animals, but rarely for humans.


Decision for sterilization is some time regretted in some men and women. Of women aged over 30 who have undergone tubal ligation, about 5% regret their decision, as compared with 20% of women age under 30. By contrast, less than 5% of men are likely to regret sterilization. Men more likely to regret sterilization are younger, have young or no children, or have an unstable marriage.

Although sterilization is a permanent procedure, it is possible to attempt a tubal reversal to reconnect the fallopian tubes or a vasectomy reversal to reconnect the vasa deferentia. In women the desire for a reversal is often associated with a change in spouse.

Pregnancy success rates after tubal reversal are between 31% and 88%. The number of males who request reversal is between 2% and 6%. Rates of success in fathering another child after reversal are between 38% and 84%; with success being lower the longer the time period between the original procedure and the reversal. Sperm extraction followed by in vitro fertilization may also be an option in men.

Birth Control
  Birth Control Overview
  Different method of birth control
  Different contraceptive devices and medications
  Comparison of birth control methods
  Effect on Health
  Effect on family economy

Birth Control Calculators
  Safe Period Calculator
  When is Ovulation (Ovulation Calculator)

Birth Control FAQs
  Birth control and your cycle FAQs
  Birth control and your health FAQs
  Contraceptive Pills FAQs
  Depo Provera (Shot) FAQs
  NuvaRing (Ring) FAQs
  Ortho Evra (Patch) FAQs
  Other Birth Control FAQS
Birth Control Methods
  Abstinence
  Barrier
  Behavioral
  Emergency contraceptive
  Fertility awareness
  Hormonal
  Intrauterine devices
  Lactational amenorrhea
  Sterilization
  Withdrawal

Contraceptive Device & Medications
  Abortion
  Cervical caps
  Condoms
  Contraceptive sponges with spermicide
  Diaphragms
  Emergency contraceptive
  Implants under the skin
  Injections
  Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  Oral pills
  Patches
  Vaginal ring

 

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