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Permanent Method

Sterilization is the process of completely taking away the body’s ability to reproduce through surgery or minimal invasion.



Highly effective
Widely available
Easy to use

Details / How to


Sterilization is a surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy permanently. Both men and women can be sterilized.

Female sterilization involves cutting or sealing the fallopian tubes, preventing eggs travelling down the fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the womb. The egg then cannot meet the sperm and cannot be fertilised.

Male sterilisation, or a vasectomy, is when the tubes that carry the sperm from the testes to the penis are cut or sealed. It works by stopping sperm getting into a man’s semen, the fluid that he ejaculates. When he does ejaculate, the semen has no sperm in it and so cannot fertilise an egg. Both procedures are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Once you are sterilized, it is very difficult to reverse it, so it is best to consider all your options before making your decision.


Sterilization is performed by a trained healthcare professional. Depending on the method used, you may either have a general anaesthetic, where you’re asleep during surgery, or local anaesthetic, where you are awake but will not feel any pain. You will need to use contraception for 3 months after the procedure, and then you will not need to think about contraception again.

Pros / Cons


  • It is a highly effective method of contraception
  • It is permanent so you will not need to think about contraception again
  • It does not affect your hormone levels or sex drive
  • It does not interrupt sex



  • It cannot be reversed
  • You will need to use contraception for 3 months after the procedure
  • It does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases
  • Some people experience pain and discomfort after the procedure
  • There is a small risk of complications, including infections


There are no known side effects

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.

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.

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