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Sterilization for Women and Men - Permanent Contraception

Sterilization is a permanent method of birth control. This includes the removal of the fallopian tubes in women (tubal ligation) and the interruption of the vas deferens in men (vasectomy).

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation (fallopian tube removal) prevents sperm from reaching the egg. It is very effective in achieving contraception. It does not prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). The risks of the procedure are low and depend on which surgical approach is used.

Menstrual cycles will continue after female sterilization. The menstrual cycle can naturally change over time and is not affected by the tubal ligation. Problems with the menstrual cycle after a tubal ligation should be brought to the attention of your doctor to evaluate further.

The procedure may be performed via a small incision in the abdomen or via laparoscopy. The actual ligation can be performed by removing the entire fallopian tube or a portion of the fallopian tube on both sides, or by placing clips or bands on the fallopian tube. Your doctor will discuss the methods available and the expectations of each method with you.


The vas deferens is a tube that is present in males’ testicles. Sperm make up part of the semen, which is carried from the testicles by the vas deferens tube. In the vasectomy, the vas deferens are tied, cut, clipped, or sealed to prevent the release of sperm into the semen. By stopping sperm from combining with the semen, fertilization of the woman’s egg is prevented. This is an effective method of contraception. A vasectomy does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

The vasectomy is performed by creating a small incision in the scrotum. The vas deferens is located and tied, cut, clipped, or sealed before the incision is closed. The procedure is often done in an office setting, under local anesthesia.

Following the procedure, it typically takes several months to no longer find sperm in the semen sample. Once there is no sperm found in the semen, the procedure is confirmed to be successful and non- protected sex can follow.

Vasectomy is generally safer than female sterilization and requires only local anesthesia. Major complications are very uncommon.

Sterilization is permanent and is not meant to be reversible. This should be carefully considered and discussed with your doctor before deciding on this method.