Sterilization methods use surgical procedures to make you unable to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. This means you are infertile.
These procedures are usually permanent and irreversible.
In women, sterilization is done through a process called tubal ligation
In men, sterilization is done through a process called vasectomy
Both vasectomies and tubal ligations are meant for people who are certain that they do not want any more biological children.
How do sterilization methods prevent pregnancy?
For pregnancy to take place, sperm must enter the vagina, swim up to the uterus and fertilize an egg released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes during ovulation.
With tubal ligation, your fallopian tubes are completely sealed, preventing sperm from reaching an egg.
With vasectomy, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles into your urethra is cut, preventing sperm from coming out of the penis with semen during ejaculation.
How effective are sterilization methods?
Both vasectomy and tubal ligation are very effective at preventing pregnancy.
Where can I find sterilization methods?
All the sterilization methods can be found in some private and public hospitals.
For tubal ligation, the procedure is done in a hospital, under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep.
For vasectomy, the procedure is done in a doctor’s office with a local anaesthetic, which means you will be awake but not feel any pain.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of sterilization methods?
They are permanent, one-time procedures.
There are no hormonal side effects. People who can’t or do not want to take hormonal birth control can be sterilized.
Vasectomies are one of the few birth control options for men.
Your sexual pleasure or performance won’t be impacted.
Reversal is expensive, difficult and oftentimes impossible.
With tubal ligation, you have to have surgery and be put under general anaesthetic or put to sleep.
It may be difficult to find a clinician who will perform a sterilization procedure on someone under 35 and/or who has no children.
Does it offer STI protection?
The sterilization methods don’t offer any protection against STIs.
If you have sex and want protection against STIs, always use a condom.
Also, test for STIs at the beginning of the relationship.
Avoid changing partners frequently.