So you’re done having children and your partner feels the same way. Now what? We’re here to educate you regarding your options for permanent birth control.
Permanent contraception is the most common type of contraception overall, and it is a particularly common choice for women over the age of 35. There are two primary forms of female sterilization – a fairly new nonsurgical implant system, and the traditional tubal ligation procedure.
With this procedure, your fallopian tubes are blocked with a ring or burned or clipped shut. This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital and can be performed via a laparoscopy or a minilaparotomy.
Laparoscopy: The surgeon makes a small incision through the abdomen and inserts a special instrument to view the pelvic region. He or she then closes the tubes using clips, tubal rings or an electric current to cauterize and destroy a portion of the tube. The patient can usually go home the same day and resume intercourse as soon as it’s comfortable.
Minilaparotomy. The surgeon makes a small incision – about two inches long – and ties and cuts the tubes without the use of a viewing instrument. In general, it is a good choice for women who opt for sterilization immediately following childbirth. Patients usually need a few days to recover and can resume intercourse after consulting with their doctors.
Benefits and Risks for Permanent Sterilization
Sterilization is a highly effective way to permanently prevent pregnancy; it’s considered more than 99 percent effective, meaning less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant after having a sterilization procedure.
Surgery for female sterilization is more complex and carries greater risk than surgery to sterilize men, and recovery takes longer. Reversing sterilization in men and women is extremely difficult and often unsuccessful. There is a small possibility of getting pregnant after sterilization; some evidence suggests that women who are younger when they are sterilized have a higher risk of getting pregnant.