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Permanent Birth Control: Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation

Three years after they received married, Alexandra Paul and her husband, Ian, needed higher birth control. Paul was fed up with uncomfortable side effects of the capsule, so she switched to a diaphragm. But when contraceptive jelly gave her infections, she prevented utilizing it. That put a crimp of their lovemaking. “Not having birth control in each night time restricted our spontaneity,” she says.

They knew they did not need youngsters, in order that they determined to go for a everlasting sort of birth control — sterilization. But for whom — her or him? Ian appreciated how Alexandra had all the time taken care of birth control, and he felt prefer it was his flip. So he had a vasectomy.

Years later, the Los Angeles couple could not be happier. “We have never regretted our decision,” Paul says. “Sex anyplace, anytime, with out fear about pregnancy. And no extra contraception chemical compounds.”

If you are positive you don’t need youngsters, or you’ve gotten youngsters however don’t need extra, everlasting contraception could also be for you. Your physician may help you discover the choices. Learn as a lot as you’ll be able to about the way it’s completed and what to anticipate so you can also make your choice with confidence.

For Him: Vasectomy

This technique blocks sperm from shifting into your semen. Many couples select it as a result of it really works. Vasectomies have a 99% success price in stopping being pregnant.

It’s additionally easy and protected. You can do it in a physician’s workplace and it solely takes 15-30 minutes. The dangers, like an infection and bleeding, are low.

What to Expect

First, a physician numbs your scrotum with an area anesthetic so you will not really feel any ache. He makes a small opening in your skin, and then blocks or removes a tube referred to as the vas deferens, which retains sperm from stepping into your semen. Without sperm, there is no means your associate will get pregnant. “Snip, tie, done,” Paul says.

Recovery is fast. You might not want stitches, however should you do, they will dissolve on their very own. You might have discomfort or swelling for a couple of days. Icing the world will help. You’ll in all probability be again at work and your regular routine in 2 days.


Some males fear a vasectomy shall be dangerous for his or her sex life, however that is not the case. It will not change how you are feeling throughout intercourse.

“Men will have normal erections and ejaculate after vasectomy,” says Grace Shih, MD, appearing assistant professor at University of Washington’s division of household drugs. The solely distinction is you will not have any sperm. “Post-vasectomy, you get all juice, no seeds.”

Your lovemaking may very well get a lift. “Our sex life became even less inhibited when we didn’t have to think about birth control,” Paul says.

There are a few issues to remember. First, it takes time for sperm to go away your system. You’ll want backup contraception for about 10 weeks or 20 ejaculations.

Also, there is a steep worth for altering your thoughts as soon as it is executed. “While some males could have profitable reversals, it’s pricey (and additionally not coated by insurance) and not reliably reversed,” Shih says. And the process to undo a vasectomy is far more intensive. It’s finished in a hospital and takes hours.

For Her: Tubal Ligation

In this process, a surgeon closes off your fallopian tubes, which carry eggs out of your ovaries to your uterus. Your physician calls it tubal ligation, however your mates might merely say “getting your tubes tied.”

It works and it is protected, however there are some dangers, like bleeding, an infection, injury to different organs, uncomfortable side effects from anesthesia, and ectopic pregnancy — when a fertilized egg stays in your fallopian tube.

On the opposite hand, new analysis means that eradicating your fallopian tubes might decrease your danger of ovarian cancer.

Tubal ligation is often accomplished in a hospital or clinic and takes about 30 minutes. You’ll in all probability go house the identical day. Some women have it accomplished once they ship their final child by way of C-section, whereas they’re already being operated on.

What to Expect

First, your physician places you to sleep with common anesthesia, so you will not really feel something whereas it is accomplished.

Next, she makes one or two tiny cuts close to your stomach button and places a slender tube with a light-weight and digital camera into your stomach. Then she makes use of lengthy, skinny devices to seize your fallopian tubes and minimize, tie, clamp, band, or seal them off. She closes the cuts with one or two stitches.


You might really feel some discomfort. Pain medication may also help. You can go house a couple of hours later and shall be again to regular actions in a couple of days.

Other than stopping being pregnant, getting your tubes tied will not change a lot. Sex will not really feel totally different.

You’ll nonetheless get your interval each month. Although some women say their durations modified, Dana Stone, MD, an OB/GYN at Lakeside Women’s Hospital, says that is a fantasy. If your durations grow to be irregular or crampier, it is since you’re not pregnant, breastfeeding, or on contraception.

“You’re not disrupting the hormones,” she says. “All you’ve done is disrupt the pathway for the egg and sperm to meet.”

For Her: Tubal Sterilization

It’s an choice that is referred to as Essure. Your physician places a tiny, spring-like system into your fallopian tubes, which types scar tissue to completely plug your tubes. It solely takes about 15 minutes. Instead of creating a reduce, your physician inserts it by means of your vagina.

You might get cramping, ache, bleeding, recognizing or modifications in your month-to-month interval. Some women have problems with the coils and even an allergic response to them and find yourself having surgical procedure to take away them.

It’s greater than 99% efficient, however not immediately. The scars want time to type, so plan on utilizing backup safety for about three months.

Making a Decision

Which contraception is greatest for you? It’s a private selection.

Paul says they went with vasectomy as a result of it was an easier process with fewer dangers.

In the top, it might be the ultimate outcome that issues most. But you have to be 100% constructive that you do not need to have youngsters sooner or later earlier than you make your determination.



Grace Shih, MD, MAS, appearing assistant professor, University of Washington Department of Family Medicine.

Dana Stone, MD, OB/GYN, Lakeside Women’s Hospital, Oklahoma City.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: “Choosing a Birth Control Method: Male Sterilization,” “Choosing a Birth Control Method: Female Sterilization.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library: “Contraception/Birth Control,” “Vasectomy,” “Tubal Ligation.”

Alexandra Paul, spouse, Los Angeles.

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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