Sterilization

Sterilization is an irreversible method. It is a permanent method of contraception; suitable for people who are sure they never want children or do not want any more children. Sterilization is available for both women and men. Even though the procedure is different in Men and Women they do all have the same ending though, no babies and no going back. Before you decide on sterilization, you should contact an independent counselor or talk to your gynecologist. There are other forms of long-acting contraception which are as efficient, but reversible. Only sometimes it is possible to reverse the operation, but there are no guarantees. Reversal involves complicated surgery that might not work.

THE DETAILS

In Females
Female sterilization is a relatively simple surgical procedure. A very small incision is made in a woman’s abdomen, and her fallopian tubes are cut and blocked so that eggs cannot move through the tubes to meet the sperm. Female Sterilization has no side effects, and complications are extremely rare when the procedure is performed by a well-trained health care provider. It can be provided almost anytime, including immediately after childbirth, so long as she makes the decision before giving birth. Following surgery, a woman may have some abdominal pain and swelling, which goes away in a few days. If possible, she should return to the health care provider after about a week to have the incision checked for infection and to have the stitches removed.

In Males
Male sterilization is often referred to as a vasectomy, and is an even simpler surgical procedure. A tiny hole is made in the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles), and both tubes that carry a man’s sperm to his penis are cut and blocked. This keeps sperm out of the semen; the fluid that is released by a man during an ejaculation. The man can still ejaculate and have an orgasm as before, but there will be no sperm in the semen, an so he will not be able to cause pregnancy. Vasectomy has no side effects, and complications of the surgery are uncommon. After the procedure a man may have discomfort, swelling and bruising in the scrotum. These symptoms usually go away with 2 to 3 days.

Although a man can have sex 2 to 3 days after the procedure, vasectomy is not effective immediately. It takes about 3 months for semen to be completely clear of sperm. During these 3 months a man or his partner should use another family planning method, such as condoms. Or if a women was already using a family planning method prior to her partner’s vasectomy, she can continue using this method for 3 months before discontinuing it.

To do a vasectomy is quite a decision, consult your healthcare provider to make sure you won’t regret making this decision because once you’ve made it, that’s it, there’s no babies and no going back.

Questions? Ask the Lydia Contact Centre

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • It lasts forever
    • Highly effective
    • It doesn’t interrupt sex
    • It isn’t affected by other medications
    • Suitable for everyone who never wants to have a child (or does not want any more children) and wants a permanent contraceptive option
    • Hormone free

  • Cons

    • It lasts forever
    • It may cause pain, bleeding, infection or other complications after surgery
    • It may cause tubal pregnancy
    • You may need general anesthesia
    • Rarely, there can be a failure in which the Fallopian tubes reopen, or closure is incomplete
    • Sterilization is sometimes reversible, although the procedure is complicated and rarely successful
    • It requires a healthcare provider to do it
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)