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Birth Control Methods

Answers to frequently asked questions about choices in contraceptives

Adapted by Tracee Cornforth

Is there any permanent birth control?

Surgical sterilization is a contraceptive option intended for people who don't want children in the future. It is considered permanent because reversal requires major surgery that is often unsuccessful; both men and women can be sterilized.

Female sterilization blocks the fallopian tubes so the egg can't travel to the uterus. Sterilization is done by various surgical techniques, usually under general anesthesia. Complications from these operations are rare, but can include infection, hemorrhage, and problems related to the use of general anesthesia.

Male sterilization, called a vasectomy, involves sealing, tying or cutting the tiny tube that carries the sperm from the testicle to the penis, known as the vas deferens.

Vasectomy involves a quick operation, usually less than 30 minutes, with possible minor post-surgical complications, such as bleeding or infection. 

Contraceptives Resource Center

Sterilization: His or Hers?

Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy Resources

<<<Return to Birth Control FAQs Index >>>Next Page

Adapted from the United States Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services

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