Sterilization (Permanent Methods)

Sterilization is a procedure that permanently prevents pregnancy.

For people with a body that ovulates, the procedure is called tubal ligation (sometimes called “getting your tubes tied”); for people who produce sperm, the procedure is called a vasectomy.

Because this is a permanent method, most doctors in the United States do not perform these surgeries on people under the age of 18.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is the process of cutting or closing the fallopian tubes. This prevents pregnancy by preventing eggs from moving down the tube from the ovary to the uterus, and also by ensuring that sperm won’t reach the eggs.

After this procedure, people still have a period but are very unlikely to become pregnant.

How effective is it against pregnancy?

  • Prevents pregnancy over 99% of the time

How to Use:

  • A healthcare provider must perform the procedure

Pros:

  • Highly effective
  • Does not affect period/hormones
  • Convenient, low effort

Cons:

  • Permanent and virtually irreversible
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs – use a condom with this method

Vasectomy

A vasectomy is a procedure that permanently blocks tubes called vas deferens, which are tubes connected to each epididymis (found near the testicles). The sperm leave the epididymis through the vas deferens, and mix with other fluids to create semen (“cum”). The vas deferens then connect to the urethra for semen to leave the body.

By blocking these tubes, the semen won’t have any sperm in it, so it is not able to cause a pregnancy.

How effective is it against pregnancy?

  • Prevents pregnancy over 99% of the time

How to Use:

  • A healthcare provider must perform the procedure

Pros:

  • Highly effective
  • Convenient, low effort

Cons:

  • It takes at least 2 months after the procedure before being sperm-free
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs – use a condom with this method

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