What are the Permanent Contraception Methods? We provide information about vasectomy and tubal ligation.


Both men and women can opt for sterilization. For women, sterilization is a procedure that closes or blocks your fallopian tubes so you cannot get pregnant. For men, sterilization is called a vasectomy. It blocks the tubes that carry a man’s sperm. Talk to a health care provider to learn more and be sure to ask about any requirements, like age restrictions and waiting periods.


Types of sterilization:[3]

Incision. Both men and women have the option of sterilization with an incision. For women, the Laparoscopy, Mini-Laparotomy, and Laparotomy require an incision. Because of that, they also require anesthesia. It can take anywhere from 2-21 days to recover from the surgery.

The incision-based vasectomy for men takes 20 minutes. It requires only a local anesthetic. Providers will make one or two incisions to the scrotum so that sperm cannot enter the seminal fluid. Since sperm cannot come out, the woman cannot get pregnant.

The no-scalpel vasectomy method for men involves a tiny puncture that reaches his tubes. His tubes are then tied off, cauterized, or blocked. There is no scarring, no stitches, and this procedure is known for healing quite fast without complications.


Quick Facts

  • A permanent solution for those who know they do not want a future pregnancy in the future. Available for male and female bodies
  • Effectiveness: very effective. 99 of every 100 individuals will successfully prevent a pregnant with these methods.[5]
  • Side effects: possible pain or discomfort right after procedure [3]
  • Effort: low. You have the procedure once, and you are done
  • Doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).[2]


Total certainty. Before you get sterilized, you need to be 100% sure you do not want to have biological children.

Who should get the procedure? Sterilization can be done for men or women, so if you are planning to be with the same partner for a while, talk about who should get the procedure.

No hormone worries. If you do not want to use a hormonal method, this is one option. Plus, sterilization does not change your body’s natural hormones.

Your family is big enough. This is a good option if you already have enough kids, or you do not want any kids.

If the pregnancy would cause serious health issues. If there is a medical reason why you or your partner should not ever get pregnant, sterilization might be a good option.

Availability. Would you like to use this method?  This method is available in all countries.  However, there may be restrictions about age and spousal or parental consent.

How To Use

There are two different types of sterilization methods: incision (a health care provider makes cuts) and non-incision (no cuts).[3]

For women [4]The incision methods include Laparoscopy, Mini-laparotomy, and Laparotomy. Laparotomy is the most major surgery of the three, but it is also the least common. It requires a hospital stay for a couple of days and recovery can take weeks. Laparoscopy and Mini-Laparotomy are less intense, do not necessarily involve overnight hospitalization, and recovery time is faster.

For men [1]: the incision method is a vasectomy. It is a quick procedure that requires a visit to a healthcare provider, but no overnight stay in a clinic or hospital. The provider will use local anesthesia to numb the scrotum, make a small incision, then tie and cut or seal the tubes. The incision will block sperm from passing into the semen, but sperm may stick around in the tubes for a few months. The incision will heal quickly and does not need stitches, but you should use another method of contraception for three months (like a condom).

Side Effects

Everyone is different. What you experience may not be the same thing as another person.

The Positive: [3]

  • You can have sex without worrying about pregnancy
  • Have the procedure once, and never have to think about it again
  • No hormones introduced into your body

The Negative[6]

  • A very rare risk that your tubes may reconnect themselves – which could lead to a pregnancy
  • Possible complications with surgery, like bleeding, infection, or a reaction to anesthesia


[1] Cook LA, et al. (2014). Vasectomy occlusion techniques for male sterilization (Review). John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from
[2] Dr Marie Marie Stopes International. (2017). Contraception. Retrieved from
[3] FPA the sexual health charity. (2015). Your guide to male and female sterilisation. Retrieved from
[4] FSRH Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare. (2014). Male and Female Sterilisation. RCOG, London. Retrieved from
[5] Patil, E., & Jensen, J. T. (2015). Update on Permanent Contraception Options for Women. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Retrieved from
[6] Reproductive Health Access Project. (2018). Permanent Birth Control (Sterilization). Retrieved from
[7] RCOG Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. (2016). Female Sterilisation. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. Retrieved from
[8] World Health Organization. (2016). Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. Geneva. Retrieved from
[9] World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (2018) Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. Baltimore and Geneva. Retrieved from