Birth Control Options

Permanent Birth Control (Female Sterilization) (Tubal Ligation)

Female sterilization (‘tubal ligation’ / ‘tubes tied’) should be regarded as a permanent decision. While it is possible to reverse many kinds of female sterilization procedures, such ‘reversals’ are financially expensive, time consuming, often unsuccessful, and require weeks of recovery. A sterilization procedure should only be carried out if you are sure that you have completed (or don’t wish to start) your family.

Keep in mind that there are many excellent alternatives available to women in the 21st century who wish to limit their family size. In the above-captioned section entitled “Contraceptive Counseling” we offer a variety of proven methods, both hormonal and non-hormonal that offer spontaneity, safety and efficacy for a woman who does not wish to undergo permanent sterilization.

For the woman who chooses to undergo permanent sterilization, she should be aware that this is a time-tested operation that has been available for over 140 years. Permanent sterilization does not change your ovarian, sexual function or your normal hormone production.

There are many methods of permanent sterilization available for women. For the first time, female sterilization has become a true “office procedure”, simpler and safer than vasectomy. Traditional female sterilization was performed by laparotomy –requiring a 2-3 inch incision in the abdomen—until the late 1970s.

Beginning 30 years ago this was changed by the introduction of the laparoscope which allowed sterilization procedures to be performed through two ¼” to ½” abdominal incisions. Laparoscopy was a great step forward in terms of safety and recovery but still required a general anesthetic in a hospital or outpatient department and 3-10 days of recovery.

In September 2006 we began offering hysteroscopic sterilization (see below). This is a method of permanent sterilization that requires no incisions. The entire procedure is performed through a hysteroscope—a lit telescope that goes through the cervix into the uterus—allowing for the placement of a permanent plug into the openings of the fallopian tubes. Each of these methods is discussed in detail.