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What to Consider Before Choosing Permanent Birth Control

There are many things to consider before choosing a form of permanent birth control. Currently, there are two methods of permanent contraception: Female sterilization and male sterilization. Female sterilization is often referred to as tubal ligation. Male sterilization is simply known as a vasectomy.

As the name suggests, permanent birth control is intended to be lifelong. That's why it's important to consider all possible implications before choosing an option.

What to consider

Are you in a committed relationship? You should talk to your partner before making a decision. Both of you should have a say in what option you choose, to ensure you're both in total agreement. Even if you're not in a relationship, you need to make sure you're considering your specific lifestyle before making a decision.

You also want to consider your current mental state. What's motivating you to want permanent birth control? It's a good idea to talk to your friends, family, and our team at New England Women’s Healthcare. Make sure you know the risks, benefits, and options available.

Although in some instances it's possible to reverse permanent birth control, that surgery is often complicated and expensive. There's also a chance it may not be successful. Should you choose to proceed, you need to make sure it's what you really want.

Types of permanent female birth control

Once you've made the decision, the next step is to consider which type of permanent birth control would be most suitable.


There are several procedures available with tubal sterilization. Clamping causes the least amount of damage to the tubes. It's generally considered the most straightforward procedure to reverse. Although, there's always a risk for complications with a reversal.

Essure procedure

The most recent option for long-term birth control is the Essure procedure. A wire coil goes inside each fallopian tube, blocking the path to the uterus. Although the chances are low, pregnancy can occur within 10 years of surgery. The Essure procedure also increases the potential for an ectopic pregnancy.

Female sterilization

Female sterilization is another permanent form of birth control. One of its advantages is that it's minimally invasive and doesn't involve hormones. The procedure is normally carried out on an outpatient, day-surgery basis.

Side-effects vary for each procedure and each option comes with its own disadvantages.

You might think you're done having kids and an unforeseen circumstance changes everything. Should you decide to reverse the procedure, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a more effective process. However, IVF can take a toll on you financially, physically, and emotionally. Plus, it's not always successful.

Vasectomy for men

Sterilization for men is possible. Your partner can undergo a vasectomy. Through a surgical procedure, sperm is blocked from getting into a man's semen. There are two procedures for this type of sterilization. One involves the use of a scalpel, by which an incision is made into the scrotum. The other is a less invasive, incision-free procedure. Both methods are considered low-risk and typically performed as an outpatient surgery.

Should circumstances change in the future, reversal would be a costly option. As with female sterilization, a reversal is not always successful.

The best practice for considering any form of permanent birth control is to ensure you have all the facts. It’s important you feel 100% comfortable before going into a procedure.

Compassion and care

As you can see, choosing a form of permanent birth control isn't easy. Weighing your options with a professional is the responsible way to know exactly what’s in store. Our team at New England Women's Healthcare can help determine the best option for you.

This is a decision you shouldn't make alone. Contact our office today so we can help!

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