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What Are Permanent Birth Control Methods?

Performing a sterilization procedure is the only method of permanent birth control, but there are different methods of sterilization. These methods include:

  • Tubal Ligation — Often referred to as “getting your tubes tied,” tubal ligation is a surgical procedure where a doctor removes a section of each fallopian tube. The missing part prevents the mature egg in the ovary from reaching the uterus. Though tubal ligation is a permanent birth control method, in some cases reversal is possible.
  • Vasectomy — A vasectomy is a male form of tubal ligation. There are two methods of permanent male birth control: conventional and no-scalpel vasectomy, according to John Hopkin’s Medicine. During a traditional vasectomy, cuts are made in the scrotum, and the vas deferens is cut and sealed. The vas deferens is a tube that carries sperm to the urethra. A no-scalpel vasectomy utilizes a small hole in place of an incision. Reversal is sometimes possible.
  • Fallopian Tube Insert — A fallopian tube insert known as Essure provides permanent non-surgical birth control for women. A doctor inserts a thin metal rod through the cervix, into the uterus, and ultimately into a fallopian tube. The procedure repeats on both tubes. After three months, scar tissue develops and blocks the fallopian tubes. During this time, use alternative birth control to prevent pregnancy. After three months, the use of ultrasound or contrast dye ensures both tubes are completely blocked, preventing the egg from reaching the uterus. If the test is inconclusive or there is no blockage of one or both fallopian tubes, a second confirmation test occurs three months later. If total blockage never occurs, removal may be required.
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