According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, permanent birth control is the second most common form of birth control in the United States as reported by HealthyWomen.org.
People choose permanent birth control when they’re confident they no longer want the option to have children. Both men and women have permanent birth control options.
There are two primary types of permanent birth control for women.
Each year about 700,000 American women have tubal sterilization, referred to as tubal ligation or “getting your tubes tied”, wrote eMedicineHealth.com.
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that permanently sterilizes a woman by preventing an egg from traveling to the uterus, said About.com. It also blocks sperm from entering the fallopian tubes, where fertilization normally occurs.
During the procedure, one or two small incisions are made in the abdomen. The fallopian tubes are clipped, cut and/or cauterized. The incision is closed with stitches.
This method is effective immediately, wrote Marshall University.
Hysteroscopic sterilization is a non-surgical alternative to tubal ligation, said About.com.
This option prevents conception by "plugging up" the fallopian tubes. Implants are inserted that cause scar tissue to build up around them, thus blocking the entry for sperm.
Marshall University said that it can take about three months for the scar tissue to grow, so it’s necessary to use another form of birth control during this time.
The procedure cannot be reversed, warned eMedicineHealth.com. There is also risk of ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical care. Neither implants nor tubal ligation protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
The hormones responsible for menstruation and sexuality don’t change with both options, so menstrual cycles and sexual desire aren’t affected, said HealthyWomen.org. Ovaries continue to produce eggs and the body absorbs the unfertilized eggs just as it did before the procedure. And these procedures won’t bring on early menopause.
Men have one option when it comes to permanent birth control. Vasectomy is where a small incision is made in the upper part of the man’s scrotum wrote, About.com.
The two tubes that carry sperm into the semen are cut apart and then tied off. The incision is closed with stitches.
The most common problems related to vasectomy include bruising, infection, and inflammation in the epididymis, a sperm-holding structure near the testicle, cautioned WebMD.
WebMD said that after a vasectomy, a man can still impregnate a woman for several months, until lingering sperm are flushed from his system. Men need to have their sperm count tested to ensure the sperm count has dropped to zero.
This takes about 12 weeks, wrote Marshall University. HealthyWomen.org wrote that backup birth control is needed until a doctor verifies sperm are no longer present.