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What to Know About Permanent Birth Control for Women

You have options when it comes to ensuring you will not become pregnant, permanently. Which option is best for your body is up to you. This is what to know about permanent birth control for women.

By Sherry CampbellPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

It is important to know that you have options when it comes to permanent birth control procedures. This process can seem intimidating without knowing all of the details. And this is why it is crucial to know what to expect, how your recovery process will go, and what is best for your body. Your local women's health organization will always be of great help in your process, as well.

There is an option that is best for your every woman, so here is what to know about permanent birth control for women.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is a procedure in which your fallopian tubes are permanently blocked. This is by creating two cuts in your stomach, in which a small device called a laparoscope is inserted to either cut, band, or tie the tubes shut. The procedure is done under general anesthesia, so there is no pain during the actual process. You will be able to return home within a few hours and only have a few small stitches.

The fallopian tubes are tied in order to stop the possibility of the sperm and egg coming in contact with each other, hence the phrase, "getting your tubes tied." You can get this done at a hospital or outpatient center.

Believe it or not, tubal ligation is suggested to be done after a C-section. This is because there will be no additional pain in the area or any more recovery time. If you choose to do the procedure on its own, there will be a little bit of time to recoup where you will be bloated and have to avoid lifting heavy objects. You could schedule your operation for a Friday and be back to work on Monday.

A great plus is that Medicaid covers the entirety of the surgery, but with private insurance, it can range from $10 to $6,000.

There is a very small risk of pregnancy after tubal ligation in which the lubes can grow back together, but this is very rare. There is also a process that can reverse tubal ligation, but this is a much larger operation than the original. It would require a few days in the hospital and is not guaranteed to be successful, depending on age and how much of the fallopian tube is left.

Fallopian Tube Occlusion

Another option for permanent birth control for women is transcervical sterilization or the Essure procedure. The process does not require any surgery, anesthesia, or recovery time.

Your health care provider will place small inserts into your fallopian tubes naturally through your vagina and cervix. After the process is done, over three months time, your body will create a natural barrier in your fallopian tubes to ensure the sperm will not be able to reach your eggs.

This means that you will have to wait three months after the procedure to be guaranteed sterile, and you will have to continue using other birth control options. Following these weeks, a radiologist will perform a hysterosalpingogram to ensure that the tubes are completely blocked, and you can throw away your old BC.

This is definitely the most natural permanent birth control option, due to the lack of hormones, surgery, or anesthesia. It will only last, on average, 36 minutes, and has a 99.3 percent success rate.

This option was made as an alternative for the tubal ligation operation while being less invasive. However, there have been reports of mild to moderate pain during and following the procedure, this is seen in 9% of women.

A Facebook group named Essure Problems has grown to a shocking number of 35,171 members as of October 27, 2017. The group is home to many upset customers who are experiencing side effects like pain, bleeding, and allergic reactions due to the Essure inserts. It is important to be aware of the risks of this procedure, though every woman's body reacts differently. Their commercial license has since been suspended for complaints like this; and Essure has been recalled in France, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Finland, and Canada.

This option is not reversible.

Endometrial Ablation

The next two options are important to point out that they are medical procedures that result in sterilization, rather than typical permanent birth control options. With this in mind, what is endometrial ablation?

This procedure is the destruction of the uterus's lining tissues, otherwise known as the endometrium. Without an endometrium, eggs can not implant, which is why most women who have ablations are considered sterile.

This is typically a treatment used for those who suffer from abnormal uterine bleeding. This cannot be used to treat bleeding that is caused by cancer of the uterus. Before the operation, the woman will need a biopsy to ensure that there is no cancer.

There are six different options for this form of permanent birth control for women: hydrothermal, balloon therapy, high-energy radio waves, freezing, microwave, and electrical.

The hydrothermal process is when the doctor inserts fluid to your uterus and heats it. Balloon therapy is where a thin tube with a balloon is guided into the uterus, filling the balloon until it breaks the lining.

Next option, high-energy radio waves damage the lining by electrical mesh being added to your uterus. The doctor will then remove the lining with suction. The freezing procedure freezes the lining of your uterus, with a thin probe.

The microwave process is when a wand destroys the lining with microwave energy. And finally, the electrical option is where the doctor uses an electric current to remove the uterus's lining.

The possibility of bleeding and infection are apparent as well as damage to the uterus, but these are low chances.


This procedure is the process of removing a woman's uterus in entirety. There are many reasons why a woman might get a hysterectomy: including abnormal bleeding, endometriosis, cancer, uterine prolapse, permanent birth control, and the list goes on. Most importantly, this option will result in infertility.

There are three types of hysterectomy that vary in the amount that is removed. A subtotal hysterectomy will include only removing the upper part of the uterus, the total hysterectomy removes both the uterus and cervix, while the radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, the cervix, and the top part of the vagina.

The most common approach to a hysterectomy is an open surgery. This is where a five to seven-inch opening is made across the stomach, and the uterus is then removed by the surgeon.

Recovery time will usually last about two to three days. Unfortunately, because of the extremity of the operation, this comes with a few risks. Risks include chronic pain, vaginal prolapse, blood clots, infection, and urinary incontinence. You will also be left with a scar from the incision.

If the ovaries were removed in the process, the woman will enter menopause and are advised to abstain from sex for up to six weeks, as well as zero heavy lifting.


About the Creator

Sherry Campbell

Second grade teacher by day, at home therapist for two middle school daughters by night.

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    Sherry CampbellWritten by Sherry Campbell

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