Family Planning 101: Permanent Methods

Family Planning 101


We know that choosing the right family planning method can be overwhelming. Not only are there lots of methods to choose from, but they all accomplish the same thing — reducing risk of pregnancy — in very different ways! Nivi is here to help you learn about the various methods available to you, and select one that fits you, your partner, and your lifestyle. That’s why we’ve created a series of blog posts about the different kinds of contraceptive methods and when they’re used: immediate, short-term, long term, permanent, and natural.


So, are you ready to see what methods are out there? Keep scrolling!



Permanent Methods


Let’s face it. Sometimes, you just know you don’t want kids. Maybe the idea of having kids has always made you queasy. Maybe you already have more kids than you can handle. Or maybe your healthcare provider has told you that you or your partner, specifically, can’t carry a healthy child to term or give birth safely. Whatever the reason, you just know: having children isn’t in the cards for you. Well, that’s OK. There are actually completely safe, totally healthy ways for you and/or your partner to be 100% certain that you can’t have any (or any more) children.


Female Sterilisation
(AKA Tubal Ligation, TL)

Women that want to prevent pregnancy permanently can get what’s called a “tubal ligation.” This is a medical procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are tied, cut, or blocked (which is why tubal ligation is sometimes referred to as “getting your tubes tied”). The fallopian tubes are the passages that connect a woman’s eggs to her womb; without them, not only can a man’s sperm not reach her eggs, but her eggs cannot reach the womb and “attach” there—which is required for a baby to grow.


Pros:

  • It decreases the risk of ovarian cancer

  • It’s extremely effective at preventing pregnancy (more than 99%!)

  • It prevents pregnancy permanently; no other methods are necessary

  • It’s easily and conveniently performed immediately after birth or c-section when a woman is already in a clinic or hospital; so women that don’t want more children can plan for a TL in advance (while pregnant), or request one from their healthcare provider during labour

Cons:

  • It’s not as safe, easy, or cheap as male sterilisation

  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

  • Because it’s permanent, it cannot be reversed; women must be certain they never want a child (or more children) before getting the procedure


Male Sterilisation
(AKA Vasectomy)

A vasectomy is a form of male birth control. It’s a quick, safe, and easy medical procedure that cuts or blocks the tube that connects a man’s testicles, or “testes” (more commonly referred to as the balls, nuts, or stones, among other things) to his penis. Since the testicles are where a man’s sperm is made (the tiny, microscopic cells that are required to procreate), this means that when a man “finishes” or “cums” during or after sexual arousal or stimulation, his semen will not contain sperm. Sperm is a necessary ingredient to make a baby—so a man who has had a vasectomy cannot get a woman pregnant!


Pros:

  • It’s safer, easier, and cheaper than female sterilisation

  • It’s painless (the location is numbed before any “cutting” takes place)

  • It’s very quick, and men that receive it can go home the same day

  • It’s extremely effective at preventing pregnancy (over 99%!)


Cons:

  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

  • Because it’s meant to be permanent, men should be certain they do not want children (or more children) before getting the procedure

  • Results are not immediate; after a vasectomy, a man should use another form of birth control until a doctor or healthcare worker can confirm that there is no sperm in his semen. This can take several months, and also requires a man to ejaculate (cum) 15-20 times before having unprotected sex (this is supposed to “clear” a man’s system of any leftover sperm prior to the vasectomy).


 

Want to learn which method is right for you, and where to get it? Have other questions about sex, pregnancy, STIs, or contraception? Remember you can chat with Nivi on WhatsApp any time. It’s private, confidential, and free!