Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Sterilization, surgery

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HealthWiki > New Where There Is No Doctor > Family Planning > Sterilization, surgery


For those who never want to have more children, sterilization is a safe, simple operation for both men and women. In many countries these operations are free. Ask at the health center. Sterilization does not protect against STIs, including HIV.

For women, the operation is called a tubal ligation, which means to tie the tubes. One method is to make a small cut near the belly button so that the tubes coming from the ovaries (where eggs are produced) can be cut and closed. It usually can be done in a doctor’s office or health center without putting the woman to sleep. This operation has no effect on the woman’s menstrual periods or sexual ability, and may make having sex more pleasant because she does not have to worry about pregnancy.

For men the operation is called a vasectomy. It can be done simply and quickly in a doctor’s office or a health center without putting the man to sleep. This operation is even safer and faster than the surgery for a woman. The testicles are not removed and the operation has no effect on the man’s sexual ability or pleasure. His fluid (semen) comes just the same, but has no sperm in it.

a woman's body showing where sterilization is done.
Small cuts made here
a man's body showing where sterilization is done.
Small cuts are made here so that the tubes from the man’s testicles can be cut and closed.



This page was updated:28 Aug 2017
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