Hesperian Health Guides

Permanent Methods of Family Planning

Sterilization (the operation for no more children)

There are operations that make it almost impossible for a man or a woman to have any children. Since these operations are permanent, they are only good for those women or men who are certain that they do not want any more children.

To have one of these operations, you must go to a health center or hospital. The surgery is fast and safe, and does not cause side effects.

The operation for the man (Vasectomy)

illustration of the below: a man's reproductive parts with the tubes cut

The man's tubes are cut:
and here
More Information
a man’s body

A vasectomy is a simple operation in which the tubes that carry the sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut. The man’s testicles are not cut. This operation can be done in any health center where there is a trained health worker. It takes only a few minutes to do.

The operation does not change a man’s ability to have sex or to feel sexual pleasure. He still ejaculates semen but there are no sperm in the semen. The tubes may still have sperm in them for as long as 12 weeks after the operation, so you need to use another method of family planning during that time.

The operation for the woman (Tubal Ligation)

illustration of the below: a woman's reproductive parts with the tubes cut
The woman's tubes are cut:
and here

A tubal ligation is a slightly more difficult operation than a vasectomy, but it is still very safe. It takes about 30 minutes.

A trained health worker inserts a tool through the skin near the belly button to cut or tie the tubes that carry the eggs to the womb. It does not change a woman’s monthly bleeding or her ability to have sex and sexual pleasure.

IMPORTANT! Sterilization does not protect against STIs, including HIV. So you will still need to think about ways to protect yourself from these infections.

This page was updated:01 Feb 2021