What is it?
Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception, which
works either by blocking the woman's fallopian tubes (the tubes in
which the egg travels from the ovary to the womb) or by blocking
the man's vas deferens (vasectomy), (the tube that sperm travel in
from the testicles to the penis).
Sterilisation is only suitable for people who are sure they
never want children or do not want any more children.
There are other long-term methods of contraception which are as
effective as sterilisation but not permanent. Ask your doctor,
nurse or sexual health staff for advice.
How effective is sterilisation?
Male sterilisation (vasectomy) - About 1 in 2,000 male
Female sterilisation - About 1 in 200 sterilisations fail.
There is always a risk that sterilisation will fail. The tubes
can rejoin after sterilisation. This can happen immediately or
years after the operation has taken place. If you ever believe a
pregnancy is possible, see a doctor or nurse as soon as
Where can I go for information on
Your GP or practice nurse can all give you advice on
sterilisation. If you prefer not to use your own GP, or they don't
provide contraceptive services, you can come to your local
Sandyford clinic. All treatment is confidential and free.
What are the advantages of sterilisation?
- It does not interrupt sex.
- After being sterilised you do not have to use any contraception
to prevent pregnancy. Although you may still want to use condoms to
protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
What are the disadvantages of sterilisation?
- Although uncommon tubes may rejoin and you will become fertile
- Reversal of sterilisation has a low success rate and is not
available on the NHS.
- Sterilisation does not protect you against sexually transmitted
- It takes a minimum of 3 months for a male sterilisation to