Most women and men are familiar with temporary forms of birth control. These include male or female condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides. They must be used every time a couple engages in sexual intercourse. Hormonal birth control methods, such as daily pills, are reversible by discontinuation. There are also longer-term hormonal products and various intrauterine devices that may be used for years. None of these are a permanent birth control option for women, and all may eventually fail. |
Seeking a Permanent Solution
There are many reasons why a woman might choose to seek permanent contraception. Some of the common ones are: • Risk of serious genetic disorders in the children. • Serious medical problems in the woman that make pregnancy dangerous. • The decision not to have children as a lifestyle choice. • Considering the family to be complete.
For men, vasectomy is permanent birth control.
Women now have the permanent birth control options of tubal ligation or Essure.
Lasting Birth Control Methods
Permanent birth control options for women have come a long a way over the last 20 years. New methods are less invasive and more effective. Two methods of female birth control are considered permanent. They are tubal ligation and Essure. Neither is hormonal and both involve permanent blockage of the fallopian tubes. The eggs released by the ovaries can no longer come into contact with the male sperm, nor can the eggs reach the uterus and become implanted. Both have extremely low failure rates.
Tubal ligation: Tubal ligation has been a permanent birth control option for women for quite a while now. A surgery is performed that. Small incisions are made to access and sever the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes may also be tied or cauterized with heat to both sever and seal them. These procedures are now usually done via laparoscope, which results in minimal external scars. Tubal ligation results in permanent sterility.
Tubal ligation is considered major surgery and has all the associated risks. There may be reactions to anesthesia, excess bleeding, infection, and long-term pain in the area. There may also be visible external scars and internal scarring or adhesions.
Essure: Essure also blocks the fallopian tubes, but accomplishes it with inserts into the tubes through natural openings. The fallopian tubes are accessed from the vagina through the cervix, into the uterus and then into the fallopian tubes. There are no incisions at all and few risks. There is less pain and a shorter recovery time with Essure than with tubal litigation. The permanent and total blockage of the tubes takes about three months, so alternate birth control is used during this time. Then the tubes are tested to be sure the process is complete. Essure is a safe and permanent form of birth control.
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