Permanent Birth Control Methods
Medically reviewed by L. Anderson, PharmD Last updated on Jun 19, 2018.
What Are the Options for Permanent Birth Control?
Birth control is certainly one of the top medical breakthroughs in modern history. But are there options if you choose to not have children, are done having children, or decide to adopt a child? What can you do to prevent pregnancy without having to use hormonal or even non-hormonal birth control?
There are options, for both women and men.
- Sterilization is an option if you do not want biological children in the future, or are finished with having children.
- May be an option if you cannot or do not want to use hormonal birth control or other birth control methods.
- Sterilization may be an option if a person does not want to pass on an inherited, genetic disorder.
Before you go this route, know that reversal of permanent methods of birth control are difficult. Reversal is possible in some circumstances with special surgical procedures, but there is no guarantee of success.
You (and your significant other, if needed) should discuss the desirability of permanent forms of birth control, think about future plans for additional biological children, and discuss these options with your healthcare provider before making a final decision.
Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy
Tubal ligation and vasectomy are outpatient, surgical procedures that do not usually require an overnight stay in the hospital. These are considered low risk procedures. Local, regional or general anesthesia may be used.
However, as with any surgical procedure, infections, bleeding and reactions to the anesthetics may occur. Most patients are back to their normal routine within 2 to 3 days, although patients may need to avoid strenuous physical work, exercise, and sex for a few days to about a week or two. Your doctor will explain your limitations and time-frame based upon the procedure and your medical condition.
Contraceptive Implant Essure
Hormone-free contraceptive implants, such as Essure can be placed into the fallopian tubes by a healthcare provider as an office procedure.
In April, 2018, the FDA issued a warning concerning the Essure implant. Dangerous complications, such as perforation of the uterus and/or fallopian tubes, migration of inserts to the abdominal or pelvic cavity, persistent pain, and suspected allergic or hypersensitivity reactions have occurred. Other effects, such as headache, fatigue, weight changes, hair loss and mood changes like depression were also reported but may or may not be linked to Essure. In order to better inform women about these risks, the FDA required additional communications about Essure.
- Healthcare providers must review a brochure about Essure with patients to ensure they understand the risks, benefits and other details about implantation.
- The patient must be given the opportunity to sign an acknowledgment, which must be signed by the doctor performing the implant.
The implant Adiana is no longer available because the manufacturer discontinued production.
No incisions or general anesthesia are required with tubal implants. Side effects during or immediately following the implant procedure may include:
- mild-to-moderate cramping
Most patients are back to their normal routine the same day or within 1 to 2 days. If implants are placed, an x-ray verification of placement and blockage is required in 3 months. Another method of birth control must be used for the 3 months following the Essure implantation until verification is confirmed. Once confirmed by your doctor, you can stop using other birth control methods.
Is Permanent Birth Control Covered by Insurance?
Sterilization procedures are usually covered by health insurance. You may still have a copay, deductible, or coinsurance that you must pay out-of-pocket. You should call your health insurance company prior to the procedure to determine what type of coverage you have, and how much the copay, deductible or coinsurance will cost. Your doctor's office will probably assist with this, too. A vasectomy may cost between $400 and $1000, while the sterilization procedures for women usually cost between $1000 to $5000. The costs may vary widely.
Permanent Birth Control Options
|Tubal Ligation||not applicable||
If you have other questions about other birth control options, it is important to review the specific consumer information discuss any questions or concerns with your healthcare provider.
Learn More: Birth Control Guide
- Birth Control Pills
- Birth Control Pills - Benefits vs Risks & Side Effects
- Birth Control Pills - Periods
- Birth Control Pills and Breakthrough Bleeding
- Emergency Contraception
- Grapefruit and Birth Control Pills: Your Questions Answered
- Hormonal Birth Control (Non-Pill Options)
- Missed taking your birth control pill?
- Non-hormonal Birth Control
- US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Essure Permanent Birth Control. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/essure-permanent-birth-control
- Adiana: No longer available? Mayo Clinic FAQs. Drugs.com. Accessed June 19, 2018 at https://www.drugs.com/mcf/adiana-no-longer-available
- FDA Puts New Restrictions on Contraceptive Implant. April 9, 2018. Drugs.com Accessed June 19, 2018 at Essure. https://www.drugs.com/news/fda-puts-new-restrictions-contraceptive-implant-essure-73466.html
- Tubal ligation reversal. Mayo Clinic Test Procedures. Drugs.com. Accessed June June 19, 2018 at https://www.drugs.com/mcp/tubal-ligation-reversal
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.