Skip to main content

Permanent Birth Control Methods

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 10, 2022.

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 birth control (with or without hormones)?

There are several options, for both women and men.

Tubal ligation or tubal implants for women, and vasectomy for men are permanent methods of birth control.

  • Sterilization is an option if you do not want biological children in the future, or are finished with having children.
  • This may be an option if you cannot or do not want to use hormonal birth control or other birth control methods.
  • It could be a choice 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 for the procedure.

  • 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 and Adiana

  • Essure was a permanently implanted birth control device for women (female sterilization).
  • On December 31, 2018, Bayer stopped selling and distributing the Essure device in the U.S. Sales of the device had stopped in 2017 in all other countries.
  • Women who have been using Essure successfully to prevent pregnancy can and should continue to do so. However, speak with your doctor or other care provider about any safety concerns you may have about the device or if you are experiencing any pain. You my need to have the implant surgically removed.

In addition, the Adiana system for female sterilization isn't available in the U.S. anymore. The manufacturer stopped producing the Adiana system for financial reasons in 2012.

Learn more: Essure discontinued: What does that mean for you?

Is Permanent Birth Control Covered by Insurance?

Sterilization procedures are usually covered by health insurance but may not be fully covered under the ACA. You may still have a copay, deductible, or coinsurance that you must pay out-of-pocket, based on your plan.

You should call your health insurance company prior to the procedure to determine what type of coverage you have and the cost. Your doctor's office may assist you with determining your coverage.

A vasectomy may cost up to $1000, while the sterilization procedures for women can cost up to $6000. The costs may vary widely, and your insurance may cover a portion of it.

Permanent Birth Control Options

Procedure Proprietary Name Description
Tubal Ligation (tubes tied) not applicable
  • Surgical female sterilization, a 30 minute outpatient surgical procedure; patient usually goes home same day.
  • Fallopian tubes are surgically closed to prevent eggs from leaving ovaries; may be done after giving birth or at other times.
  • <1% failure rate but rarely reversible.
  • Expensive but permanent (insurance may cover).
  • You can get a tubal ligation at a doctor’s office, hospital, or health clinic. Some Planned Parenthood health centers may also do tubal ligations.
  • Does not protect against STDs.
Permanently implanted birth control device for women Essure, Adiana
  • No longer available, removed from the US market due to safety and effectiveness reasons.
  • Women who have been using Essure successfully to prevent pregnancy can and should continue to do so, according to the FDA.
Vasectomy not applicable
  • Surgical male sterilization, a 15 to 30 minute procedure (outpatient).
  • Vas deferens cut to prevent sperm from traveling into semem; sperm count required at check-up to confirm success of procedure.
  • <1% failure rate but rarely reversible.
  • Expensive but usually permanent (insurance may cover). Most vasectomies can be reversed, but does guarantee success in conceiving a child.
  • You can get a vasectomy at Planned Parenthood health centers, a doctor’s office, hospital, or health clinic.
  • Does not protect against STDs.

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

See also


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.