ADVERTISEMENT

What Makes Female Sterilisation a Popular Method of Contraception?

Female sterilisation is a form of contraception that involves blocking of the fallopian tubes in a woman’s body.

Updated
Let's talk sex
3 min read
Female sterilisation is a form of contraception that involves blocking of the fallopian tubes in a woman’s body.
i
Snapshot

Female sterilisation - two words we don’t hear as often as male sterilisation. Female sterilisation - two words which lead to a bombardment of questions - what is it exactly? Is it alright to go ahead with the procedure? How complex is it? Does it have any side effects? According to National Family Health Survey, 2015-16, female sterilisation (36 percent) is the most popular form of contraceptive among women.

Let’s address these concerns one by one. Firstly...

What Makes Female Sterilisation a Popular Method of Contraception?

  1. 1. What is Female Sterilisation?

    Simply put, it is the blocking of the fallopian tubes in a woman’s reproductive system. Since the tubes connect the ovaries with the uterus, blocking them prevents pregnancy by ensuring there’s no fertilisation of the egg. Additionally, the sperm is not allowed to travel to the egg.

    This makes female sterilisation a permanent form of contraception.

    There are two ways in which this can be achieved.

    Medical jargon alert!

    Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation.
    Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation.
    (Infographics: Erum Gour/FIT)

    Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation. Sometimes, instead of clips there is a tiny device which is placed inside the tubes. This process is called tubal occlusion.

    In some cases, tubal ligation can be reversed, but it is predominantly considered a permanent procedure. On the other hand, tubal occlusion is not reversible under any circumstances.

    In tubal occlusion, little devices are placed inside fallopian tubes.
    In tubal occlusion, little devices are placed inside fallopian tubes.
    (Infographics: Erum Gour/FIT)
    Expand
  2. 2. How Invasive is the Procedure?

    If you’re concerned about the invasiveness of the procedure, tubal ligation is not the way to go. It is performed using laparoscopy, a form of minimally invasive surgery. This method is not affected by a history of Cesarean or natural childbirth.

    Tubal occlusion is an entirely non-surgical procedure. The small, flexible devices do not require any incisions and are placed in the body through the vagina and uterus.

    Dr Mamta Mishra, Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, calls female sterilisation “a common method to stop the meeting of the egg and sperm.”

    In female sterilisation (tubal occlusion) the fallopian tubes are clipped through a 15-20 minutes surgery. The surgery is done laparoscopically and in day care time. Since this is the best method of permanent contraception, you don’t have to use contraception ever again. It takes a period of four weeks to three months for the procedure to be effective.
    Dr Mamta Mishra
    Expand
  3. 3. Pros and Cons: A Quick Round-Up

    Female sterilisation is an effective form of contraception with an incredibly low rate of failure. The method has an advantage over other forms of contraception like emergency contraception pills and birth control pills since it does not affect hormones, sex drive or the menstrual cycle.

    However, due to the irreversible nature of the method, it pretty much is the point of no return. You need to be absolutely sure of not wanting to get pregnant in the future before undergoing the procedure. Additionally, it’s not a safeguard against STIs (sexually transmissible infections).

    Dr Mishra emphasises these points and says:

    The failure rate in women is 1:100 hence you need to be careful. This sterilisation doesn’t protect you from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). There are no side-effects, but you must not rule out symptoms like nausea or tiredness. Avoid intercourse for at least a month.

    As is the case with any medical procedure, female sterilisation also leaves your body exposed to infections and in some cases, bleeding.

    Expand
  4. 4. Of Vasectomies and Y-Chromosomes

    Vasectomy or male sterilisation is a similar method in men in which the passage for the outward movement of sperms is clipped or sealed. This too is a permanent form of contraception and is often opted for by couples because it is believed to be slightly more effective than female sterilisation. It’s also a less invasive procedure.

    In a manner similar to its female counterpart, a vasectomy provides no protections against STIs.

    Have questions on sexual health? Write to us at SexEd@thequint.com and we will get experts to answer them for you.

    (Subscribe to FIT on Telegram)

    Expand

What is Female Sterilisation?

Simply put, it is the blocking of the fallopian tubes in a woman’s reproductive system. Since the tubes connect the ovaries with the uterus, blocking them prevents pregnancy by ensuring there’s no fertilisation of the egg. Additionally, the sperm is not allowed to travel to the egg.

This makes female sterilisation a permanent form of contraception.

There are two ways in which this can be achieved.

Medical jargon alert!

Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation.
Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation.
(Infographics: Erum Gour/FIT)

Clips are placed on fallopian tubes through a process called tubal ligation. Sometimes, instead of clips there is a tiny device which is placed inside the tubes. This process is called tubal occlusion.

In some cases, tubal ligation can be reversed, but it is predominantly considered a permanent procedure. On the other hand, tubal occlusion is not reversible under any circumstances.

In tubal occlusion, little devices are placed inside fallopian tubes.
In tubal occlusion, little devices are placed inside fallopian tubes.
(Infographics: Erum Gour/FIT)
ADVERTISEMENT

How Invasive is the Procedure?

If you’re concerned about the invasiveness of the procedure, tubal ligation is not the way to go. It is performed using laparoscopy, a form of minimally invasive surgery. This method is not affected by a history of Cesarean or natural childbirth.

Tubal occlusion is an entirely non-surgical procedure. The small, flexible devices do not require any incisions and are placed in the body through the vagina and uterus.

Dr Mamta Mishra, Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, calls female sterilisation “a common method to stop the meeting of the egg and sperm.”

In female sterilisation (tubal occlusion) the fallopian tubes are clipped through a 15-20 minutes surgery. The surgery is done laparoscopically and in day care time. Since this is the best method of permanent contraception, you don’t have to use contraception ever again. It takes a period of four weeks to three months for the procedure to be effective.
Dr Mamta Mishra

Pros and Cons: A Quick Round-Up

Female sterilisation is an effective form of contraception with an incredibly low rate of failure. The method has an advantage over other forms of contraception like emergency contraception pills and birth control pills since it does not affect hormones, sex drive or the menstrual cycle.

However, due to the irreversible nature of the method, it pretty much is the point of no return. You need to be absolutely sure of not wanting to get pregnant in the future before undergoing the procedure. Additionally, it’s not a safeguard against STIs (sexually transmissible infections).

Dr Mishra emphasises these points and says:

The failure rate in women is 1:100 hence you need to be careful. This sterilisation doesn’t protect you from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). There are no side-effects, but you must not rule out symptoms like nausea or tiredness. Avoid intercourse for at least a month.

As is the case with any medical procedure, female sterilisation also leaves your body exposed to infections and in some cases, bleeding.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of Vasectomies and Y-Chromosomes

Vasectomy or male sterilisation is a similar method in men in which the passage for the outward movement of sperms is clipped or sealed. This too is a permanent form of contraception and is often opted for by couples because it is believed to be slightly more effective than female sterilisation. It’s also a less invasive procedure.

In a manner similar to its female counterpart, a vasectomy provides no protections against STIs.

Have questions on sexual health? Write to us at SexEd@thequint.com and we will get experts to answer them for you.

(Subscribe to FIT on Telegram)

Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Up On Your Health

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter Now.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT