Once patients decide that their families are complete many look for a permanent method of birth control. However, even though there are effective and safe measures to prevent pregnancy, many women are uncertain about giving up birth control. Here, Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine offers some of the key facts that women (and their partners) need to consider before making a decision.
- Female sterilization is a permanent measure to prevent pregnancy. There are various methods available including the traditional tubal ligation, which requires surgery, and the newer form of sterilization called Essure, which blocks the fallopian tubes and does not require surgery. Both methods are safe and effective. The procedure that's right for you is a decision that you should make together with your gynecologist.
- Female sterilization is effective. After the procedure is complete and the waiting period is over sterilization prevents nearly 100% of pregnancy.
- With the tubal ligation method of sterilization, pregnancy will be prevented immediately. Patients who opt for the Essure method will need to wait three months until the tubes are completely blocked.
- Both methods of female sterilization will require some amount of anesthesia.
- Tubal ligations are common during cesarean section deliveries. If not performed during a c-section, the procedure will require two incisions into the abdomen.
- Essure can be performed in a physician's office. Local anesthesia and a mild sedative will be utilized and a small device will be inserted into each fallopian tube to create scar tissue which will block the tubes.
- While the benefits of sterilization include it being safe, convenient, and permanent. Women can have sex without worrying about getting pregnant.
- However, it's important to note that the procedures do not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.
- The procedures are permanent. Patients should consider and understand that it is not reversible. If there's even a small chance that you'll want children in the future, you should opt for a different method of birth control.
- In addition to female sterilization, men can also opt for a sterilization procedure, called a vasectomy. Couples should consider their options when deciding which person will undergo treatment.
If you're considering permanent sterilization, call the Jenkins Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jenkins.
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