What is it?
Sterilization is a permanent type of birth control that both people assigned male at birth and female at birth can use. Vasectomies (for people with a penis) and tubal ligation (AKA "getting the tubes tied" for people with a vagina) are permanent birth control methods.
There are two brands of birth control patches available in the United States, the Xulane patch and the Twirla patch.
Does it prevent STIs?
No. While sterilization is a way to permanently prevent pregnancy, it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms or internal condoms and combining these with the patch is a great way to prevent diseases and pregnancy at the same time.
How does it work?
These methods involve minor surgery, and most people recover fast. They also do not affect hormones so people who menstruate will still have periods after getting their tubes tied.
A vasectomy is a small surgical procedure in which the tube that carries sperm is blocked off. It is very effective with about 1 in 1000 people having a pregnancy afterward.
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes, which transport eggs to the uterus, are blocked. It is very effective, almost 100%. It does not require the person to take hormones afterward.
Is it right for you?
Sterilization is recommended for older adults since these methods are permanent and not reversible. It is a big decision to know if you want children or don’t want to have children at all.
Since this is a permanent type of birth control, it is important to talk with a partner so they know that if there is a desire to have a child in the future, an alternate way like adoption will be needed.
Talking with a health provider is a great place to start. It can also be helpful to talk with friends or trusted adults in your life. Everyone is different, what works best for one person might not be what works best for you.
Where do you get it?
If someone is interested in learning more about sterilization, they should talk with their medical provider.