If your family is complete, you might wonder if female sterilization is right for you. While long-acting reversible contraceptives work for some women, you might desire a more permanent solution.
Our team of providers ー Dr. Katherine Hilsinger; Dr. Douglas Thom; Dr. Cheri Coyle; Dr. John M. Fejes; Mary E. Lynch-CNM, MS; Dr. Christine Dileo; Dr. Branden A. Deyerle; Kristi Taylor, WHNP-B.C ー wants to shed light on this topic. Choosing a birth control method is a personal decision, and that’s why we offer a variety of birth control options to meet your needs, including female sterilization, here at The Center for Women's Health.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding female sterilization. In this article, we debunk five common myths about female sterilization so you can get the facts.
Myth #1: All of your reproductive organs must be removed
Fact: Sterilization doesn’t require any organs to be surgically removed. On the other hand, if sterilization is your goal, then there’s no need to remove any organs. Instead, the procedure involves cutting or blocking your fallopian tubes (i.e., tubal ligation) to prevent sperm from reaching your eggs. Because conception occurs in the fallopian tubes, tubal ligation effectively prevents pregnancy without removing any organs.
While it’s true that hysterectomy does make you infertile, you don’t need to rely on hysterectomy to become sterile. Hysterectomies are a major surgery and are reserved to treat other conditions, including severe endometriosis or cancer.
Myth #2: Female sterilization is an invasive surgery
Fact: Tubal ligations can be performed without invasive surgery. In fact, many tubal ligations are performed laparoscopically.
Myth #3: You’ll lose your libido
Fact: Tubal ligation doesn’t impact your sex drive. In fact, many women find that they enjoy intimacy more since they don’t have to worry about birth control or unwanted pregnancies.
Myth #4: You can’t schedule tubal ligation after childbirth
Fact: You can schedule tubal ligation after childbirth. Female sterilization can be performed:
- After a c-section
- After a vaginal birth (via a mini-laparotomy)
If you’re not ready to schedule female sterilization right after childbirth, that’s okay too. When you’re ready, tubal ligations can be scheduled any time independent of childbirth.
Myth #5: Female sterilization is only for adult women who’ve already had children
There are many reasons to consider permanent birth control. Tubal ligation might be right for you if:
- Your family is already complete
- You decide that don’t want any children
- Pregnancy would pose a major health risk for you
- You don’t want to risk passing on a genetic condition
What if you’re not sure yet? It’s okay to not know if your family is complete yet or not. Your provider here at The Center for Women's Health can explore all of your birth control options. If you think you may still want children (but not for a while), you may benefit from long-acting reversible birth control. This includes intrauterine devices and implants. Depending on which option you choose, you can avoid pregnancy for 3-5 years.
To learn more about female sterilization, schedule your appointment at The Center for Women's Health. Contact our Newport News or Hampton, Virginia office today!