What is sterilisation?

Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception for people who are sure they never want children or do not want any more children. Sterilisation is available for both men and women and there are a few different types of procedures, but they all result in you not being to have children forever. Before you decide on sterilization, you should contact your healthcare provider and they will guide you. 

This method is not available for people under the age of 18 because sterilisation is permanent. 

When done correctly, sterilisation has a very high chance of preventing pregnancy. Sterilisation does not prevent STIs and HIV but a male/external or female/internal condom can.

How often do you need to get sterilised?

This is a once off procedure.

How is sterilisation done?

This is done by a trained surgeon at a health facility.

Who can be sterilised?

Both men and women can be sterilised to prevent pregnancy. For women, the tubes that carry the eggs from the ovaries to the womb are tied off in a procedure called a ‘tubal ligation’, the womb is unaffected. For men, the tube that carries the sperm is cut and tied off in a procedure called a ‘vasectomy’.

Who can’t be sterilised?

You cannot be sterilised if you do not have access to a trained surgeon to perform the surgery. If you are undecided about having children or want to have children, you should not be sterilised.

How much does sterilisation cost?

Sterilisation is free at government health facilities. You can also contact private facilities to ask about the cost of the procedure.


  • Sterilisation protects women against pregnancy forever and you do not need to remember to use a contraceptive every day.
  • Sterilisation does not affect your period at all. You will still get your period.

Important points to remember about sterilisation

  • As sterilisation is a surgical procedure, there are associated surgical risks like bleeding and infection that your healthcare provider will discuss with you. 
  • This is a permanent procedure. Ensure that you are counselled, that you have had time to think about it, and have made an informed decision. No person should feel that they are being forced to have a sterilisation.

How do I get additional protection against HIV and STIs if I choose sterilisation?

For additional protection against HIV and STIs, different prevention options can be explored, such as PrEP and using a condom. Using condoms and contraception together is what we call “dual protection”.

Is sterilisation your ideal contraceptive? Take the test!

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