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What is sterilisation?

Sterilisation is a permanent method of birth control for people who are sure that they never want children or don’t want any more children.

When done correctly, sterilisation has a very high chance of preventing pregnancy. But it doesn’t prevent HIV and other STIs which is why consistent and correct use of condoms is important.

Who can get sterilised?

Both men and women can be sterilised to prevent pregnancy. Sterilisation is not available for people under the age of 18 because it is permanent. If you are thinking about this method, you should reach out to your healthcare provider who will guide you.

Sterilisation for women

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 not affected, and you will still get your period. This means that eggs won’t be able to be fertilised by sperm.

Sterilisation for men

For men, the tube that carries the sperm from the testicles to the penis is cut and tied off in a procedure called a ‘vasectomy’. This means that sperm won’t be able to get into the semen (which comes out during ejaculation/cumming).

How often do you need to get sterilised?

This is a once-off procedure.

Where is sterilisation done?

The procedure is done by a trained surgeon at a health facility.

Who can’t be sterilised?

You can’t be sterilised if you don’t 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.

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 other 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”.

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