Surgical and non-surgical permanent birth control options
Permanent birth control options, or sterilization procedures, offer women who are finished having children or who do not want to start a family the most reliable way to permanently prevent pregnancy. Our Austin ObGyns perform both surgical and non-surgical sterilization techniques.
Surgical permanent birth control options
Many women choose tubal ligation, a method that is often referred to as “getting your tubes tied.” Permanent birth control options that involve tubal ligation prevent pregnancy by removing the “highway” that both sperm and eggs need to travel on to achieve pregnancy.
When fallopian tubes are closed off or removed, it prevents sperm from reaching the egg and also prevents the egg from reaching the uterus. Our Austin obgyns can perform tubal ligation using different methods.
Permanent birth control options for tubal ligation include the following types of surgery:
- Laparoscopic tubal ligation
During this minimally invasive procedure, our physicians make a small incision near the woman’s navel in order to insert the laparoscope. Our Austin ObGyns insert instruments through the laparoscope to remove or close off the fallopian tubes. New data show that 10% of ovarian cancers arise from the fallopian tube. Our Austin ObGyns often recommend removing the entire fallopian tube for both contraception as well as lowering lifetime cancer risk.
- Postpartum tubal ligation
One of the permanent birth control options for women who have just given birth is the postpartum tubal ligation. After a vaginal delivery, the procedure is performed through an incision near the naval; however, after a cesarean delivery, no additional incision is required because the procedure can be performed through the incision made for the C-section. Our Austin ObGyns deliver at Seton Main Hospital. This is a Catholic hospital and will not allow elective sterilization. However, in the high risk population, we can remove the entire fallopian tubes at the time of cesarean section for cancer risk reduction with the side effect of sterility.
These permanent birth control options are minimally invasive surgeries that offer fewer complications and less recovery time than traditional open surgery. Both procedures can be completed in about 30 minutes.
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks that may occur, including issues caused by anesthesia, bleeding and infection. It is extremely rare, but in less than 1% of cases, the fallopian tubes may not be completely closed or cut during the procedure; if this occurs, there is an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy.
Essure® is a non-surgical option
The only non-surgical procedure of the permanent birth control options is Essure®, a non-hormonal device. Our Austin obgyns insert this flexible, soft coil into a woman’s fallopian tubes. The device blocks or occludes the fallopian tubes by creating scar tissue, usually after three months.
The procedure takes place in our offices with a local anesthetic, and patients can usually return home after 45 minutes to an hour. Our physicians recommend that women use an alternate form of birth control until they return to our office in about three months to ensure that the device is working properly to prevent pregnancy.
As with other permanent birth control options, there is some risk associated with Essure®. Some women may have an allergic reaction to the device’s components or experience pain.
It’s also important to remember that permanent birth control options do not protect women against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Women who are considering permanent birth control options should contact us to learn more.