The word sounds so frightening—sterilization. Yet a new study shows it’s actually the most popular form of birth control for women over age 35.
If you are done having children—as in “I never want to change another diaper in my life” done—sterilization is a safe and effective form of birth control. It’s also permanent, meaning you never have to worry about getting an IUD replaced, or remembering to take a pill.
And, while there used to be only one choice for sterilization, there are now more options than the traditional tubal ligation surgery of years past.
Tubal litigation is popular because it works instantly so you won’t need a backup form of birth control for any length of time. Also, it’s a method that can be reversed if a woman changes her mind. Unfortunately, this option takes the longest to heal from (about a week) and you will be put under anesthesia while the doctor blocks/ties off your fallopian tubes through incisions made.
If anesthesia and incisions aren’t for you (and you can’t spare a week for recovery) you might look into Adiana or Essure. They’re both inserts placed into your tubes to block fertilization. Adiana is made of silicone and Essure is made of metal inserts.
It takes about three months for either insert to work, so you would need to use a backup form of birth control during that time. And, these options aren’t as easy to reverse as tubal litgation, so you need to be 100 percent sure of your choice.
The cost for sterilization procedures range from $1,500 to $6,000. While this may seem steep, it can pay to have peace of mind knowing an “oops” pregnancy isn’t a shadow hanging over you.
Do keep in mind that sterilization doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. So, if you’re in a non-monogamous relationship then condoms are still a must.