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Male and female sterilisation


Does it work?

This is a permanent method of contraception and is a surgical procedure where the tubes that supply sperm in a man and the tubes that carry the egg in a woman are cut or tied.

Male sterilisation is up to 100%** effective. Female sterilisation is also up to 100%*** effective.

Top Plus Points
  • Doesn't interfere with sex
  • It is permanent
  • Male sterilisation is a quick and simple operation with less chance of failure than female sterilisation

Any bad points?

  • Both procedures are permanent and cannot be easily reversed
  • It can take from two months for all sperm to disappear from the semen, so extra contraception must be used before you have a semen test to confirm there are no sperm left.
  • The tubes may rejoin and fertility may return (this isn’t common)
  • Doesn't protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS
  • Female sterilisation usually involves a general anaesthetic, male sterilisation usually requires a local anaesthetic.

Where can I find out more?

Because this is a surgical procedure it must only be performed by a trained doctor or nurse. However, family planning clinics, sexual health clinics and GPs will be able to give you more information. 

For more detailed information on all these forms of contraception please look at the following links:





(The above information is only a selection of the good and bad points for the different forms of contraception.)


** 1 in 2,000 operations may fail

*** 1 in 200 operations may fail


SOURCE: www.mariestopes.org.uk and Durex Information Service leaflets

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