Advanced Gynaecological Surgery Centre
 
Patient Info

Permanent Contraception

Background

Over 40% of couples in Australia rely on sterilisation as their preferred method of birth control.

Women are more likely than men to have a procedure performed.

Before undergoing a sterilisation procedure it is important that you understand that it is intended to stop you from having any more children forever.

Although some of the procedures can be reversed and IVF may be an option in some cases, the success rate of these procedures is around 50% and both options are very expensive.

There are 2 forms of permanent contraception available.

Laparoscopic Sterilisation

It involves an operation under general anaesthetic. Once cleaned with disinfectant and covered with drapes, your bladder is emptied and a device is placed in your vagina so that we can move your uterus. Two small cuts are made in your abdomen, one near your navel and one in your lower abdomen. A specially designed titanium and plastic clip is placed on both fallopian tubes. This clip crushes a small portion of the tube, which eventually resorbs. The tube is then effectively cut in two.

Once the clips are in place the egg is unable to travel along the tube to be fertilised by the sperm. The egg is microscopic and will eventually die and is reabsorbed by the body.

Laparoscopic sterilisation does not effect ovulation, hormones, libido or your periods, although menopause may start 1 or 2 years earlier.

Reversal is possible but expensive. It involves cutting the tubes and stitching them back together. At best the success rate is around 50%.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Sterilisation

Can be relied on as soon as you have your next period

Laparoscopy can be used to investigate other problems you may have

Disadvantages

Failure rate 3/1000

Major complications are possible including

Damage to bowel haemorrhage
thrombosis (blood clots)
risk 1:1000
Death risk 1:25,000
Overnight Admission to hospital risk 3%
Laparotomy (large incision) required due to difficulty risk 1%
Abnormal scar formation and other minor complications risk 4%

Vasectomy

This is the male form of permanent contraception. It involves a minor operation usually performed under local anaesthetic or sedation. Two small cuts are made in the skin either side of the scrotum. The tube that carries the sperm from the testicles to the penis, the vas deferens, is picked up and ligated (blocked). Stitches are then used to close the skin of the scrotum. As sperm are usually located up stream from where the surgery is performed your partner will have to have one or two semen analysis performed over the following months. When they are negative you can rely on the vasectomy for sterilisation. Current research suggests that vasectomy does not lead to an increased risk of health problems such as prostate cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Advantages of Vasectomy

Performed under local anaesthesia or sedation

Rapid recovery and return to work

Low risk, minor complications include bleeding and infection risk 4%

Disadvantages of Vasectomy

Failure rate 1/1000
3 - 4 month wait before it can be relied on
Ongoing testicular discomfort after the procedure
6%

Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet. It has been provided to help you choose the type of permanent contraception that suits you.

There may be other risks involved with a particular procedure so please discuss your chosen option with your doctor.

If you have any reservations about ending your reproductive ability please discuss these with your doctor. There are new medium term reversible contraceptives to which you may be more suited.

Click here to download the pdf version of Permanent Contraception

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