Three things women need to know about permanent birth control

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Orange County.

I don’t know about you… but sometimes YOU JUST KNOW that you’re done having chiclets. I know it now… and I knew it back when I only had one chiclet! I was in my twenties and I went to three different doctors asking for permanent birth control. They, in turn, refused to do it. I cannot tell you how frustrated it made me. In 2011, still in my twenties, we decided to have one more chiclet and I hoped then that I could have something done at the time of the delivery. I couldn’t get it done because it wasn’t a c-section. So here I am, mid thirties, and I’m ready for it. I’m super ready. I’m all-in ready – and I spoke to a doctor at Kaiser Permanente to get ‘er done!!! Here’s three things you need to know about permanent birth control (if you’re thinking of doing this too).


Three things women need to know about permanent birth control

#1 – It’s permanent!

There are three different procedures that are most common. When choosing keep in mind; procedure duration, recovery time, and effectiveness. Here’s a quick explanation of each. Choose wisely!

Tubal ligation – The most common type of permanent birth control is tubal ligation aka “tubes tied”. This is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s Fallopian tubes are blocked, tied or cut. It can be done laparoscopic (small abdominal incision) or during a c-section. If done in combination with cesarean birth, it’s a two in one procedure. Reversing a tubal ligation is possible, but it isn’t highly successful. Recovery time can be from 1 to 3 weeks, however you will be protected from pregnancy right away.

Tubal implants known as “Essure” – Tubal implants are small metal springs that are placed in each Fallopian tube in a nonsurgical procedure (no cutting is involved). The purpose of this procedure is to stop eggs from traveling from the ovaries into the Fallopian Tubes. Done in a doctor’s office, outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. The implant procedure takes about 10 minutes. You may experience menstrual cramps afterwards. The first 3 months after insertion, you must use another method of birth control. It can be removed but there is no guarantee of pregnancy.

Vasectomy – A vasectomy is a permanent birth control option for men. Reassure your partner that a vasectomy will not affect his enjoyment of sex or levels of testosterone. During a vasectomy, the doctor cuts and ties the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. Usually this procedure can be performed at a clinic or outpatient hospital. The surgery takes about 30 minutes. After the surgery, the patient may experience some pain that can be managed with over the counter medicine. Men can expect a full recovery after one week. Another form of birth control must be used for six weeks afterwards. It is permanent.

It’s great to know your options when considering permanent birth control. Tubal ligation is extremely popular since it offers a permanent option which can be reversed. It’s best to take the time and discuss options with your partner. Keep in mind that your age and number of children can affect your medical provider’s decision to do procedure.


#2 – What can go wrong?

The most serious complication being failure. If it doesn’t work – you get pregnant. All of the permanent control choices are really effective, most of them have a failure rate of 1%. In laparoscopic tubal ligation, you have surgical risks such as injury to other organs. It’s always best to discuss your risks with your doctor because whenever there is any sort of surgery, it always presents a risk. You may need to ask yourself, “Is permanent birth control worth the risk of complications from surgery?” The convenience of not having to take birth control pills every day or insert an IUD every five years. In my case, knowing that a new baby will not fit into my entrepreneur life is a huge factor for deciding on permanent birth control.

#3 – Is there an age limit?

Remember my story? Well I told it to the doctor too – and she told me technically there is NO AGE LIMIT.  Although a little bit depends on your insurance. Some federally funded insurances have age limits (maybe 26). The reason being, the highest regret can happen when the younger population get sterilized. Some insurances require a 5 year birth control beforehand. If you have private insurance or can pay cash, then you could push for permanent birth control at a younger age. At the end of the day, you would need to convince the doctor, if in your twenties. Then your insurance, which is more difficult.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Whether it’s because you are done having chiclets, medical condition, or financial stress. For me, it was simply because I knew that we wouldn’t be able to give the chiclets the kind of life that we wanted for them. We live in Southern California and can barely afford our three bedroom house. Anything more would put a big strain on us. Being 100% honest, I don’t know how much I would actually enjoy starting again. Babies are time consuming!!!! And I’m a little too selfish with my time to give it away. It’s great to know that we live in a country where women have the right to make this important decision about their reproductive health. Knowing that I have trusted doctors at Kaiser Permanente to help guide me. I hope these three things will help you decide whether you are a good candidate to have this life-changing procedure.

p.s. Did you know that up to 30% of people who have been sterilized have regrets? If you change your mind, you can go to a fertility doctor. Remember tubal litigation and tubal implants can be reversed. It’s expensive, and no guarantee of pregnancy.

Mother son holding hands - Afternoon dates with my preschooler -

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