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Questions for Female Sterilization

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Is female sterilization the right method for me?

There are a number of factors you should consider to determine whether female sterilization is the right contraceptive method for you. As with any contraception, you should first talk to your doctor or a counselor at your local clinic or hospital before seriously considering female sterilization. This is particularly important for both male and female sterilization, since the effects are meant to be permanent.


Female sterilization may be an effective method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You and your partner have all the children you ever want to have
  • You and your partner do not want to have children and you cannot or do not want to use temporary methods of family planning
  • You want a permanent, one-time method
  • You have health problems that may make pregnancy unsafe
  • You know you do not want any more children, and you do not want to face the possibility of needing an abortion if your temporary method fails
  • You want to enjoy sex without fear of unintended pregnancy

Female sterilization may not be an effective method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You are at risk of exposure to or transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection. Female sterilization does not provide protection against these infections
  • You are very young
  • You have few or no children
  • You feel you are being pressured by your partner, a relative, or a family planning counselor or provider
  • Your marriage or relationship with your partner is unstable
  • You think sterilization may help solve an emotional, marital, or sexual problem
  • You are temporarily involved in a stressful situation
  • You have unresolved doubts about sterilization
  • You think there's a chance you would want to have a child if your circumstances were to change (for example, if your current relationship ended and your new partner wanted to have children, if one or more of your children died, or if your income suddenly improved a great deal)
  • You are considering the operation because you are having a difficult pregnancy
  • Your partner does not think you should have the operation
  • You are considering the operation just to please your partner
  • You think sterilization reversal is a possibility for you -- in case you change your mind after the operation
  • You have conditions that are precautions for elective surgery, such as heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, severe anemia, or bleeding disorders. These conditions should be treated or managed before sterilization is performed
  • You have just had problems during childbirth or complications during an abortion

Female sterilization is not an effective method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You feel that you have not been fully informed about female sterilization
  • You want to have more children
  • You are pregnant or strongly suspect you are pregnant
  • You have a vaginal, cervical, or pelvic infection. The infection should be treated and the operation delayed until it has been cured.

For more information about this method, see Female Sterilization: Answers to Your Questions.


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