For women sterilization includes a surgical procedure that permanently blocks her fallopian tubes where the sperm and egg would normally meet. Because the sperm and egg never have the opportunity to meet, pregnancy cannot occur.

For men sterilization includes a surgical procedure that permanently prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates (men still ejaculate fluid though).

How effective is it in preventing pregnancy?
Extremely effective (96.5%-99.9%)

How effective is it in preventing STDs?
This method is NOT AT ALL effective in preventing STDs, including HIV. If a person has sex, condoms must still be used to reduce the risks of STDs.

Other things to know about STERILIZATION:


  • People who have penis-vagina sex do not have to remember to do something to prevent pregnancy
  • It is permanent


  • Because it is permanent, it is not appropriate for anyone who might want to have a child in the future. Because people so often change their mind about having families, sterilization is usually discouraged for people under 30 who have not had children

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from, and, websites that provide education about reproductive and sexual health. 

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