Are You Ready for Permanent Birth Control?
When you’re done having children, you’re done. Or are you?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before going down the road of permanent birth control, or sterilization. There are multiple forms of permanent birth control out there, and there are pros and cons to each.
If you’re considering permanent birth control methods, keep in mind that they can’t always be reversed so it’s important that you feel 100% confident with your final decision. If there is even a hint of doubt, you are better off using more traditional routes of birth control until you are completely ready.
We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your OB/GYN or general physician, dedicated to discussing your feelings, your options, and which methods might be best for you. One thing to keep in mind is that the techniques used for permanent birth control in women much more difficult – or impossible – to reverse when compared with a vasectomy.
Questions to ask yourself before pursuing permanent birth control
How old are you?
If you’re in your 20s, it’s difficult to support a woman’s decision to never have children. That is especially true for women who have never had kids and feel they’ll never want them. We can’t tell you how many women we know who thought they never wanted kids, or that they were done having children, in their late-20s or even very early 30s, who ended up really wanting to have a baby later on.
Women in their 30s, and certainly in their 40s, should still be very diligent in their decision making, but the doctor may not be as thorough about pressing certain matters.
If you’re in a partnership: Why isn’t your partner getting a vasectomy?
There is absolutely no doubt about it, the simplest and most risk-free way to prevent having children in a permanent way is for the male-half of the relationship to have a vasectomy. Period. It is difficult to understand situations where the male flatly refuses to have a vasectomy but expects his partner to undergo full-blown surgery. Tubal ligation or a tubal blocking procedure has unarguably have higher rates of failure and/or serious side-effects than a vasectomy does.
Vasectomies are very simple, straightforward procedures that take place in a doctor’s office, without anesthesia and in under 20-minutes. Any pain or discomfort is limited to the few days afterwards. The immediate risks are exceedingly minimal and there are zero long-term risks. The same is not true for tubal ligations or other forms of permanent female birth control.
Are you sure you don’t want any more children (or that you’ll never want children)?
Or, perhaps the better question is, how do you know you’re sure? This is a decision that should gradually build up over time. It is not decided on one of your worst days of the week. Or when you’re enmeshed in a horrid toddler phase with seemingly no hope on the horizon.
It is also not a decision that should be made after a major shift in your life plan. Life can seem like it’s never going to change, but it often does. With that change can come drastic changes in outlooks or desires as well.
We believe that women need to think about ALL of the potentials before pursuing permanent birth control methods:
- If something happened to your partner, are you still 100% sure you’d never want children again? Especially if you’re younger and more likely to remarry?
- If something happened to one of your children, are you sure you’d never want another baby?
- Is your youngest child three-years old or younger?
- Do you have only one or two children?
It can be emotionally difficult to really spend time going in and considering the answers to these questions. We recommend you do so because we’ve seen every situation under the sun over the years.
Are you having a C-Section with this last and final baby?
If you’re pregnant, are 100% confident this is the last child, and you’re planning to have a C-Section, talk to your doctor about having a tubal ligation performed at the same time. This is an ideal time to have the procedure since you’re already under anesthesia and opened up. The less anesthesia and surgery we experience in our lifetimes, the better!
Interested in weighing the pros and cons for all permanent birth control options? Visit us here at Garden State Gynecology. We’ll be happy to go over them all with you and answer any questions you may have. The ultimate goal is to make the decision that will provide the healthiest, long-term outcome for your well-being.