Permanent Contraception Methods


Permanent Contraception Methods

Permanent methods of contraception are just that – permanent. They are usually chosen once you have had children and have decided that you family is complete.

Permanent methods of contraception include:

  • Female sterilisation
  • Vasectomy

Vasectomy operations are available free of charge on the NHS – please contact your GP if you would like more information or to arrange a referral.

Female sterilisation operations are only available free of charge on referral from your GP or other health care professional to the Gynaecology Unit at Sheffield Hospitals.

Remember, even though sterilisation and vasectomy are permanent methods of contraception they will not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It may be advisable to still use condoms or femidoms (the female condom)

Female Sterilisation

Female sterilisation is a permanent and irreversible method of contraception. It involves a surgical operation under general anaesthetic to place clips on the fallopian tubes. This prevents eggs from getting into the womb. Eggs will still be released from the ovaries as normal, but they will be absorbed naturally into the woman’s body.

In most cases, female sterilisation is more than 99% effective, and only one woman in 200 will become pregnant in her lifetime after having it done.

For more information about female sterilisation please visit the NHS page here



A vasectomy is a surgical operation carried out under local anaesthetic. During the operation the Vas Deferens (the tubes that carry the sperm from the testicles) are cut and sealed using a non-scalpel technique. This stops sperm being released when a man ejaculates.

After the operation it can take up to 6 months for the remaining sperm in the tubes to be cleared and until a man has received 2 clear sperm tests another method of contraception should be used.

Although vasectomy should be considered as a permanent method of contraception, the operation may be reversed but success rates vary dependent on how long it has been since the operation.

In most cases, vasectomy is more than 99% effective. Out of 2,000 men who are sterilised, one will get a woman pregnant during the rest of his lifetime.

If you would like further information or to discuss a vasectomy, please speak to your GP to arrange a referral.