Essential Knowledge

The Essential Knowledge section of the Permanent Methods Toolkit provides policy makers, program managers, and service providers with key, or “essential,” background and reference materials on female and male sterilization, including fact sheets, research reports, and information briefs. The "Essential Knowledge About Female Sterilization" and “The Essential Knowledge about Vasectomy” documents are a thorough summary of the biomedical, social science, and programmatic knowledge on injectable contraceptives as of 2012. These documents will be updated periodically to reflect new research findings and programmatic knowledge.

Key Points About Female and Male Sterilization:

Permanent. Sterilization is intended to provide life-long, permanent, and very effective protection against pregnancy. Reversal is usually not possible.

Involves a Surgical Procedure. Female sterilization involves a physical examination and surgery. The procedure is done by a specifically trained provider. Vasectomy, the primary approach to male sterilization, involves a safe, simple surgical procedure by a trained provider. Vasectomy is not fully effective for 3 months after the procedure.

No Side Effects. There are no side-effects associated with female sterilization. There are no common side effects associated with vasectomy. Vasectomy does not affect a man’s sexual performance.

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