Pregnancy Home > Postpartum Tubal Ligation Alternatives

Postpartum tubal ligation is permanent, and it does not offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases. For these reasons, some women may prefer a birth control method other than postpartum tubal ligation. Alternatives include (but are not limited to) periodic abstinence, barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms, and intrauterine devices. However, none of these are as effective as postpartum tubal ligation.

Alternatives to Postpartum Tubal Ligation: An Overview

There are two types of tubal ligation procedures. Postpartum tubal ligation is done immediately after the birth of your baby. A woman may also have a tubal ligation done through a laparoscope, which is a specialized camera that allows the doctor to look inside the abdomen (see Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation). These procedures should be thought of as permanent methods of birth control.
There are several other alternatives for preventing unwanted pregnancies. Although none are as effective as sterilization, they all protect against pregnancy.
These alternatives to a tubal ligation include:
The success rate of each method varies. Barrier methods are 80 to 90 percent effective, and hormonal contraceptives and IUDs are 99 percent effective if used correctly.
Your male partner can also choose to undergo a vasectomy, which is a sterilization procedure performed on men. A vasectomy will make it impossible for sperm to leave the male reproductive system. A vasectomy is a safe and permanent surgical procedure. Pregnancy rates after vasectomy are less than 1 in 100.
Remember that sterilization does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you are at risk for an STD, you still need to protect yourself with a condom.
If there is any chance that you might want more children in the future, or if you have questions about any of these alternatives, you should discuss them with your doctor and decide which choice, if any, is appropriate for you.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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