One type of female sterilization is called a tubal ligation. In this procedure, the fallopian tubes are obstructed by one of several methods. These can include cutting, burning, or clamping the fallopian tubes. The procedure is performed in an operating room with general anesthesia. It is usually a same day procedure but is sometimes done during the same admission when you are delivering a baby. In this case it is called a postpartum tubal ligation. It is effective immediately. A mature egg is still released each month, but it will not be available to the sperm for fertilization. You should still have monthly periods and your natural hormones will not be changed by the surgery.
A newer procedure called Essure® is done hysteroscopically, through the vagina and uterus. A camera is passed through the vagina, cervix, and into the uterus. The openings to the fallopian tubes can then be visualized and a coil is placed into the tubes. The tissue will grow into the coils eventually causing blockage of the fallopian tubes. The advantage of this procedure is that there are no abdominal scars and less pain, no need for general anesthesia, and it is hormone free. The disadvantage is that you will need to use a back up form of birth control for several months after the procedure until you get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to ensure that tubal blockage has occurred.
Tying the male’s vas deferens does not change the flow of male hormones and does not change the sex drive, ejaculations, or sexual feelings.