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Effectiveness of Permanent Birth Control Methods


Updated February 25, 2010

Permanent Birth Control Methods:

Permanent methods of contraception, also known as "permanent infertility," are specific surgical procedures that are not meant to be reversed.
  • Over 99% effective assuming that a semen analysis has documented no sperm in the semen
  • Of every 100 women whose partners have had a vasectomy, less than 1 will become pregnant
Tubal Sterilization
  • Tubal ligation is more than 99% effective in the first year. This means that that out of every 100 women who have this procedure done, less than one will become pregnant during the first year of use.

  • Up to one out of every 100 women will become pregnant in each subsequent year following the first year (when the tubal was done). This is due to a slight possibility that fallopian tubes may reconnect by themselves.
  • Of every 1,000 women who have undergone tubal sterilization, approximately 18.5 will become pregnant within 10 years. These statistics were concluded by the U.S. Collaborative Review of Sterilization in their hallmark Crest study.

  • Depending on the method used and the age of the woman when she has the procedure done, this rate might be higher or lower
If a pregnancy does occur after a tubal sterilization, there is a 33% chance of it being an ectopic pregnancy. However, the overall rate of pregnancy is so low, that a woman’s chance of having an ectopic pregnancy is much lower than it would be provided she did not have the tubal ligation done.


Peterson, H. B., Xia Z., Hughes J. M., Wilcox L. S., Tylor L. R., & Trussell, J. (1996). The risk of pregnancy after tubal sterilization: Findings from the U.S. Collaborative Review of Sterilization. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,174, pp. 1161–1170.

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