Healthy living


There are operations for both men and woman to make them sterile (permanently unable to have children).

The women’s operation is called tubal ligation or tubal occlusion, where the tubes that carry eggs to the uterus are blocked off. The operation is done in hospital and requires a general anaesthetic.

The men’s operation is called vasectomy and the tubes that carry sperm are blocked off. When the man comes during sex, semen is still ejaculated, but there is no sperm in it. A vasectomy can be done under local anaesthetic in a doctor’s surgery.

Safety information: Essure contraceptive FAQs (PDF 309KB)

Sterilisation does not protect you against STIs and HIV. People who have been sterilised should still use condoms if there is any risk of HIV or other STIs.


  • If you don’t want any (more) children, sterilisation permanently prevents unwanted pregnancy.
  • Tubal ligation does not interfere with natural hormone production and a woman’s natural menstrual cycle.
  • Sterilisation does not interfere with sexual drive.

Things to consider

  • You cannot change your mind afterwards. Sterilisation cannot be reliably reversed.
  • You may have to have surgery – there may be some discomfort, and it can be expensive.
  • After male sterilisation, it takes some time for all the existing sperm to be ejaculated during sex or masturbation. The doctor will tell you about this. It is important to use other methods of contraception during this time.

Where to get help

Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program, Public Health

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