Permanent methods — female sterilization and vasectomy — are highly effective and safe options for women and men who no longer wish to have children. Permanent methods increase the method mix and help to decrease contraceptive discontinuation rates.
In 2016, PSI’s network generated 233,758 couple years of protection (CYPs) and averted 76,893 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) through the provision of permanent methods. Globally, there is a high unmet need for permanent methods, mainly because in many developing countries services are not always accessible or affordable.
Female sterilization, also referred to as tubal ligation, prevents pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Although use varies widely by country, female sterilization is the most widely used modern method of contraception in the world. In 2016, PSI performed 18,064 tubal ligations in India, Pakistan, Malawi, Uganda and Guatemala.
Vasectomy is one of two contraceptive method choices for men. Vasectomy blocks the tubes that carry the sperm from the testicles to the penis. Unlike female sterilization, a vasectomy is not fully effective until three months after the procedure. During those three months, a second contraceptive method should be used. In 2016, PSI performed 1,392 vasectomies in India, Uganda and Guatemala.
Sterilization and even more so, vasectomy, carry a low risk of complications when performed according to accepted medical standards. Quality assurance of services is a vital piece of PSI service delivery as both female sterilization and vasectomy require a small medical procedure.
Since 2001, our Greenstar clinic network in Pakistan has included permanent method services for women in their contraception mix, allowing them to offer a wider range of modern family planning options. To date, the Greenstar network has served 211,338 women following their wish to receive a permanent method. In 2016 alone, Greenstar provided 1,298 women with a permanent method.
PSI independent network member Pan American Social Marketing Association (PASMO) in Guatemala also offers male and female sterilization to clients within the context of informed choice.
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