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At a Glance:

  • Prevents pregnancy permanently
  • Usually a fast surgery and easy to recover
  • Does not cause hormonal changes
  • 9% effective

Currently not available for men and limited availability for women in Myanmar

What is it?

Sterilization is the process of completely taking away the body’s ability to reproduce through a medical procedure. It is a permanent method of contraception, suitable for people who are sure they never want children or do not want any more children. However, in Myanmar, there are currently strict restrictions of who can get sterilized. Sterilization is not available to men and access to sterilization is limited to women. If you are a man seeking sterilization, your best option is to go abroad.

For women, sterilization needs to be recommended by a doctor and approved by a medical board. There are also certain conditions that need to be met for a female sterilization procedure to be considered as an option. However, once approved it means no babies and no going back.
There are other forms of long-acting contraception which are as effective, but reversible such as copper IUDs and the contraceptive implant.

In both sexes, sterilization prevents pregnancy by preventing the necessary components that make a baby from meeting. For women it consists of tying or cutting the fallopian tubes, which prevents an egg from reaching the uterus.

In Myanmar, certain conditions need to be met for a woman to be sterilized. First, she needs a doctor to support her decision to get sterilized. The doctor must then recommend the procedure to a township level health authority board for approval. The board consists of 2-5 members, where at least one member is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist. The application process takes between 3 and 6 months. The procedure is only allowed to be conducted in public hospitals.

In order for a woman’s application to be approved, she must fulfill certain conditions:
-She is HIV positive.
-She is over 30 years old and has 3 or more kids (born through C-Section).

Once approval is granted, a woman may proceed with the procedure at any time.
The sterilization process is not reversible and does not affect the body’s natural hormone production.

Once the procedure is complete, that’s about all you have to do. After recovery, you can have sex without the worry of getting pregnant for the rest of your life.
Before making a decision on sterilization, it is important you talk first with your healthcare provider on the approval process for this procedure. It is also important that you know about the alternative long acting reversible methods of contraception such as the IUD, or implant which all have similar low failure rates.

  • It lasts forever
  • Highly effective
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • It isn’t affected by other medications
  • Hormone free
  • It lasts forever.
  • It may cause pain, bleeding, infection or other complications after surgery.
  • Pregnancy could be very dangerous if it happens.
  • Sterilization is sometimes reversible, although the procedure is complicated and rarely successful.
  • It requires a healthcare provider to conduct the procedure.
  • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • In Myanmar, only women may be sterilized, but only after receiving approval from authorities.

Common misunderstandings

  • Does not make women weak.
  • Does not cause hormonal imbalance.
  • Does not change women’s sexual behavior or sex drive.
  • Does not cause any changes in weight, appetite or appearance.

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