Another (Gender) Role Reversal In Contraception

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Another blog about new birth control techniques - this time, a new outpatient sterilization procedure for women being called a "female vasectomy."

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Photo: Steve Heath (steve_heath) on Flickr

Vasectomy - now for women too?

Earlier this week, I blogged about the potential of a birth control pill for men. Now, it seems that women might be undergoing “vasectomy-like” procedures in a new form of sterilization that reduces the healing time and risk normally associated with female sterilization procedures like tubal ligation (also called having your “tubes tied”).

Easier and Faster Recovery

The article from the Daily Mail (UK) tells the story of 36 year-old Natalie Read, who had the operation after a series of miscarriages while trying to have her third child. The operation is being touted as the equivalent to the vasectomy in terms of ease and speed of recovery, much shorter than that of a traditional procedure for women which is major surgery and generally requires a hospital stay. Many tubal ligations are done after a caesarean section (c-section) delivery of a baby but they can be performed at any time once a woman decides she wants to permanently remove her ability to get pregnant.

The Adiana Permanent Contraception System

This new procedure (which requires no incisions), called the Adiana Permanent Contraception System, uses radio signals to make a lesion in each fallopian tube followed by insertion of a piece of silicone. Healthy tissue grows around the silicone (forming scar tissue), creating a permanent blockage which prevents eggs coming into contact with sperm. The procedure uses hysteroscopy, which allows a gynecologist to look inside and operate within the uterus via the cervix.

The system is currently under FDA review but seems to be getting close to the approval process after safety trials in the US, Australia and Mexico performed well.

Other Forms Of Birth Control

Permanent sterilization is a huge choice and not one to be made lightly. For more information about other forms of long or short term birth control, check out Planned Parenthood’s main contraception information page.

Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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