Sterilization Is As Popular As The Pill

Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Birth control comes in so many forms: the ring, the pill, the shot, and more. And a recent survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that two specific forms of birth control stand out among the rest. According to the report, which looked at data from 5,601 women of reproductive age (15 to 44), roughly the same number of women opted for sterilization as those who take the pill.

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Between 2011 and 2013, 62% of the women surveyed said they used some form of birth control. Of that group, about 25% used the pill and 25% had chosen sterilization, which is a permanent way to make sure you don't get pregnant. There are several different procedures for female sterilization, but one of the most common is tubal ligation, or "having your tubes tied." In this case, the fallopian tubes are either cut or sealed off during surgery. Other options include the Falope ring and the controversial, though less invasive, device Essure.

Although this sounds extreme, it's been a common form of birth control for quite a while now — Shape reports that the number of women choosing sterilization has stayed relatively constant since the mid-'90s.

The CDC report also found that most of the women who chose sterilization were on the older end of the survey group and were done having children. That doesn't mean that zero millennial women have undergone the procedure, but some doctors may be hesitant to recommend sterilization to young, childless women, since some women might not want to make such an irreversible decision at that time.
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The third most popular form of birth control (behind the pill and sterilization) was condoms, with 15% citing them as their preferred method. Implants and IUDs came next, with about 11%, and male sterilization rounded out the top five at 8%.

Choosing a form of birth control takes time and is a completely personal decision. Whatever you opt for, take your needs and preferences into consideration and talk with your doctor about all the different types available to you — that's how you'll make the best choice.

Click through to Shape for more on maintaining your sexual well-being. (Shape)

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