Surgical sterilization is a permanent form of birth control that is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. But sterilization is difficult to reverse if you change your mind, and it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Both men and women can be sterilized. For women, a tubal ligation is performed; for men, a vasectomy is performed. Women have the option of tubal ligation surgery or the placement of a device called Essure. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage on surgical sterilization, what it involves, who does it, and much more.