Tubal ligation is a simple surgical procedure which is a permanent solution for women who are sure they don’t want any more children.
It involves closing a woman’s fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes normally carry an unfertilised egg to the womb. Closing the fallopian tubes prevents the egg and sperm meeting, so a pregnancy cannot occur. Tubal ligation is a quick and safe surgical operation. It needs to be done by a trained health provider.
The tubes can be closed in several ways. One method is to make one small cut in the lower stomach to see the tubes on each side of the womb, and then cut the tubes. The other method is to place a small camera and other instruments through a hole in the stomach to see the tubes, which are then clipped.
Note: Condoms are the only contraceptive methods which also protect against sexually transmitted infections. To ensure protection from both pregnancy and infection, we recommend "dual protection". This means using a contraceptive method of your choice to prevent pregnancy in addition to a male or female condom.
How good is tubal ligation at preventing a pregnancy?
- Tubal ligation is an excellent way to prevent a pregnancy. It is a way to permanently stop you having any further pregnancies.
- If one hundred women had the tubal ligation operation and carried on with their normal sex life then fewer than one (.05%) of those women would fall pregnant again.
What are the advantages of tubal ligation?
- The operation works straight away. As soon as you have a tubal ligation it will prevent a pregnancy.
- It is permanent, so you do not need to remember to use contraception again.
- It does not interrupt sex or affect your sex life. After tubal ligation you can still experience an orgasm.
- Having a female sterilisation does not have any negative effects on the rest of your health.
- You are likely to continue to have normal periods after tubal ligation.
- You can have the operation straight after an abortion.
What are the disadvantages of tubal ligation?
- As it is permanent, you should only choose tubal ligation if you do not want children or have completed your family. You cannot change your mind once the operation is done.
- Tubal ligation does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.
What are the possible risks / complications for this method?
- Damage to other parts of the body during the procedure