WHAT IS IT?
Tubal ligation (sometimes referred to as “having tubes tied”) is a surgical procedure to close or block the fallopian tubes.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
There are three techniques that may be used to perform the procedure. One is a laparoscopy, in which special instruments are inserted through two tiny incisions (less than 1 cm long) in the abdomen. The second technique is called a mini-laparotomy. This also requires a small cut in the abdomen. The third technique is hysteroscopy, in which a thin telescope is inserted into the uterus.
Fallopian tubes may be blocked by a clip or ring; through an electric current (cauterization); removal of a small piece of each tube; or through the insertion of tubal plugs.
Blocking the fallopian tubes prevents the sperm from joining with the egg, which prevents pregnancy.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
Tubal ligation is approximately 99.5% effective in preventing pregnancy.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING A TUBAL LIGATION?
• no contraception routine required – nothing to remember
• after the procedure is complete, it is a private form of birth control
• does not interfere with intercourse
• no significant long-term side effects
• difficult to have reversed
• possible post-sterilization regret
• possible short-term surgery-related complications: abdominal discomfort; bruising, bleeding, or infection at incision site; reaction to anesthesia
• does not protect against STIs
• if pregnancy does occur, there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy