Female sterilisation

Female sterilisation, also known as tubal ligation, is a simple surgical procedure. It is a permanent contraceptive method for women.

The fallopian tubes normally carry an unfertilised egg to the womb. Closing these tubes prevents the egg and sperm meeting, so a pregnancy cannot occur.

The tubes can be closed in several ways. One method is to make two small cuts 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 the stomach to see the tubes, which are then clipped.

How good is female sterilisation at preventing a pregnancy?

  • Female sterilisation is a very effective way to prevent a pregnancy. It will permanently stop you having any further pregnancies.

  • If 100 women had the female sterilisation operation and carried on with their normal sex life, then only 1 of those women would fall pregnant again.

What are other good things about female sterilisation?

  • You can have the operation straight after an abortion, it works straight away. As soon as you have a female sterilisation 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.

What else should you know?

  • As it is permanent, you should only choose sterilisation if you do not want children or have completed your family. You cannot change your mind once the operation is done.

  • It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections.

Day to day life after a female sterilisation

  • Having a female sterilisation does not have an effect on the rest of your health.

  • You are likely to continue to have normal periods after sterilisation.

  • After sterilisation you can still experience an orgasm.

  • Sterilisation does not cause weight gain.

Find out about other permanent contraceptive methods

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Compare different contraceptive methods, and see how well they work at preventing pregnancy.

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