Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised

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Tubal ligation is a permanent form of birth control for females. Make an appointment to discuss tubal ligation with a clinic physician or nurse.

Tubal ligation is also known as:

  • having your tubes tied
  • sterilization

Make an appointment to speak to a clinic doctor or nurse about tubal ligation options in Greater Victoria.

What is tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is a permanent surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are obstructed, disconnected, interrupted so that an egg (ovum) cannot be fertilized by sperm.

Tubal ligation is not reliably reversible and is therefore most suitable for people who are certain they would not like to have a pregnancy or feel their family is complete. Reproductive technology may be used be to assist in achieving a pregnancy if tubal ligation has been performed in the past and a person wants to acheive a pregnancy. In BC, reproductive technology is not covered be basic medical services coverage.

It is permanent, effective and affordable

Benefits of tubal ligation as a method of birth control include:

  • 99.5% effective
  • Immediate effectiveness
  • The procedure is permanent.
  • No significant long term side effects.
  • It is very private and cost-effective. The procedure is free for people who have BC medical coverage.
  • No interference with intercourse.
  • No compliance issues (i.e. no pill to remember everyday or string to check)

Risks

  • Regret for decision
  • Permanent
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • Clients may not be able to access the method depending on age or birth status.

People who have had tubal ligation are fully able to enjoy sex . Usually, hormone levels and the  menstrual cycle are not noticeably changed. Ovaries continue to release eggs, but they are interrupted in the tubes and are reabsorbed by the body. Some women experience improved sexual pleasure because they are less worried about becoming pregnant.

Tubal ligation surgery can be done two ways

The tubal ligation procedure is performed in a hospital using a general anesthetic usually by a gynecologist. The tubes are cut, clamped, cauterized or tied. There are two different ways of doing the surgery, depending on the doctor and the timing of the surgery:

  • Abdominal incision. An incision is made just above the pubic hairline and the fallopian tubes are cut and sealed. This is a common procedure if the person has just given birth by Caesarean section as the incision has already been made for the birth.
  • Laparoscopy. A very tiny incision is made in the woman’s abdomen and a thin tube carrying a camera is inserted along with the instruments used to cut and seal the fallopian tubes.

Tubal ligation should be considered carefully

The decision to have a tubal ligation can be complex. Take time to assess your situation and decision and discuss your thoughts and concerns openly and honestly with your partner.

Remember, a tubal ligation does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Practice sex safety.