Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Tubal ligation (female surgical sterilization)

2006 June 26

Tubal ligation is also known as:

* having your tubes tied
* sterilization

“Make an appointment”:/about/appointments to speak to a clinic doctor or nurse about tubal ligation options in Greater Victoria.

h3. What is tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is a permanent surgical procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are obstructed or disconnected so that her eggs (ova) cannot reach the uterus or be fertilized by sperm.

Tubal ligation is not reliably reversible and is therefore only suitable for women who are certain they don’t want to have any more children, ever.

h3. It is permanent, effective and affordable

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

* It is one of the most effective forms of birth control.
* The procedure is permanent.
* No significant long term side effects.
* It is very private and cost-effective. The procedure is *free* for women who have BC medical coverage.
* No interference with intercourse.
* No compliance issues (i.e. no pill to remember everyday)

Women are fully able to enjoy sex after a tubal ligation. Usually, hormone levels and a woman’s menstrual cycle are not noticeably changed by sterilization. Ovaries continue to release eggs, but they stop in the tubes and are reabsorbed by the body. Some women experience improved sexual pleasure because they are less worried about becoming pregnant.

h3. Tubal ligation surgery can be done two ways

The tubal ligation procedure is performed in a hospital usually by a gynecologist. 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 woman has just given birth by caesarean section as the incision has already been made for the birth of the baby.

* *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.

h3. Tubal ligation should be considered carefully

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

Remember, a tubal ligation does not protect you from “sexually transmitted infections (STIs)”:/infections/. Practice “sex safety”:/sex-safety/.