Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is a permanent voluntary form of birth control (contraception) in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are surgically cut or blocked off to prevent pregnancy. A tubal ligation disrupts the movement of the egg to the uterus for fertilization and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. A tubal ligation doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle.

During a tubal ligation, your fallopian tubes are burned shut, cut, or closed with a type of clip. Immediately after your tubes are closed, sperm will not be able to reach an egg and cause pregnancy. A tubal ligation is an effective and permanent (lifelong) form of birth control. Before having this surgery, you must be sure that you never want to become pregnant in the future. You will still have monthly periods after your tubal ligation. A tubal ligation will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS or herpes.

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

There are always risks with surgery. You may bleed more than usual, have trouble breathing, or get an infection. Blood vessels or organs such as your bowel or bladder could be injured during surgery. Your caregivers will watch you closely for these problems. Although pregnancy is unlikely after a tubal ligation, there is a small chance of it. If pregnancy does occur, there is an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy). A tubal ligation can be reversed but it does not mean you will be able to get pregnant again. Call your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your surgery and care.

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