Tubal Ligation

Tubal Ligation refers to a number of different surgical procedures that permanently blocks the fallopian tubes.
Tubal Ligation
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Street names Clips, tubes tied
Medical names Female tubal ligation (laparoscopic sterilisation or mini-laparotomy), bilateral salpingectomy
Effectiveness 99.5% ?
It lasts Forever
Fertility Permanently infertile
Who can use it? People with a vagina and uterus who are certain they do not want future pregnancies
Hormones Does not contain hormonal medication
Visibility Small external scars and requires a recovery and rest period
STIs No protection ?
Side effects Most commonly linked to anaesthetic used in operation
Cost The costs will vary depending on the fees of the surgeon, anaesthetist, hospital or theatre costs and whether you have a Medicare card or private health insurance.
Where to get it Ask a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor for a referral

How does it work?

Tubal Ligation affects the fallopian tubes that link the eggs (ova) to the uterus. Eggs will continue to be released from the ovaries but they cannot travel along the fallopian tubes to be fertilised. This prevents pregnancy.

Tubal ligation involves abdominal surgery that makes either a horizontal cut below the navel (belly button), or a number of small cuts and usually involves a general anaesthetic. The fallopian tubes are either cut (tubal ligation), or removed (salpingectomy). This contraceptive method works immediately.

You will still need to consider the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) every time you have sex.

What’s it like?

Tubal ligation surgery involves a general or local anaesthetic, so you will not feel pain during the operation. It may take a few weeks to recover and a few months to get back into normal routine.

Tubal ligation is a much smaller operation than a hysterectomy. It will not cause menopause. After experiencing tubal ligation your physical feelings during sex and masturbation will not change.

What if I forget about it?

Tubal ligation is permanent.

Who can use it?

Any person with a vagina and uterus who is certain they would not want to experience future pregnancy.

It is suitable for people who have never experienced pregnancy and for use as contraception after pregnancy.

If you experience polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the Combined Hormonal Contraceptive Pill is generally considered to be the best contraceptive option. However, tubal ligation is also a suitable option for people with PCOS. It is best to discuss your exact situation with a doctor.

Tubal ligation is suitable for people who have experienced breast cancer, and for people with a family history of breast cancer.

Sterilisation is generally not recommended for anyone under the age of 30. Given the effectiveness of contemporary long term contraceptive methods, you may be interested in alternative options such as an IUD or contraceptive implant.

Side effects

Plan to have at least 2-7 days of rest following the procedure. You may experience nausea, headaches, and general abdominal pain. Use ice packs, heat packs, and/or anti-inflammatory medication to manage pain. If you experience uterine bleeding contact a medical professional for advice.

If at any point you feel that this contraceptive method is making you feel uncomfortable or unwell, get advice from a doctor or medical professional. If it is an emergency, call an ambulance on 000.

How and where to get it

A reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor can undertake a health assessment and discuss your surgical referral options. There are many factors that influence the cost of the procedure including surgeon and anaesthetist fees, hospital or theatre costs and if you have medicare or private health insurance.

What if you change your mind

You need to be certain before getting the operation that this is what you want. Some people say that sterilisation is reversible; however attempts at reversals are not recommended as they are usually unsuccessful.

If you are feeling at all uncertain consider long term contraceptive options such as the Copper IUD, the Contraceptive Implant, or the Hormonal IUD. If you change your mind, you can have them taken out.