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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Tubal ligation

​What is a tubal ligation?​

A tubal ligation is a permanent method of birth control. It is a surgery to close your fallopian tubes (the tubes that the egg travels through). This stops the egg and sperm from meeting. If the egg and sperm can’t meet, you can’t get pregnant.

How well does tubal ligation work?

  • Tubal ligation is 99.5% effective. If you have had a tubal ligation and you miss a period, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • A tubal ligation doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.

How do I get a tubal ligation?

A tubal ligation can be done while you are asleep (general anesthetic) or while you are awake (local anesthetic). It normally takes 15 to 30 minutes. You will likely go home the same day as your procedure.

There are many different ways to do a tubal ligation. Your doctor will discuss with you which surgery is best for you. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

What are the benefits of tubal ligation?

  • No one will know you have had a tubal ligation unless you tell them.
  • A tubal ligation is a method of birth control that doesn’t interrupt intercourse.
  • After a tubal ligation, there are no long-term effects.
  • Tubal ligation doesn’t affect your hormone levels or sex drive.
  • The procedure is done as day surgery in a hospital, so you don’t need to take much time off work.
  • Most tubal ligations are effective right away. Your doctor will tell you any special instructions.
  • After some types of tubal ligation, the risk of ovarian cancer may be decreased.

What are the side effects of tubal ligation?

You will likely have some pain for a few days after your surgery.

What else do I need to know about tubal ligation?

  • All surgeries have some risks (like bleeding, infection, and general anesthetic effects). If you have any questions, talk to your doctor.
  • A tubal ligation isn't easy to reverse. Make sure you don't want to have children before you decide to have one.​​

What else is important to know about consent, sexual activity, and birth control?

  • You have the right to decide to have sex or not. Talk with your partner or partners about consent.
  • There’s an 85% chance of becoming pregnant within one year, if no birth control is used for vaginal sex.
  • Use a condom or barrier every time you have sex (oral, vaginal, anal). Condoms help prevent pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.
  • You can lower your risk of HIV by taking an HIV prevention pill every day. Many Albertans can get it for free. Visit HIV PrEP to find out more.
  • Transgender and gender diverse people who have a uterus can use hormonal birth control. It can help prevent pregnancy and make periods lighter and less painful.

Where can I find more information?

If you have questions, need to find a sexual health clinic near you, or want more information, call Health Link at 811 anytime, day or night, to talk to a registered nurse.

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