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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 a woman’s 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?

  • There’s about an 85% chance of getting pregnant after 1 year of having unprotected sex.
  • Tubal ligation is 99.5 percent 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.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex (vaginal, oral, anal) to lower your risk of 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 tell 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.

Did You Know

  • You have the right to make the decision to have sex or not.
  • Plan ahead and decide to protect yourself to lower your risk of pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.
  • It is important to talk with your partner about how you can protect each other.
  • All surgeries have some risks (e.g., bleeding, infection, 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.

For More Information

  • Health Link – Health Advice 24/7: 811

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