If don't ever want to get pregnant in the future, tubal ligation might be the right birth control for you.
Tubal ligation is permanent birth control surgery. The procedure is also known as "getting your tubes tied" or "female sterilization."
It prevents you from getting pregnant by blocking or removing your fallopian tubes. These thin tubes carry an egg from your ovary to your uterus when you ovulate every month.
Blocking or removing these tubes means that:
- An egg can't travel from your ovaries to your uterus to be fertilized.
- Sperm can't travel up the tubes to reach the egg to fertilize it.
Tubal ligation is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Having tubal ligation at UI Hospitals & Clinics
UI Health Care family planning specialists typically perform the type of tubal ligation that totally removes both fallopian tubes. This is called bilateral salpingectomy.
Because the tubes are removed, it's the most effective permanent birth control surgery.
And studies show that this approach may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer in the future.
You can have tubal ligation after delivering a baby, or as a standalone procedure.
Tubal ligation right after delivery
The timing of your tubal ligation after you have a baby depends on how you deliver.
If you deliver vaginally, your provider may do the procedure anytime up to 24 hours after delivery.
If you deliver by C-section, your obstetrician can do a tubal ligation right away through the same incision used to deliver your baby.
Tubal ligation as a separate procedure
UI Health Care specialists perform tubal ligation as a minimally invasive procedure.
The procedure is typically performed using two to three small incisions. Some providers offer an approach called SILS (single-incision laparoscopic surgery).
SILS uses one small incision, about an inch long, through your belly button. This means less pain and faster recovery than if you had multiple incisions.
On the day of your procedure
If you’re not having your procedure immediately after you deliver, it takes 30 to 60 minutes. You can go home the same day.
- You’ll be placed under general anesthesia.
- Your provider will make a small incision through your belly button.
- They'll place a small amount of air into your belly to expand it. This makes your uterus and fallopian tubes easy to see.
- They'll insert small surgical instruments through the incision.
- They'll use a device to cauterize the fallopian tubes and remove them.
- You'll be monitored in a recovery room for a couple of hours before going home.
Tubal ligation is effective at preventing pregnancy right away, but you'll need some time to heal.
Recovery usually takes about one to three weeks. Your provider will tell you when you can resume having sex.
Are you a candidate for tubal ligation?
Tubal ligation is recommended only for people absolutely sure they don't want to get pregnant anytime in the future.
You shouldn't choose tubal ligation if you're not sure about it or think you might want to have children later.
What if you change your mind later?
Depending on the type of tubal ligation procedure you have, it may be possible to have another procedure later to reverse it. If your fallopian tubes are removed, which is the most common approach, reversal is not an option.
If you have tubal ligation but later change your mind and want to get pregnant, in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be an alternative to reversal surgery.