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Tubal Sterilization Surgery 

Tubal sterilization is one of the most effective forms of birth control. It blocks the egg from being fertilized by sperm. This prevents pregnancy. The surgery can be an outpatient procedure or done after the birth of a child.

Making the Decision

If you have tubal sterilization, you most likely will never get pregnant again. Be sure that’s what you want. Talk it over with your health care provider and your partner. Surgery to undo tubal sterilization is complicated. It is costly. And it is rarely successful with a higher risk for ectopic pregnancy. So think of tubal sterilization as a lifelong birth control choice.

Closing the Tubes

Your surgeon will choose the best way to block your tubes. Tubes may be closed by one of the following methods: 1) cauterization (heat); 2) use of clip or ring; 3) placement of a metal coil; or 4) cut and tied.

Your Surgery

Your surgeon will tell you your options for how the surgery will be done. There are two ways of doing surgical sterilization.

Outline of female pelvis showing four laparoscopy incisions. One just below belly button, and three in lower abdomen.
Possible laparoscopy incision sites


Outline of female pelvis showing three minilaparotomy incisions. Two just below belly button, and one in lower abdomen.
Minilaparotomy incision sites


This surgery is done without a hospital stay. For the procedure, a laparoscope is used. This is a thin tube with a camera and a light on the end. The surgeon makes 2 to 4 small incisions in the abdomen. The scope is put through one of the incisions. The scope sends live pictures of your fallopian tubes to a video screen. Surgical tools are placed through the other small incisions. Using the live images, the surgeon blocks your tubes. All tools are removed. The incisions are then closed with sutures or staples.



This surgery is often done right after childbirth. A small incision is made near the navel or at the pubic hairline. The surgeon works through this incision to block the tubes. The incision is then closed with sutures or staples. After a cesarean delivery, the sterilization can be done through the existing incision.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 9/25/2014
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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