Tubal ligation is another name for tubectomy or tubal sterilization; a common surgical sterilization method accepted by a large percentage of couples when they do not want to have children anymore. It is a permanent contraception method performed in women.

What is tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure through which the fallopian tube is cut or ligated or sealed or blocked in order to prevent eggs from reaching to the uterus. Fallopian tube, which is also called as uterine tube, is around ten centimetres long through which the egg travels from the ovaries to the uterus to get fertilized. In tubal ligation, the surgeon blocks the passage of the eggs in the fallopian tube preventing it from reaching to the uterus. Therefore the fertilization will not take place thus preventing pregnancy forever.

tubal ligation

How is tubal ligation performed?

Tubal ligation is a safe and simple surgical procedure done under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. In case of tubal ligation immediately after delivery, spinal anaesthesia may be used.

Laparoscopic surgery is mostly conducted for tubal ligation. The surgeon will do two small incisions, one near to the navel and another close to the pubic hairline. Through the navel incision, a laparoscopy, a thin viewing tube, is inserted to view the abdomen. The abdomen will be inflated to get a better view. Another device will be inserted through the other incision to seal or cut the fallopian tube. A band or clip can be used to block the passage or electric current is used for clotting. Sometimes surgeon may cut the fallopian tube. Once the procedure is over, the surgeon will put one or two stitches and bandage on the incisions.

Why tubal ligation is performed?

Tubal ligation is widely performed as a permanent contraceptive method. You should be very sure that you do not want to bear child again before opting for tubal ligation. It is a sure shot way to prevent pregnancy. Moreover, it is performed to lower the risk of ovarian cancer.

Is tubal ligation reversible?

Tubal ligation is recommended only if you do not want to be pregnant again. It is not a short-term contraceptive method. However, tubal ligation can be reversed through a major surgical procedure although the success rate of becoming pregnant is partial. You have other options like IVF to become pregnant again.

Risks in tubal ligation

The laparoscopic procedure is a safe procedure with comparatively less complications. It comes with certain risks as any other surgeries. Some of the possible risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to other adjacent organs
  • Ectopic Pregnancy– a condition is which the egg gets fertilized outside the uterus.
  • Incomplete closure of fallopian tube can result in pregnancy later
  • Side effects of anaesthesia

Your health condition will determine the risks involved in the procedure. If you are obese or smoker, suffer from lung disease or diabetes or have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease your doctor will take necessary precautions to avoid risk.