Tubal Ligation

  • Over 99.5 % Effective
  • No STI Protection
  • Forever

What is a tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is surgery which block the fallopian tubes with small clips. Fallopian tubes are the pathway for the egg to enter the uterus. This method is sometimes also called sterilisation or “having your tubes tied”.

illustration of tubal ligation

How effective is tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is considered to last forever (permanent).

What stops a tubal ligation from working?

It is very uncommon for a tubal ligation to stop working.

General anaesthetic: a medicine used to make you unconscious. This is usually applied during surgery so you are not aware and unable to feel the pain.  

What happens when I have a tubal ligation?

A small cut is made in the stomach and keyhole surgery is used to place clips on the tubes.

You will need a general anaesthetic. You can usually go home the same day, but sometimes have to stay in hospital over night.

How does a tubal ligation work?

Tubal ligation works by stopping the egg form moving through the fallopian tube. This prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from meeting the egg.

Where can I get a tubal ligation?

You can get a tubal ligation done by a specialist gynaecologist in a hospital or day surgery. You will need a referral from your doctor.

What is good about a tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation

  • Is very effective
  • Can be performed at a public hospital at no cost, although waiting times can be long
  • Is permanent (lasts forever)
  • Does not change how often you have your period
  • Is a choice for those who do not want to use hormonal contraception ; and
  • Does not affect your ability to enjoy sex or reach orgasm.

Are there any side effects from having a tubal ligation?

  • You may have scarring, bruising or infection at the wound site.
  • There can be pain in your abdomen and shoulder for a few days after the procedure.

Can a tubal ligation cause any serious health problems?

There can be damage to blood vessels or the bowel through surgery. This is very rare.

Reasons why a tubal ligation might not be a good option for you:

  • Think you might want children later.

You are more likely to want a tubal ligation reversed if you:

  • Are young (particularly aged under 30 years)
  • Don’t have any children
  • Are having trouble with your current relationship; or
  • Have a tubal ligation at the same time as an abortion or caesarean delivery

What if I’ve had a tubal ligation and I want to become pregnant?

You can reverse a tubal ligation, but it can be expensive. You have around a 50% chance of having a child after reversal.

What else should I know about a tubal ligation?

  • Tubal ligation does not protect you from sexually transmissible infections (STIs).

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Where to get more information, support or advice

This is general information only, you should speak to your doctor for advice and further instruction.

Last updated: 28 June 2018