What is tubal ligation?

IVF babyCommonly referred to as having one’s tubes tied, tubal ligation and hysteroscopic sterilization offer women permanent birth control. The procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia and typically takes 30 minutes with most women returning home the same day.

During the tubal ligation procedure, the surgeon cuts and ties or seals off the fallopian tubes. Various methods are used to disrupt tubal function including looping and banding the tubes, surgically cutting and electrocauterizing the ends of the tubes or tying the severed ends. Women may opt for tubal ligation at any time, including immediately following childbirth.

Side effects of tubal ligation

Following the tubal ligation procedure, there will likely be some abdominal pain. Other common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Dizziness

After tubal ligation

A few days after undergoing the tubal ligation procedure, women may resume most normal tasks. Tubal ligation does not stop menstruation.

Tubal ligation is about 99.5% effective when used as permanent birth control.

What is hysteroscopic sterilization?

Hysteroscopic sterilization, or tubal occlusion, is a procedure where a device is placed in the fallopian tubes. Scar tissue forms around the devices, blocking the tubes and preventing fertilization. The sterilization procedure does not require general anesthesia and can be performed in the doctor’s office. Hysteroscopic sterilization can be done starting three months after childbirth.

After hysteroscopic sterilization

For three months following hysteroscopic sterilization, other birth control measures should be followed while scar tissue forms. After three months, hysterosalpingography, an X-ray procedure, will verify the fallopian tubes are blocked. Hysteroscopic sterilization is at least 99% effective when used as permanent birth control.