Tubal Occlusion or Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation is a simple, safe, and effective method of permanent birth control for women. It is a minor surgery, done as an outpatient at any time, even after a birth of a baby or after an abortion. During the surgery, an area of the uterine tubes that sperm travel to get to the eggs is destroyed, either by cutting, burning, stitching, or by placing a clip or loop around them. Because this is a form of permanent control, this decision needs to be made with complete information of other methods, benefits, and risks.
The main benefit of having a tubal ligation is the comfort of knowing you no longer need to worry about using another method of birth control, including those that change your own cycle.
All surgical procedures include risks related to anesthesia, infection, and bleeding. Whatever is used will depend on your situation and body. Most tubal ligation procedures are done using a tool called a laparoscope. This is used through an incision just below your belly button. Often another small cut is placed at your pubic hairline to allow another tool to be used. The second tool can burn, cut, or place clips or loops on your tubes.
Extra damage done by these tools is possible and considered a risk during surgery. Once the surgery is complete, small, dissolving stitches are placed in the cuts and Band-Aids are applied. Patients are usually released a few hours after their surgery to recover for a day or two at home. Pain medicine may be needed and a temporary light diet may be suggested.
Sterilization is a serious decision that is made voluntarily by a woman. She should be well informed and understand that it is permanent, and yet not totally fool proof. Each method has a small failure rate that needs to be understood. Be sure you understand the process, risks, and alternatives before going ahead with a permanent method.