Birth Control - Cut and Tie Tubes

This surgery uses small instruments and a camera to cut or clamp the fallopian tubes to prevent a pregnancy.

This surgery uses small instruments and a camera to cut or clamp the fallopian tubes to prevent a pregnancy.

A tubal ligation is a surgery that uses small instruments and a camera to cut or clamp the fallopian tubes to prevent a pregnancy. The instruments are inserted into one or two small cuts in the abdomen. The fallopian tubes may be:

  • Clamped shut with plastic clips or rings
  • Cut and then sewn closed
  • Sealed with electrical cauterization using a heated wire

A tubal ligation prevents pregnancy in two ways.

  • It blocks the path an egg takes from the ovaries to the uterus. Therefore, the egg, even if it is fertilized, is unable to implant in the uterine wall.
  • It blocks the sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg.

For the first year after the procedure, a tubal ligation is more than ninety-nine percent effective in preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness can change over time and vary depending on:

  • The specific surgical method
  • Age at the time of the procedure

A tubal ligation is an appropriate decision if permanent pregnancy prevention is desired for personal or medical reasons. It can be done after childbirth or as a separate outpatient procedure.

  • A tubal ligation is considered permanent. This can have an emotional impact.
  • Before any type of permanent birth control, carefully consider issues that may be hard to think about (divorce, death of your spouse, death of a child).
  • It is important you discuss this and other methods of permanent birth control with your spouse or partner.

Prior to surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking. This may include over-the-counter medications and supplements. Lab work may be done to make sure you are not pregnant and do not have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Ask about other specific instructions you need to follow before and after the procedure. These include:

  • Medications you should not take before the procedure, such as blood thinners or aspirin
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your procedure
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before the procedure
  • Any activity or dietary restrictions you should follow during your recovery

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.

During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free. Anesthesia may include one of the following:

  • Spinal anesthesia: This is an injection of numbing medication into your back and a relaxing medication in your IV. You will be awake during surgery, but should not feel anything below your waist.
  • General anesthesia: With this type of anesthesia, you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear or feel anything.

You will probably go home the day of your surgery.

  • Strenuous activity, tampon use, douching and sexual activity are typically restricted for a week or so after the procedure.
  • You may need pain medication and help at home while you recover.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have increasing pain, fever, or bleeding.

Do not forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility.

It is important to remember that having a tubal ligation does not protect against any STDs. If you are not in a committed relationship with a single partner, you should practice safe sex and use a condom during any sexual contact.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a tubal ligation?

  • What surgical method will you use?
  • What type of anesthesia will you use?
  • What are the possible risks/complications?
  • How will I feel after the surgery? Will I have to modify my activity?
  • What type of medication can I take to manage the pain after the procedure?
  • When can I return to work and resume sexual activity?
  • What symptoms might indicate a problem after the procedure?


Also known as:

Tubes Tied
Permanent Birth Control
Female Sterilization
Family Planning
Cut and Tie Tubes
Birth Control - Cut and Tie Tubes
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