Female sterilisation is a contraception method chosen by many women after they have had children and wish to have a healthy sex life with their partner without the risk of pregnancy.
This prevents the woman’s eggs from reaching sperm and becoming fertilised. Eggs will still be released from the ovaries as normal, but they will be absorbed naturally into the woman's body.
After your surgery it is recommended that you continue to use contraception until an imaging test has confirmed that your fallopian tubes are blocked.
These treatments will be explained to you fully at your consultation.
Facts you should know about female sterilisation
- In most cases, female sterilisation is more than 99% effective, and only one woman in 200 will become pregnant in her lifetime after having it done.
- You don't have to think about it every day, or every time you have sex, so it doesn't interrupt or affect your sex life.
- Sterilisation can be performed at any time during the menstrual cycle. It does not affect hormone levels.
- Periods with continue after being sterilised.
- It is recommended that you use contraception until the operation is done and until your next period or for three months afterwards (depending on the type of sterilisation).
- As with any surgery, there's a small risk of complications. These include internal bleeding, infection or damage to other organs.
- There's a small risk that the operation won't work. Blocked tubes can rejoin immediately or years later.
- If the operation fails, this may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg implants outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube).
- Sterilisation can be difficult to reverse.
- Female sterilisation doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For this reason it may not be a suitable contraception option for many women.