Sterilization is a permanent form of birth control. For women, this procedure is known as tubal sterilization. In a tubal sterilization, the fallopian tubes are blocked by being cut and tied, closed shut, sealed with electric current, or blocked with small implants. This prevents sperm from reaching the egg. This procedure is the most common type of birth control.
During the procedure, a laparoscope will be inserted through a small incision near the navel. There will be another incision near the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are closed or blocked. Then the laparoscope is withdrawn, and the incisions are closed with stitches or tape. This can be done under general anesthesia. Risks are generally low, but may include bleeding from the incisions and infections. Pregnancy after sterilization is rare, but if pregnancy after sterilization does occur, the risk of ectopic pregnancy is high.
Laparoscopy generally has a quicker recovery time and fewer complications than other procedures. It is usually performed as outpatient surgery, so you can go home that day. It is effective immediately, so you don’t have to use alternate birth control. Laparoscopy does require a skilled surgeon and specialized equipment. There is potential for injury to the bowel, bladder, or a major blood vessel. It is more invasive than some procedures, and one must consider the risks of the general anesthesia used.
After the procedure you will need someone to drive you home. You may experience dizziness, nausea, shoulder pain, abdominal cramps, feeling gassy or bloated, or a sore throat from the breathing tube during anesthesia. Most women are able to return to their normal routine within one week of the procedure.
This is a permanent procedure so it is a major decision in picking the best procedure. If you choose sterilization and you want to change your mind, then sometimes the reversal doesn’t work. So, make sure you are sure this is what you want to due. There are long-acting birth control methods such as intrauterine devices and birth control implants.