Tubal ligation

A tubal ligation — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy.

A tubal ligation disrupts the movement of the egg to the uterus for fertilization and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. A tubal ligation doesn't affect your menstrual cycle.

A tubal ligation can be done at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgical procedure, such as a C-section. It's possible to reverse a tubal ligation — but reversal requires major surgery and isn't always effective.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect

Tubal ligation is one of the most commonly used surgical sterilization procedures for women. Tubal ligation permanently prevents pregnancy, ending the need for any type of contraception. A tubal ligation may also decrease the risk of ovarian cancer.

Tubal ligation isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your doctor or health care provider will make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of this procedure.

Your doctor may also talk to you about other options, such as hysteroscopic sterilization. Hysteroscopic sterilization involves placing a small coil or other insert into the fallopian tubes through the cervix. The insert causes scar tissue to form and seal off the tubes.

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