Female sterilization: how does it work

Female sterilization: how does it work

What are the options for women that no longer desire babies?

Female sterilization includes processes and procedures that intentionally leave an individual unable to bear children (reproduce). Female sterilization is also viewed as a form of birth control. The method works by blocking the passage of the fallopian tubes. Female sterilization is a more complex and expensive procedure than a vasectomy (a male sterilization technique for men).Women aged 40–44 years are more likely than all other age groups to use female sterilization according to average stats, with a further 51 percent selecting the procedure as their primary form of birth control.

Points to note about Female sterilization

In many cases, female sterilization delivers a success rate of 99% and above. Consequently, one in 200 women may conceive in her life after having the procedure done.


  • Women will still have periods after being sterilized.
  • The use of contraception is recommended until the operation is carried out and until your next period or for three months afterwards. This use is dependent on the type of sterilization process chosen.
  • As with any surgery, there's a small risk of complications arising. These complications include internal bleeding, infection or damage to other organs.

Note that chances exist that the operation won't work. Blocked tubes can rejoin soon after the procedure or years later. If the operation fails, the risk of ectopic pregnancy exists (a situation in which a fertilized egg fertilizes/implants outside the womb, usually in the fallopian tube). The sterilization process is difficult to reverse (but not entirely impossible).

Using the Essure technique, a narrow tube with a telescope at its tip, referred to as a hysteroscope, is passed through the vagina and cervix. The doctor employs a  guidewire to insert a tiny piece of titanium metal (or a  micro-insert) into the hysteroscope,  which then goes into each of the fallopian tubes

Tubal Ligation, often referred to severally as sterilization, female sterilization, or “getting your tubes tied”, constitutes a mostly safe and effective surgical procedure that forestalls the occurrence of conception or pregnancy.

How does Tubal Ligation Work?

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that permanently shuts or blocks the fallopian tubes. As a background, eggs leave the ovaries of a female on a monthly basis. These eggs move (in a sense reside in) through the fallopian tubes for a few days, awaiting fertilization by sperm cells. Conception takes place when sperm fertilizes an egg, with the resulting fertilized egg getting implanted in the woman’s uterus.

For a tubal ligation, the patient is placed under need anesthesia. The surgeon will inflate the abdomen with gas and  will make a small incision to reach  the reproductive organs with the laparoscope. Afterwards the fallopian tubes are sealed. The doctor performs this operation in the following ways:

  • By cutting and folding the tubes. In this method, the length of the fallopian tube is reduced by as much as 3 to 4 cm.
  • By removing sections of the tubes.
  • By blocking the tubes with bands or clips. In this way, plastic or titanium clamps are placed over the fallopian tubes, which close the tubes.

Some sterilization process paths require only one instrument and incision while others require one or more instruments.

An important tool in the process of tubal ligation centers on the use of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a small flexible tube that contains a tiny light and camera. The camera relays images of the inside of the patient’s body to a television monitor or screen.  The generated visuals permit the doctor to have clear views of the fallopian tubes.

Last update 14th of September 2018

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