Tubal Ligation (Female Sterilization)

Female sterilization is a surgical procedure that blocks the Fallopian tubes. This prevents sperm from reaching the female egg. It also prevents the egg from reaching the uterus. The woman continues to have periods after sterilization. Sterilization is meant to be permanent. It should be used when the woman is sure she wishes not to get pregnant ever again.

How it Works

There are many different ways to perform this surgery. Often the surgery can be done in the out-patient setting and the woman does not have to stay over night in a hospital. To reach the Fallopian tubes, a surgeon must make a small cut into the woman's abdomen. Then the tubes are either cut or closed off.


The chance that this procedure will not work is less than one percent. This means that only 2-5 women in every 1000 women who have the operation will become pregnant.


All surgeries carry some risks. Serious problems happen rarely with tubal ligation. Before any surgery, you should review carefully the risks and benefits with your doctor.


A tubal ligation prevents pregnancies permanently. The woman does need to practice safe sex to decrease the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections.