A tubal ligation is surgery to close a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. This is sometimes referred to as “tying a woman’s tubes”. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. A woman who has this done can no longer get pregnant. A patient should consider this a permanent surgery and assume that this is not reversible.

A tubal ligation is done in a hospital setting or sometimes in an outpatient clinic. There are two different approaches to a tubal, either thru the abdominal wall or thru the vagina. Typically, if the tubal is performed thru the abdominal wall, the patient is given general anesthesia or they are “asleep”. If the procedure is performed thru the vagina, the patient may be awake or asleep.

These procedures take around 30 minutes.

Abdominal Approach

Your surgeon will make one or two small incisions in your abdominal wall then insert a camera to view your fallopian tubes. Gas is pumped thru the camera to expand the belly in order to see your organs. Your tubes are then either burned with cautery or cut off using clips or rings.

Vaginal Approach

Your surgeon will place a speculum in the vagina. The cervix is then visualized and dilated (opened). A small camera is then inserted thru the cervix into the uterus. The openings to the fallopian tubes are then identified and small metal coils are then placed inside the tubes. These coils then cause an inflammatory response which closes the fallopian tubes. It is necessary to have an x-ray in radiology 3 months later to verify that the tubes are closed.

Tubal ligation should only be recommended for women who have completed child bearing. Many women may come to regret having had their “tubes tied”. Studies show that the younger the patient at the time of tubal ligation, the higher the risk of regret. Before having this procedure done, you may want to consider another non permanent form of contraception.