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Female Sterilisation

What is it?

Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception. In women, it involves blocking the fallopian tubes, which carry the eggs from the ovary to the womb (tubal occlusion. Sterilisation is only suitable for people who are sure they never want children or do not want any more children.

There are other long-term methods of contraception which are as effective as sterilisation but not permanent. Reversal of these procedures is possible, but this has a low success rate and is not available within the NHS.  Ask your doctor, nurse or sexual health staff for advice.

How effective is sterilisation?

There is always a very small risk that sterilisation will fail. The tubes can rejoin after sterilisation. This can happen immediately or years after the operation has taken place. If you ever believe a pregnancy is possible, see a doctor or nurse as soon as possible.

With tubal occlusion (female sterilisation) about 2-3 per 1000 fail, although this depends on the exact method of occlusion.

Where can I go for information on sterilisation?

Your GP or practice nurse can all give you advice on sterilisation. If you prefer not to use your own GP, or they don't provide contraceptive services, you can come to your local Sandyford clinic.  All treatment is confidential and free.

What are the advantages of sterilisation?

  • It does not interrupt sex.
  • After being sterilised you do not have to use any contraception to prevent pregnancy. Although you may still want to use condoms to protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

 Only condoms can provide protection against most infections.

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