Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Laparoscopic sterilisation

3-minute read

This page will give you information about a laparoscopic sterilisation. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is a sterilisation?

A sterilisation is a permanent method of female contraception. It involves blocking both fallopian tubes to prevent you from becoming pregnant.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You or your partner should not need to use another method of contraception.

Illustration showing the womb and surrounding structures.
The womb and surrounding structures.

Are there any alternatives to sterilisation?

There are non-permanent (reversible) methods of female contraception such as hormone implants, a coil or intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD), and the oral contraceptive pill.

A vasectomy is a permanent method of male contraception. The only safe, non-permanent method of male contraception is to use a condom.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 20 minutes.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen.

They will insert surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

The most common method of sterilisation is to block each fallopian tube by placing a clip on it.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • pain
  • feeling or being sick
  • bleeding
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • unsightly scarring
  • developing a hernia in the scar
  • blood clots

Specific complications

  • damage to internal structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
  • developing a hernia
  • surgical emphysema
  • making a hole in your womb or cervix
  • failed procedure
  • failure of the sterilisation
  • infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder
  • ectopic pregnancy

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

Rest for one to two days and take painkillers if you need them.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.


A sterilisation is a method of female contraception which is permanent.

The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo