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.
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.
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?
- feeling or being sick
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
- unsightly scarring
- developing a hernia in the scar
- blood clots
- 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.
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Last reviewed: September 2018