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Tubal ligation (sometimes called female sterilization) is one of the most effective kinds of birth control. It’s permanent and more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Thinking about sterilization?

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How effective is tubal ligation?

Tubal ligation is really great at preventing pregnancy — more than 99% effective. This means that fewer than 1 out of 100 people who have a tubal ligation (get sterilized) will get pregnant each year. That’s as good as it gets when it comes to pregnancy prevention.

The reason why tubal ligation and other types of sterilization work so well is that it protects you from pregnancy around the clock for the rest of your life. So once you have the procedure and your doctor says it’s safe for you to have sex without any other birth control, that’s pretty much it — you don’t have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. Sterilization is get-it-and-forget-it birth control.

Not ready for permanent birth control, but like the idea of a super effective and convenient method? Check out the IUD and the implant — they’re also more than 99% effective and last several years, but a doctor or nurse can remove them at any time if you want to get pregnant.

Remember, tubal ligation is super effective at preventing pregnancy, but it doesn’t protect you or your partner from STDs. Use condoms to help lower your chances of getting or spreading STDs.

More questions from patients:


Is tubal ligation more effective than vasectomy?

Tubal ligation and vasectomies are both more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. They’re both designed to be permanent, and you can’t mess it up. They protect you from pregnancy around the clock for the rest of your life. The only difference is that vasectomies don’t work right away. It takes about 3 months for your semen to become sperm-free, so a few months after your vasectomy your doctor will do a simple test called a semen analysis to check for sperm in your semen. 

Once your doctor says it’s safe for you to have sex without any other birth control, that’s pretty much it — you don’t have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. 

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Sterilization

  • 99% effective

  • Costs up to $6,000, but can be $0

  • Surgical procedure

  • Do it once, lasts forever

Sterilization doesn’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom to help stop STDs.
See All Methods