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Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure. The doctor cuts or blocks your fallopian tubes through a cut in your skin on your belly. You’ll get medicine to help with pain, and you can usually go home the same day.

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How does tubal ligation feel?

Your doctor will help make your sterilization procedure as comfortable as possible. You may get local anesthesia (a small numbing shot). Your doctor may also give you medicine to help you relax and feel more comfortable. With conscious sedation, you’re awake but super relaxed. With general anesthesia, you sleep through the procedure. Your treatment depends on the type of procedure you’re having. Local anesthesia is much safer than general anesthesia.

What happens during a sterilization procedure?

There are different kinds of sterilization. With a tubal ligation, the doctor will either block or remove small sections of your fallopian tubes. With a bilateral salpingectomy, the doctor will remove your tubes completely. There are a few different ways to do sterilization procedures.

Laparoscopy is one of the most common procedures. You get local anesthesia (numbing medicine), and you may also have general anesthesia to put you to sleep. The doctor pumps gas into your belly so they can see your organs. They make 1 or 2 small cuts near your belly button and use a laparoscope (a tool with a light and a lens) to find your fallopian tubes. Then they close off your tubes or remove them completely through the laparoscope or a second cut. The whole thing takes about 20-30 minutes, and you can usually go home the same day. There’s very little scarring.

Another common procedure is a minilaparotomy. It’s often done right after childbirth. You get local anesthesia and your doctor makes a small cut near your belly button. The doctor brings your fallopian tubes up through the cut, then removes a short section of your tubes, blocks your tubes with clips, or removes the tubes completely. It usually only takes a few days to recover.

How will I feel after sterilization?

How you’ll feel after sterilization depends on your general health, the type of procedure you had, and how well you deal with pain.

You may feel tired and your belly might hurt a little. You can sometimes feel dizzy, nauseous, crampy, or have pain in your belly.

Most symptoms only last a short time. But call your doctor immediately if you:

  • bleed a lot from an incision (the cut from your procedure)

  • get a rash or fever

  • have difficulty breathing

  • have severe, continuous pain in your belly

  • have unusual discharge or odor from your vagina

How long will it take me to recover after my sterilization?

Your recovery depends on your general health, lifestyle, and how your body reacts to surgical procedures.

You can usually recover from sterilization within a couple of days. But it’s a good idea to take it easy until you feel better, and you should avoid lifting anything heavy for a week.

How soon can I have sex after sterilization?

Talk with your doctor about when it's safe to start having sex again. Sterilization starts preventing pregnancy right away,  but you should wait until you feel ready after healing from the procedure to have sex.

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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.
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