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Meet Your OB/GYN Specialist

Private Practice: Since 1980 to the present
Board-Certified: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Fellowship: Infertility, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
Residency: Ob/Gyn, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL and
Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
MD: University of Health Sciences Chicago Medical School
Instructor: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Christ Community Hospital,
MacNeal Memorial Hospital and Palos Community Hospital
Dr. Miller

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

What Is Laparoscopic Tubal Sterilization?¿En qu© consiste la esterilizaci³n tub¡rica por laparoscopia?

What Is Laparoscopic Tubal Sterilization?

Laparoscopic tubal sterilization is surgery used to block the fallopian tubes. It is often called "having your tubes tied." Blocking the tubes prevents pregnancy. During surgery, a lighted viewing tube called a laparoscope is used to guide other instruments. After surgery, you'll usually go home within a few hours. Tubal sterilization should be considered permanent and irreversible. If you have this surgery, you most likely will never be able to get pregnant again. So, be sure this is what you want. Talk it over with your partner and healthcare provider.

How Effective Is Surgery?

Tubal sterilization surgery is one of the most effective birth control methods. But very rarely, pregnancy can occur after surgery. In some cases, the pregnancy is normal. In other cases, a fertilized egg may begin to grow in a fallopian tube. This is called an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and requires emergency treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions.

The Female Reproductive System

During each menstrual cycle, one of the ovaries releases an egg into a fallopian tube. After vaginal intercourse, sperm can enter the tube to fertilize the egg. If the egg isn't fertilized, it is absorbed by the body or is discharged during your monthly period. 

After Tubal Sterilization

After surgery, each ovary still releases an egg. But the egg's passage through the fallopian tube is now blocked. Sperm also can't pass through the tube to the egg. When egg and sperm can't meet, pregnancy can't occur. The egg is absorbed by your body. You'll continue to have menstrual periods until menopause.

Risks and Complications

Problems with tubal sterilization are rare, but can include:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Damage to blood vessels, nerves, or muscles

  • Damage to the bladder, ureters, or bowel, requiring surgical repair

  • Blood clots

  • Failure to block the fallopian tubes (very rare)

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