What is sterilization by laparoscopy?

Sterilization by laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that provides permanent birth control for women. Female sterilization involves obstruction or removal of the fallopian tubes.

The fallopian tubes are on either side of the uterus and extend toward the ovaries. They receive eggs from the ovaries and transport them to the uterus. Once the fallopian tubes are closed or removed, the man's sperm can no longer reach the egg.

Laparoscopy enables the physician to complete tubal ligation or tubal removal by making a small incision near the navel. This smaller incision reduces recovery time after surgery and the risk of complications. In most cases, the woman can leave the surgery facility within four hours after laparoscopy.

Am I ready for sterilization?

A woman should carefully weigh her decision to undergo sterilization by laparoscopy. Though this procedure has been successfully reversed in some women, the procedure is intended to produce permanent loss of fertility.

Women who are unsure if they still want children should choose a reversible form of contraception, such as birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a barrier method (such as a diaphragm). Discuss these alternatives with your physician.

Your partner may also consider having a vasectomy, a method of male sterilization that involves severing and tying the vas deferens, a tube that transports sperm.

Why do women choose sterilization by laparoscopy?

For women who no longer want children, sterilization by laparoscopy provides a safe and convenient form of contraception. Once completed, no further steps are needed to prevent pregnancy.

However, laparoscopy may not be suitable for some women. In these cases, tubal ligation or removal may be performed by laparotomy, a more extensive surgery that requires a larger abdominal incision and a day or two of recovery in the hospital.

Will I go through menopause after sterilization by laparoscopy?

Tubal ligation or removal does not change a woman's menstrual cycle or cause menopause.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/26/2019.

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