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What is Tubal ligation or 'getting your tubes tied'?

Tubal ligation or tubectomy is a permanent method of female birth control. It is also known as 'getting your tubes tied' or female sterilisation. It is an irreversible, surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy.

What is tubal ligation?

Common name for tubal ligation means 'getting your tubes tied'. These tubes are fallopian tubes, which releases an egg every month during ovulation and travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. It is an irreversible, surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy. It is also called female sterilisation. 

Tubal ligation comes under the long acting and permanent methods or LAPMs. These are methods of birth control that provide effective contraception over an extended period without requiring the user to act repeatedly.

How is it done? 

'It can be done by laparoscopically or by doing a mini-surgery,' says Dr Nimmi Rastogi, obstetrician and gynaecologist and Advisor at Delhi government’s Health Dialogue and Development Commission. In tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are closed or blocked off.

Egg moves through fallopian tubes, waiting for sperm to fertilize it; this fertilized egg is then carried to and planted in the uterus to create a pregnancy. When tubal ligation happens, it cuts off chance for fertilization to happen for the purpose of pregnancy.

Between 2017-18, 93.1% of permanent contraception was tubectomy, according to the National Health Mission.


Is it reversible? 

“But even that is reversible, under a skilled surgeon. This process is called tubal recanalisation,” says Dr Rastogi.

Possible complications from tubectomy

Complications may include wound sepsis, haematoma or clotting of blood in tissues of the abdominal wall, tetanus, intestinal (or bowel) obstruction, peritonitis (inflammation of peritoneum, the membrane lining inner abdominal wall). Other rare complications might include incisional hernia or hernia caused by an incompletely healed surgical wound.

Pros of getting your tubes tied 

  • It’s permanent. 
  • It is effective and works 
  • Non hormonal 
  • Can be done during C-section 

Cons of getting your tubes tied 

  • Requires a small surgery 
  • Irreversible and permanent. Go for this method if you are absolutely sure about not having children in future. 
  • You don’t need to remember anything 
  • Does not protect against STI/STDs

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