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Tubal Ligation

Female Surgical Contraception

Description: Female sterilization is the most popular form of contraception in the world. It is a safe, effective method of birth control for women who have the desired number of children or who do not wish to have children. Sterilization works by sealing the fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Eggs are prevented from meeting sperm, so pregnancy cannot occur.

Considerations: Tubal ligation (also known as female sterilization) is a permanent, irreversible method of contraception. Therefore, it should only be adopted by those who either do not want children or already have the desired number of children.
Female sterilization offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

Availability: All main MSS centres and the government’s Reproductive Health ‘A’ clinics (Family Planning clinics).
MSS centres have carried out innumerable female sterilizations. The service covers consultation/counseling, procedure and aftercare of the sterilization process.
The surgical procedure is performed by a highly trained doctor and takes approximately 15-20 minutes. It is carried out under local anesthetic and sedation, using simple techniques to seal the fallopian tubes.

Effectiveness: over 99%.

What Should be Known about Female Sterilization
Female sterilization is a surgical procedure. Pregnancy is no longer possible after sterilization. In case of any questions or doubts before opting for this method, women are advised to consult a doctor or arrange a meeting with clinic staff.

Prior to the operation:

  • Women are allowed to have light breakfast on the day of the operation. Eating and drinking is permissible soon after the operation.
  • A bath is essential. Before coming to the clinic, the belly button, belly, and genital area needs to be carefully cleansed with soap.
  • Women are advised to wear clean, comfortable, and loose cotton attire.
  • Presence of a family member or friend to help return home from the clinic is important.

Post-operative Instructions:

  • Women are advised to rest at home for one or two days after the operation. Most normal activities can be resumed within two/three days. However, heavy work or lifting of loads should be avoided for up to two weeks to allow the wound to heal completely.
  • The bandage should be prevented from getting wet for one or two days until the wound has dried up.
  • Medicines provided by the doctor or clinic should be taken on time.
  • Sexual activities may be resumed as soon as it is comfortable. This usually takes one week after the operation.
  • Pulling, scratching or irritating the wound is to be avoided.
  • It is normal to experience some pain and swelling around the wound after the operation, and hence should not be taken as a cause for concern.
  • However, the clinic, doctor or health worker must be notified immediately if any of the following symptoms occur:
  • Fever within one week of the operation
  • Constant pain in the belly, or pain that becomes worse with time
  • Pus/discharge from the wound
  • Distension of abdomen

Myth: – Women experience weight gain.
Fact: – The increase in weight is a result of age and not due to the operation.
Myth: – The period flow increases.
Fact: – Any irregularity in periods is because of age or some other reason that needs to be diagnosed. It has nothing to do with the operation.
Myth: – One can still have children after the operation.
Fact: – If the tubes are ligated properly, then a woman cannot conceive as tubal ligation is a permanent and irreversible contraceptive method.