Female Sterilization – How Tubal Ligation is Performed & Procedure Cost in India
When you are sure you don’t want to have kids anymore, sterilization is the option that can put a break on your fertility. Sterilization can be done in both males and females and can be both temporary and permanent in nature. Let’s discuss female sterilization in detail along with its advantages and disadvantages.
Female sterilization is a process of permanently stopping the ability of a woman to become pregnant. Medically, it is known by the term tubal ligation or tubectomy as in this process, fallopian tubes are tied in order to prevent pregnancy. One can also call it a permanent birth control method.
How common is female sterilization?
In the developing nations, female sterilization is one of the most common birth control methods. Around 51 percent of women in the age group of 40-45 are likely to opt sterilization as their permanent birth control method.
Know the Different Methods of Birth Control
Who needs sterilization?
Tubal ligation is not for everyone. It permanently snatches away your ability to become pregnant in future. So if you have made up your mind not to have children in future, you need to talk to your doctor and explore your options.
Types of female sterilization
Female sterilisation can be divided mainly into two categories; surgical and nonsurgical.
- Surgical sterilization – In this procedure, the fallopian tubes are tied, cut or sealed to prevent pregnancy. This is a minimally invasive surgery and performed using a laparoscope. Surgical sterilization can also be done after vaginal or c-section delivery.
- Nonsurgical sterilization – These procedures involve placing devices in the fallopian tubes in order to seal them. The devices can be put through the vagina and uterus and don’t require any incision.
How female sterilization works?
Sterilization is aimed at blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes. This is done to prevent the egg from reaching the uterus as well as to keep off sperm from reaching the egg for fertilization. Where nonsurgical sterilization may take up to 3 months to be effective, tubal ligation is up and working immediately after the surgery.
Female sterilization – Preparation before the procedure
Your doctor will discuss with you on the procedure and the reasons why you are opting. It will let you figure out the right option so that you do not regret your decision afterward. Your doctor may review following things with you before the procedure:
- The pros and cons of sterilisation
- Permanent and reversible methods
- Details of the surgery
- Probability of failure
- The best time to perform the surgery for instance, after childbirth or after abdominal surgery
Procedure of female sterilization
Depending on the type of procedure, it can be performed either in the doctor’s clinic or at the hospital.
The doctor will give you anesthesia and will inflate your abdomen with gas and make a small cut for accessing the reproductive organs through a laparoscope. The doctor will then seal the fallopian tubes by cutting and folding the tubes by making a second small incision. Then the sections of the tubes will be removed and blocked with bands or clips.
The nonsurgical sterilization involves placing a single device through the vagina. The device is called as fallopian tube occlusion. It comprises of two tiny metal coils, one inserted through the vagina and cervix into each fallopian tube. This leads to the formation of scar tissue around the coil eventually blocking the tubes.
This procedure does not immediately get effective. The scar formation and blockage of fallopian tubes takes time. You will have to return for checkup after sometime to see the effectiveness of the procedure. During the follow-up appointment, the doctor may use hysterosalpingography, a special x-ray that uses dye to check if the tubes are open.
After the procedure – Side effects of female sterilisation
You will probably feel discomfort at the site of incision. Some women may feel:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Shoulder pain
- Bloating or gas
You would be advised not to take bath for 48 hours. The doctor may also suggest you to avoid sex until you are fully recovered.
What are the risks involved in female sterilization?
Though the procedure is safe and rarely risky, accidental injuries might happen to bladder, bowel or arteries. There are also chances of getting ectopic pregnancy.
How much time needed for recovery from female sterilization?
If during the procedure, gas was used, it will be removed after the procedure. You might be discharged several hours after the procedure if you don’t have any complications. As far as recovery is concerned, it takes 2-5 days for full recovery. You will be asked to return for follow-up checkup, most probably after one week.
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Female sterilization – Success rate
Female sterilization is considered as 100 percent effective method of preventing pregnancy. However, as per a study, about 2-10 women out of 100 might become pregnant again after tubal ligation. In another study, it was found that 24-30 out of 1,000 women got pregnant after the surgery.
In terms of nonsurgical procedure, though it is highly effective, some studies show that it is less effective than the surgical procedure, especially in the first year of attempt. Another study published in Contraception showed that 96 women out of 1,000 became pregnant after implantation of fallopian tube occlusion.
Female sterilization cost in India
Fortunately, cost of female sterilization or tubal ligation is much lower as compared to US and UK. However, you will still need to spend high amount as much as around Rs. 1.30 lakhs if the surgery is performed by a private physician. But the procedure is less expensive if done in a family clinic.
Reversing tubal ligation is very costly.
Advantages and disadvantages of female sterilization
While the procedure might sound right to you, take a moment to review its benefits and drawbacks before finalizing your decision.
- Best for those who want permanent and effective birth control. Tubal ligation lasts forever as compared to IUD (intrauterine device) that lasts for 3-10 years.
- It’s extremely safe with low failure rates.
- No serious side effects as in other methods such as birth control pills, IUD implantation, etc. In short, it does not affect your hormones or sexual desire.
- Some studies say female sterilization might cut the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Not a good option for women who want to become pregnant in future. The procedure lasts forever.
- The procedure can be reversed, however, it is very expensive. Nonsurgical sterilization can’t be reversed.
- Not a better choice as compared to IUD implantation, which is temporary. In case you want to become pregnant again, IUD is a good choice.
- It does not prevent you from sexually transmitted diseases
The best way to resolve all your queries is to make an appointment with the doctor. Discuss your case in depth and explore the best option for the birth control. Besides, you need no lifestyle changes if you undergo sterilization.
Keep in mind, in case you regret your decision and want to reverse the procedure, it might not work as it is complicated in most of the cases.
1. Birth control methods(2017, march). office on women's health read more
2. Starilization by laproscopy(2016, May). ACOG read more
3. Tubal ligation(2016, May). MedlinePlus read more
4. Female Sterilization: quick facts OPA read more