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Tubal ligation

Tubal ligation is permanent contraception or sterilisation for women. This page explains how this method works and how to get one.

What is tubal ligation?

Permanent contraception is called sterilisation.

A tubal ligation is a procedure to cut or clip a woman's fallopian tubes.

When a woman is sterilised, the operation is called a tubal ligation. It is a procedure to close both fallopian tubes which means that sperm can’t get to an egg to fertilise it.

How is a tubal ligation done?

The tubes are closed using rings or clips or by cutting and tying.

It is usually done by putting a tiny telescope called a laparoscope in through a small cut near the belly button and closing the tubes through another small cut near the pubic hair.

If a laparoscope can’t be used then a longer cut is made near the pubic hair.

Tubal ligations are done in hospital and the woman has a general anaesthetic. Depending on the type of operation she may go home the same day or stay one to two days in hospital.

Is tubal ligation the only permanent contraception method for women?

There is a new method called Essure where two little coils are put up into the fallopian tubes.

The coils cause the tubes to become blocked over the next few months.

A general anaesthetic is not required for this method.

How effective is tubal ligation?

The failure rate for tubal ligation is one in 200.

Does Family Planning do tubal ligations?

We don’t do tubal ligations at our clinics.

Our nurses and doctors can refer you to a hospital or to a specialist who can perform the procedure.

Talk to our staff if you think tubal ligation might be an option for you.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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