Tubal ligation — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy.
Tubal ligation prevents an egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. The procedure doesn't affect your menstrual cycle.
Tubal ligation can be done at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgery, such as a C-section. Most tubal ligation procedures cannot be reversed. If reversal is attempted, it requires major surgery and isn't always effective.
Tubal ligation is one of the most commonly used surgical sterilization procedures for women. Tubal ligation permanently prevents pregnancy, so you no longer need any type of birth control. However, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Tubal ligation may also decrease your risk of ovarian cancer, especially if the fallopian tubes are removed.
Tubal ligation isn't right for everyone, however. Talk with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of the procedure
Your doctor may also talk to you about other options, including long-acting reversible contraceptives such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or a birth control device that's implanted in your arm.
Tubal ligation is an operation that involves making incisions in your abdomen. It requires anesthesia. Risks associated with tubal ligation include:
Things that make you more likely to have complications from tubal ligation include:
Tubal ligation is a safe and effective form of permanent birth control. But it doesn't work for everyone. Fewer than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant in the first year after the procedure. The younger you are at the time it's done, the more likely it is to fail.
If you do conceive after having a tubal ligation, there's a risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. This means the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical treatment. The pregnancy cannot continue to birth. If you think you're pregnant at any time after a tubal ligation, contact your health care provider immediately.
Keep in mind that although tubal ligation reversal is possible, the reversal procedure is complicated and may not work.