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Female Sterilization

Female sterilization, also called tubal occlusion or ligation, is a permanent contraceptive method for women who do not want more children. The method requires a simple surgical procedure. The two most common female sterilization approaches are minilaparotomy, which is usually performed under local anesthesia with light sedation, and laparoscopy, which requires general anesthesia. Female sterilization does not affect breastfeeding or interfere with intercourse and it is free from the side effects associated with some temporary methods. No medical condition absolutely restricts a woman's eligibility for the method. Some characteristics of female sterilization are highlighted below.


0.2% to 0.5% failure rate during first year of use; 1.8% failure rate over ten years of use

Age limitations         

No restrictions

Parity limitations

No restrictions

Mode of action

By blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent the ovum and sperm from uniting

Effect on STD risk

Not protective

Drug interaction

Certain antiseizure medications (barbiturates, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primadone) and antibiotics (Rifampin and Griseofulvin) may affect the effectiveness of anesthetics

Duration of use

Female sterilization is a permanent contraceptive method

Return to fertility

A woman is sterile from the time the procedure is completed

Return to Contraceptive Method List


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