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Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation

What Are the Expected Results?

Following a laparoscopic tubal ligation, it is reasonable to expect that you will be unable to get pregnant. Recent studies show that this procedure is successful in preventing pregnancy in more than 99 out of 100 women. This means that less than 1 percent of women who have this procedure become pregnant.

What Are the Possible Problems?

No procedure is ever completely free of risks. However, laparoscopic tubal ligation has been performed for many years with successful results and limited complications. If problems do occur, they may include but are not limited to:
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve injury
  • Reactions to medication or anesthesia
  • Other rare and unlikely events.
Fortunately, major complications occur in less than 1 out of 100 procedures. Loss of life occurs in less than 2 out of 100,000 procedures. Therefore, laparoscopic tubal ligation is about six times safer than driving a car and two to three times safer than being pregnant.
(Click Tubal Ligation Complications for more information.)

Alternatives to Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation

There are several alternatives for preventing pregnancy. Although none are as effective as sterilization, they all protect against pregnancy.
These include:
  • Periodic abstinence, or natural family planning
  • Barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms
  • Hormonal methods such as birth control pills
  • The Depo-Provera® injection
  • Intrauterine devices, or IUDs
  • Vasectomy.
The success rate of each method varies.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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