Tubal Ligation

Women who are looking for a permanent method of birth control may consider tubal ligation. Also known as "having your tubes tied," the surgery blocks the fallopian tubes, thus preventing pregnancy. It can be performed one to two days after a normal vaginal birth. The procedure is over 99 percent effective at preventing future pregnancy.

What Is Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation is a procedure that prevents future pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes. The procedure is sometimes called "having your tubes tied." The formal name is bilateral tubal ligation, or BTL.
Bilateral means both sides, and tubal ligation means "blocking" the fallopian tubes so your eggs cannot be fertilized or reach the uterus. This is how BTL prevents pregnancy. Recent studies show that this surgery has a success rate of over 99 percent. It is intended to be a permanent, irreversible form of birth control.
There are two types of procedures:

When Is It Performed?

A postpartum tubal ligation is unique in that it occurs after a normal vaginal birth -- usually one to two days after the birth of your child. It does not, however, typically change the amount of time spent in the hospital after you give birth. Laparoscopic tubal ligation is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you go home the day of your laparoscopy.
Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain felt during a procedure. For both types of tubal ligation, the two most common types of anesthesia are spinal and general.

The Tubal Ligation Surgery

To learn more about either type of tubal ligation, click one of the following links:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Pregnancy and Pain