Tubal sterilization

Summary:

Tubal sterlization is a permanent procedure for women/people with a uterus.
Effectiveness: 99.5%
Cost:
Covered under BC medical insurance (a Care Card).

What is tubal sterilization?

Tubal sterilization (often referred to as tubal ligation or “having your tubes tied”) is a permanent and highly effective form of birth control for women/people with a uterus. It refers to a few different kinds of surgeries that happen in a hospital, under general anesthetic (being put to sleep). It results in someone no longer being able to get pregnant. Tubal ligation is covered under MSP.

What should I consider before getting sterilized?

A tubal sterilization is permanent, and so you should only have one if you are absolutely sure that you do not want future pregnancies. This procedure may sometimes be reversed, but reversal procedures are expensive, can carry health risks, and are not always successful.

Because it is permanent and a significant number of people regret being sterilized later in their lives, many health care providers are reluctant to refer for or perform these procedures if someone is younger in age or does not have children. If you are unsure about whether you want future pregnancies or if you have been turned down for sterilization, an IUD is a good alternative. IUDs are as effective as sterilization procedures. They are also very safe, usually easier and quicker to access than sterilization, and easily reversible.  If you would like to learn more about IUDs, please see our website at www.ewhc.ca

It is important to use another form of effective birth control up until the procedure as the physician will have to be reasonably sure you are not pregnant when it is done.

Please note: If you are in a long term relationship and deciding which of you should be sterilized, vasectomy is usually recommended if possible. It is safer, more effective, easier to get and less invasive than tubal sterilization. Recovery is also faster.

How does it work?

There are a number of different techniques used so that eggs can’t travel from the ovary via the fallopian tube to cause a pregnancy. The fallopian tubes may be blocked, tied, or removed.

How effective is it?

Tubal sterilization is about 99.5% effective.

How much time does it take to recover?

Recovery time depends on which procedure you get, but tends to be longer than with vasectomy.

How do I get an appointment?

You need to go to a family doctor or a walk-in clinic for a referral to a gynecologist, who will schedule you at the hospital. Tubal sterilization is covered by BC medical insurance.

How fast can I get an appointment?

It varies depending on the hospital, but can sometimes be a year or longer.

How will it affect me?

Most studies show that tubal sterilization procedures have no effect on periods. It does not put someone into early menopause or affect your ability to enjoy sex. Unless there is a rare complication, it will not impact your overall health. Complication rates are very low and vary depending on the kind of procedure.

Am I protected right away?

Yes. Follow the instructions given by your doctor, including any follow up appointments they recommend.

Questions? Contact the Sex Sense Line at 604-731-7308 (1-800-739-7367) or www.sexsense.org
Back to Birth Control Methods

210 – 2525 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
Phone hours: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Monday to Friday

Appointments: 604-322-6692
business inquiries only: 604-322-6576
Fax: 604-322-6632

Everywoman’s sits on the traditional, ancestral, and un-ceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples– xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam),  Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish).