What are some procedures for tubal sterilization?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Several different procedures are available for tubal sterilization. All are intended to be permanent. If the procedure is performed within a week of delivery, it is usually done through a small incision in the abdomen (mini-laparotomy). The tubes are tied with sutures and a small piece of each tube is removed.

Laparoscopy techniques are used when sterilization is performed long after pregnancy. The tubes are blocked by cauterizing them with an electric current or blocking them with small plastic clamps.

A newer procedure (Essure) blocks the tubes from inside the uterus by placing a wire coil within each tube.

Clamping causes the least amount of damage to the tubes and has the highest rate of successful reversal.

When other techniques have been used and pregnancy is later desired, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended as a better alternative than trying to reverse the tubal sterilization.

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