Female sterilisation is an operation to cut, tie or block the fallopian tubes (the tubes between the ovary and the uterus) with rings or clips. It is a permanent method of contraception, which means you will not be able to have any more children.
If you decide you don't want to have children in the future, you may wish to consider female sterilisation. In the majority of cases, it is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, according to clinical sources.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having surgery can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.
Female sterilisation is usually performed under general anaesthesia, which means you'll be asleep during the procedure and feel no pain. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.
The procedure is often performed through keyhole surgery, using a narrow, tube-like telescope called a laparoscope. Your surgeon will make a small cut in your abdomen and pass the laparoscope through it to view your uterus and fallopian tubes. Instruments are passed through further small cuts to cut, tie or block the tubes.
Sometimes a larger cut is required to perform female sterilisation, particularly if you have had previous surgery.
Female sterilisation is usually performed as a day case, so you won't need to stay overnight in hospital.
After the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You may have some pain, similar to period pains, after the operation. Over the counter painkillers can help with this.
You may experience some bleeding after the procedure and should use a sanitary towel, not a tampon.
After female sterilisation, you should continue to use contraception until your next period.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After female sterilisation, we will provide you with all the appropriate medication, advice on what to do and not to do, and follow-up medical support.
On rare occasions, complications following female sterilisation can occur. If you experience excessive bleeding soon after the operation or an infection, call us straight away. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
Although female sterilisation is generally effective, it is still possible that you may become pregnant for up to several years following the procedure. About one in 200 women become pregnant after female sterilisation.
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The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Thames Valley Hospital is only a 10 minute drive from both the M4 and M40 motorways and we are less than half an hour from central London by train.
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