Everything You Ever Wanted to know About Female Sterilization

Everything You Ever Wanted to know About Female Sterilization

While not technically correct, “getting your tubes tied” is another term for female sterilization and would you believe that female (and male) sterilization is the second most common method of contraception in the United States? It is.

The most commonly used birth control method for American women is the pill.

The Stats

The Details

  • The medical term for the procedure is tubal ligation; this does not mean “tying your tubes”.
  • In the procedure, “the fallopian tubes are removed or cut and tied with special thread, closed shut with bands or clips, sealed with an electric current, or blocked with scar tissue formed by small implants.”
  • This procedure is intended to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, but you still get your period.
  • There are various methods for the procedure including laparoscopic and transcervical, ligation at the time of at the time of cesarean delivery (often referred to as the “easiest” method) and postabortion.
  • Post procedure symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, shoulder pain, cramps, and a gassy or bloated feeling.
  • Almost all patients are candidates for this procedure, with some exceptions.
  • Studies find that female sterilization is highly effective as a means of birth control (effectiveness varies by method and by patient’s age, race, and ethnicity).
  • Tubal ligation reversal is possible, though only if specific methods are employed for the ligation and this reversal is not always recommended.

In a recent exposé, Broadly discusses how “young women are increasingly interested in sterilization before they ever get pregnant, affirming that they know they will never want children. These women are often discouraged, or flat out refused, by physicians, who say they are too young to make this decision.”

Likely rooted somewhat in sexism, society and medical professionals “worry” about the finality of the procedure and that “one day these women may want kids and regret what they had done in their youth.” This disregard for the agency of women, to make our own decisions about parenting (or not), regardless of our age, is a serious issue and with the prevalence of this procedure and the increasing desire of young women to get sterilized, it’s a conversation that needs to continue.

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing