Female Sterilisation

What is it?

  • An operation that results in permanent contraception for women who have completed their family or who never want children.

How does it work?

  • The fallopian tubes (which carry the egg from the ovary to the womb) are blocked off meaning the egg and sperm can’t meet to fertilise.

What’s great about it?

  • Extremely effective (>99%). Only one in 200 sterilised women per year will become pregnant.
  • It’s permanent so no need to use contraception again or attend for clinic visits.
  • No hormones involved so no side effects and your periods are unaffected.

What’s not so great about it?

  • The fallopian tubes can re-join after the operation meaning the sterilisation may not work and you could become pregnant.
  • No protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - condoms advised.
  • Involves surgery and an anaesthetic and the risks associated with these.
  • Its permanent - some women decide they want a child/more children and regret being sterilised. Procedures to reverse the sterilisation may not be successful.
  • Long acting contraceptives like the Cu-IUD, Mirena and Implant are just as effective and do not require an operation.

Where can I get it?

  • This procedure is provided within specialised family planning services. Your GP can refer you.

Additional Links


SH.UK offers a range of free sexual health service such as STI testing, treatment and contraception across the UK. Simply register then complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.

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