If you’ve decided that you do not want to have more children, doctors in the Sutter Health network can perform a procedure called tubal ligation, also often called “getting your tubes tied.” During this procedure your fallopian tubes are closed, preventing any further pregnancies. Women who no longer want to have children and have an increased risk of ovarian cancer sometimes also choose to have this procedure to reduce their risk of cancer.
Tubal ligation is usually done under general or local anesthesia through one or two small cuts in your stomach, usually around the belly button, but it can also be done during a C-section. Your abdomen is usually pumped with gas to give your doctor a better view of your uterus and fallopian tubes. Then your doctor will insert a small camera along with other small instruments through the incisions.
Your fallopian tubes are then cut and either cauterized or clamped off. The procedure takes around 30 minutes, and women usually go home the same day.
While rare, some women who have had tubal ligation end up getting pregnant later. This is caused by incompletely closing the tubes and occurs in about one of every 200 women.
Some women who have had tubal ligation later wish to undo the procedure. This is possible with another surgery called a tubal ligation reversal. During this surgery, the tubes are reconnected. A reversal may not be possible if the tube is damaged or if there is too little of your tube left after the initial procedure. However, if the surgery is successful, more than half the women who have a reversal are able to get pregnant.