Overview of female sterilization

Overview of female sterilization

Female sterilization is a permanent method to prevent pregnancy. The process involves blocking of the Fallopian tubes so that the passage of eggs is restricted. It is also the primary birth control method in many developed countries. There are two mains methods by which it can be performed – surgical and nonsurgical.

The surgical procedure is known as tubal ligation. In this method, the Fallopian tubes are cut or sealed. It’s sometimes referred to as getting your tubes tied. It is performed as a minimally invasive surgery called laparoscopy. It can be done immediately after the delivery too. Nonsurgical procedures use implants and they are placed in the Fallopian tubes to permanently seal them. In this method, the devices are inserted through the vagina into the Fallopian tubes.

How does it work?
Once the tubes are sealed, it prevents the egg from reaching the uterus and also curtails the sperm from reaching the egg. Tubal ligation can be effective immediately as the tubes are knotted while the nonsurgical procedure can take time as it depends on the development of the scar tissue around the implant.

Tubal ligation requires general anesthesia. The sealing of the Fallopian tubes is done by both cutting and folding the tubes or by removing the section of the tubes. The surgical method is not widely used as this can lead to scars and noticeable marks on the abdomen region. Also, the recovery period is little more when compared to the nonsurgical method.

The nonsurgical method involves an implant called as Essure. It is inserted into the Fallopian tubes and made to coil around the tubes. The effect won’t be felt immediately, but after a few months, scar tissues begins to form around the coil. This in turn permanently blocks the Fallopian tubes. No incision is required in this procedure and the recovery period is very minimal. You might be feeling a mild pain and you can generally get cramps in the region for a few days. But this gradually reduces and you can get on with your day to day activities. You would be required to undergo periodic checkups with your doctor to understand how far the treatment has succeeded.

This is also one of the safest methods of female sterilization and pregnancy after a procedure is extremely rare. However, you have to take up alternate birth control methods till the tissues are getting formed around the clips. This usually takes about three months to form normally.

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