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What is sterilisation?

Sterilisation is a procedure to permanently prevent conception.

What is tubal sterilisation?

Tubal sterilisation is a method of sterilisation used in women. It involves treating the fallopian tubes so that sperm and egg do not meet. The fallopian tubes may either be cut, removed, tied, closed with bands or clips, sealed with electric current or scar tissue formed by placing small implants.

What is laparoscopic sterilisation?

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique through which surgery is performed by making a few small incisions on the abdomen. A narrow tube-like instrument called a laparoscope, containing a miniature camera and fine instruments, is used to carry out the procedure. Laparoscopy can also be used to perform a tubal sterilisation.

How will I know if laparoscopic sterilisation is right for me?

Sterilisation is usually a matter of personal choice. However, your doctor may advise against the laparoscopic method if you are overweight or have a complicated medical history. You should never decide on sterilisation if you are under emotional stress or pressure.

How is laparoscopic sterilisation performed?

The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. A few small incisions are made at or near the navel and the laparoscope and instruments are used to access the fallopian tubes.

What will I experience following the procedure?

Following surgery, you will be observed for a short while to make sure there are no complications and will then be able to safely go home. You will have some amount of discomfort and may experience abdominal cramps, bloating, dizziness, nausea, shoulder pain and a sore throat from the tube inserted to administer the anaesthesia. These symptoms are usually short-lived.

What are the other surgical techniques of performing a tubal sterilisation?

Tubal sterilisation may also be performed through:

Mini laparotomy: A larger abdominal incision

Hysteroscopy: A tube inserted through the vagina

How is the laparoscopic technique more beneficial?

As smaller incisions are used compared to a laparotomy, healing following the laparoscopic technique is faster and less complicated. You can usually go home the same day as the procedure. Sterilisation is also immediately effective following laparoscopy, unlike the hysteroscopic method.

What are the risks of laparoscopic sterilisation?

There is a low risk of complications with laparoscopic sterilisation surgery but risks may include bleeding, infection, bowel or bladder injuries and burn injuries that can occur with the electric current.

How effective is laparoscopic sterilisation?

Laparoscopic sterilisation is highly effective at preventing pregnancies. Studies show very low rates of pregnancy 10 years following the procedure.

Can sterilisation be reversed if I change my mind in the future?

Though surgery may be performed to reverse the procedure, it is not very effective and may result in complications such as an ectopic pregnancy.

Are there other alternatives to sterilisation?

Highly effective intrauterine devices or implants provide good long-term birth control and can be reversed should you wish to become pregnant in the future.

Can laparoscopic sterilisation prevent infection with sexually transmitted diseases?

Laparoscopic sterilisation does not prevent infection from sexually transmitted diseases.

The University of Western AustraliaST John of God Health CareGlengarry Private Hospital