Tubal ligation, is a surgical method of sterilization for women. The fallopian tubes are blocked or severed to prevent fertilized eggs from traveling down the tubes into the uterus. While tubal ligation is typically performed laparoscopically, with tiny abdominal incisions rather than a large open surgical area, it is still considered major surgery, taking place in a hospital or similar setting with general anesthesia. Conversely, male sterilization (vasectomy) is a minor surgery that can be completed quickly with no hospital stay required.
There are various methods for tubal ligation. The sections of the fallopian tube may be cauterized, clamped or totally removed.
In the first year after the procedure, tubal ligation has been found to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Although uncommon, the tubes may regenerate, resulting in an unintended pregnancy. A portion of these pregnancies may be ectopic, a condition in which the fertilized egg implants in the tube rather than the uterus.