Note: This sterilization method is no longer available in the United States.
Hysteroscopic sterilization provides a permanent form of birth control for women. A device is placed in the fallopian tubes. It makes tissue grow which will then block the tubes and prevent eggs from passing from the ovaries to the uterus. This will keep the sperm from reaching eggs.
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Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is done to prevent pregnancy. It does not stop periods. It does not protect from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
This procedure is only an option for those that want a permanent birth control. Other birth control options are a better choice for those who may want a future pregnancy.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Excess bleeding
- Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
- Improper placement or slipping of device
- Tubes are not completely blocked
- Injury to the uterus or fallopian tubes
- Rupture of fallopian tube during the procedure
- Unintended or ectopic pregnancy
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The care team may meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia options
- Timing the procedure with your menstrual cycle
- Any allergies you may have
- Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
The doctor may give:
- A sedative—you will feel relaxed
- Local anesthesia—the area will be numbed
Description of the Procedure
A soft, flexible tube will be passed through the vagina to the uterus and fallopian tubes. It will let the doctor view the area. A device will be placed into each of the fallopian tubes. The scope is removed.
The inserted devices stimulate the growth of tissue. After about three months, there is often enough scar tissue to block the fallopian tubes.
How Long Will It Take?
About 10 minutes
Will It Hurt?
Cramping is common after the procedure. Medicine and home care help.
At the Care Center
You will be monitored after the procedure is done. It may be up to 45 minutes before you can leave. If there are any problems, you may need to stay longer.
It will take 1 to 2 days for cramping and discomfort to go away. Normal activity can be resumed as a person is able. It will take three months before the device is effective. Another form of birth control will be needed during this time.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
- Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
- Pain or bleeding that lasts longer than you or your doctor expect
- A device that falls out
- New or worsening symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women’s Health Matters
ACOG practice bulletin No. 208 Summary: Benefits and risks of sterilization. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Mar;133(3):592-594. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003134.
Hysteroscopy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/hysteroscopy. Accessed August 25, 2021.
Tubal sterilization. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/tubal-sterilization. Accessed August 25, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG Last Updated: 8/26/2021