Sterilisation (laparoscopic)

What is a sterilisation?

Sterilisation is a permanent method of female contraception. It involves blocking both fallopian tubes to prevent you from becoming pregnant (see figure 1).

What are the benefits of surgery?

You or your partner should not need to use another method of contraception.

Are there any alternatives to sterilisation?

There are non-permanent (reversible) methods of female contraception such as hormone implants, a coil or intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD), and the oral contraceptive pill.

A vasectomy is a permanent method of male contraception. The only safe, non-permanent method of male contraception is to use a condom.

Laparascopic sterilisation diagram

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 20 minutes.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen.

They will insert surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

The most common method of sterilisation is to block each fallopian tube by placing a clip on it.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Developing a hernia in the scar
  • Blood clots


Specific complications

  • Damage to internal structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
  • Developing a hernia
  • Surgical emphysema
  • Making a hole in your womb or cervix
  • Failed procedure
  • Failure of the sterilisation
  • Infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder
  • Ectopic pregnancy

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

Rest for one to two days and take painkillers if you need them.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.


A sterilisation is a method of female contraception which is permanent.

Laparoscopic sterilisation is performed at The Foscote Hospital by

  • Mr Hikmat Naoum

    Mr Hikmat Naoum

    Consultant Gynaecologist


    Learn more
  • Mr Jonathan Nicholls gynaecologist

    Mr Jonathan Nicholls

    Consultant Gynaecologist


    Learn more
  • Miss Uloma Okwuosa

    Consultant Gynaecologist


    Learn more
  • Mr Mohamed Raheem gynaecologist

    Mr Mohamed Raheem

    Consultant Gynaecologist


    Learn more


Author: Mr Andrew Woods MBBS MRCOG FRANZCOG and Dr Clare Myers MBBS FRANZCOG

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved.

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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