Female sterilisation

Sterilisation involves a procedure to place metal clips on the fallopian tubes to stop sperm from reaching an unfertilised egg. It’s very effective but slightly less effective than long-term methods such as the implant and the IUD. 

Although it’s reversible, the clips may damage your tubes and pregnancy may not be possible in the future.

  • frequency: fit and forget

  • effectiveness: over 99%

  • STI protection? no

  • periods: no change

What you need to know about sterilisation

Sterilisation is a very effective method of contraception but is less popular than it used to be now that other long-term methods are available. It’s a good option if you’re sure that you don’t want future pregnancies and are willing to have an operation.

How does sterilisation work?

There are different sterilisation methods, but 85% involve a minor operation to put clips on the fallopian tubes. These clips then stop sperm from reaching an egg after ovulation.

Female sterilisation and your health

As you’ll need minor surgery under general anaesthetic, there’s a small risk of complications, as there is with any operation. There’s also a rare chance of ectopic pregnancy, even many years after sterilisation.

About the procedure

You’ll need a referral to a gynaecologist from either your GP or local sexual health clinic. You’ll then have a pre-operation counselling session. If you have a partner, they can also attend the meeting.

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