Tubal ligation icon

Tubal ligation 

  • 99% effective
  • Permanent
  • Performed by a provider
  • No hormones
  • No STI/STD protection
  • Surgical procedure


What is it?
  • Tubal ligation, or female sterilization, is a surgical procedure that permanently prevents you from getting pregnant. It’s also known as “getting your tubes tied.”

  • It’s a safe procedure with a low rate of side effects.

  • Tubal ligation doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), including HIV.
  • Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure, where a doctor permanently closes or blocks your fallopian tubes. 

  • When the fallopian tubes are blocked, sperm can’t get to an egg and cause pregnancy. 
  • You can get tubal ligation at your medical facility. 
  • Because of the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser Permanente members can get certain types of birth control methods at low or no cost. Check with Member Services or your provider for details.
  • Tubal ligation is a one-time procedure that is considered permanent. 

  • It’s usually done through small incisions in the belly. You’ll need either epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia, and it may require a hospital stay. 

  • Recovery can take about a week, and you won’t be able to have sex for up to 2 weeks.

  • Tubal ligation doesn’t cause menopause — you’ll still get your period.

  • You should only get tubal ligation if you’re positive you don’t ever want to get pregnant in the future.
  • Tubal ligation is a permanent birth control method. It’s 99% effective.* 
  • There’s no regular maintenance and side effects are rare.

  • You don’t have to tell anyone you got a tubal ligation.
  • Tubal ligation doesn’t protect against STIs/STDs, including HIV. You should still use condoms to protect yourself.

  • There may be changes in your period. This may include changes in period flow, number of cycle days, or pain during periods.

  • It’s a permanent procedure, so you can’t change your mind after it’s done.

  • All surgical procedures have some risks. It’s best to talk to your doctor about these risks and what to expect during and after surgery.


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© 2020 Kaiser Permanente

*"Sterilization," Planned Parenthood, PlannedParenthood.org/learn/birth-control/sterilization/how-effective-tubal-ligation, accessed August 13, 2019.