Tubal Ligation



A tubal ligation is surgery to close the fallopian tubes that lead from the ovaries to the uterus.

Options to Close Tubes
Tubal ligation
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Possible Complications

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
  • Infection
  • Damage to other organs
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Prior surgery in the same area



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Surgical Sterilization; TL; Tubal Sterilization; Sterilization, Tubal; Sterilization, Surgical)


Office on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov 

Planned Parenthood http://www.plannedparenthood.org 


Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca 

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org 


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 208 Summary: Benefits and Risks of Sterilization. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Mar;133(3):592-594.

Sterilization for women and men. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/contraception/sterilization-for-women-and-men. Accessed August 6, 2020.

Sterilization. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/sterilization-women-4248.htm. Accessed August 6, 2020.

Tubal sterilization. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115331/Tubal-sterilization . Accessed August 6, 2020.

Tubal sterilization (tubal ligation). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/sex-birth-control/birth-control/tubal-sterilization.html. Accessed August 6, 2020.