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Alternatives to Postpartum Tubal Ligation

There are two types of tubal ligation procedures. Postpartum tubal ligation is done immediately after the birth of your baby. A woman may also have a tubal ligation done through a laparoscope, which is a specialized camera that allows the doctor to look inside the abdomen (see Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation). These procedures, along with vasectomy, should be thought of as permanent methods of birth control.
Several other alternatives for preventing unwanted pregnancies exist. Although none are as effective as sterilization, they all protect against pregnancy. These include:
  • Periodic abstinence, or natural family planning
  • Barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms
  • Hormonal methods such as birth control pills
  • The Depo-Provera® injection
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The success rate of each method varies.

Postpartum Tubal Ligation: Final Thoughts

Sterilization is an important decision. If you are finished having children, and know for certain that you do not, and will not, desire any future pregnancies, a tubal ligation is a safe and effective means of achieving this goal.
Although there is a very slight chance of pregnancy after this procedure, a postpartum tubal ligation is a highly effective surgical means of birth control. It is intended to be a permanent, irreversible procedure. As with all surgical procedures, there are possible risks and complications. However, postpartum tubal ligation is quite safe and the failure rate is low.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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