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Treatment: Female Sterilization

Sterilization, by a method known as tubal ligation, is a means of contraception for women who do not want any more children or for whom pregnancy would be harmful. The operation can be performed through two small incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopic sterilization) or a single incision in the pubic area (minilaparotomy). The operation seals the fallopian tubes, usually by using clips or by cutting and tying them, so that sperm cannot travel through the tubes to fertilize eggs. Although considered permanent, female sterilization has a failure rate of about 3 in 1,000.

Laparoscopic sterilization with clips

A laparoscope is passed through a small incision in the abdomen and the tubes are located. By using a separate tool passed through a second incision, a clip is placed around each tube. The clips block the tubes completely and are left in place.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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