@Dr_Paula, I am 37 with no children and im scheduled for my sterilisation operation this summer. I am happily married (for nearly 2 yrs) and while its a decision we have both made, I guess I am scared. Im more scared of the operation than the actual decision, what can I expect from the operation and what follows? Thanks in advance.
Many thanks for your question.
Female sterilisation is usually done as a ‘day case’ that means you usually go to hospital early in the morning and can go home the same day.
The operation is usually done under general anaesthetic. It is usually done using a laparoscope (a type of telescope within a thin tube. Two cuts (about 1cm long) are made in the abdomen, one in the tummy button and one further down. One is for the laparoscope and one is for the instrument that holds the clips that go on the fallopian tubes. At the start of the operation the abdomen is slowly inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide some space for the surgeon to work.
The laparoscope is connected to a video camera and a television so that the inside of the abdomen can be seen on a screen. In this way the surgeon can get a good view of your fallopian tubes. The surgeon will place a small clip on each of the fallopian tubes.
At the end of the operation the gas is released from the abdomen and the two small cuts are closed with a disolvable stitch and a small dressing.
The operation usually takes less than half an hour.
Afterwards it is common to feel some discomfort around the cuts and some bruising. Some people feel some bloating and shoulder pain from the gas.
You usually need someone to pick you up from the hospital and be with you for the following 24 hours.
Is this the sort of information that you need?
Do come back to me if you need more information or have a specific question.
Thank you, thats a bit more information than what I was given by the doctors, which great. I know I cant lift anything heavy for at least 5 days afterwards but are there any other restrictions or potential side affects bar a bit of bleeding?
People can need a couple of days of rest after a general anaesthetic. As you say you might have a little bleeding. You might also have some abdominal pain from the gas which will gradually resolve and the cuts will be a bit sore. Thats about it.
Things to think about between now and the operation are excellent contraception - obviously it is very important that you don’t get pregnant in advance of the operation.
I assume that you have considered alternative long term methods of contraception like the coil which are just as effective and also that you have talked about vasectomy which is the alternative method of sterilisation and does not require a general anaesthetic. I am sure that your doctor will have discussed these options with you.
If you need more information on these then you can find it here:
If you are able to share your experience of the operation or any change in your decision then you will help many other people who are facing the same issue.