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Surgery to permanently stop you being able to get pregnant
This page explains what laparoscopic sterilisation is, what happens during the procedure and what to expect during your recovery. Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private laparoscopic sterilisation with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.
If you are certain you don’t want any more children, laparoscopic sterilisation offers many benefits including:
Laparoscopic sterilisation may not be right for everyone. Some disadvantages of the procedure include:
Some alternatives to laparoscopic sterilisation that offer long-term protection against pregnancy include:
Deciding to get sterilised is a big step and it's important that you are sure about having the surgery and fully informed about what it means to have the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about laparoscopic sterilisation, please feel free to discuss them with your consultant during your consultation.
At the end of your appointment, your consultant will decide if laparoscopic sterilisation is right for you based on your age, general health, and the reasons you want to have the procedure. If surgery is not the right option for you, your consultant will discuss some alternative methods of long-term contraception that may be more suitable.
Your consultant will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your surgery. If there's anything you're not sure about, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for your surgery, speak to your consultant or call the hospital for advice. Being well-prepared for your surgery will ease any anxiety you may have as well as helping your surgery and recovery to go more smoothly.
Before your surgery, tell your consultant about any medical conditions or allergies you have and any medication, including over-the-counter medicines you are taking.
Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications like blood thinners before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after your surgery.
You need to use a reliable method of contraception from the day of your surgery until your next period following your laparoscopic sterilisation.
You will not be able to eat or drink anything from midnight on the day of your operation.
On the day of your surgery:
Being in the best possible health before your surgery can reduce the risk of complications and speed up your recovery.
To make sure you are as healthy as possible before your surgery:
When the anaesthetic has taken effect, your consultant will make several small incisions (cuts) in your abdomen. Your abdominal cavity will be pumped full of carbon dioxide gas. This makes it easier for your consultant to see your organs.
A speculum will be inserted into your vagina and a device passed through your cervix into your womb. This allows your consultant to move your womb around to get the best possible images.
Your consultant will insert a laparoscope (a small, flexible camera and light) and surgical instruments through the incisions in your abdomen.
Using the images from the laparoscope as a guide, your surgeon will perform the sterilisation. This can be done in several ways:
When the surgery is finished, your surgeon will close the incisions using dissolvable stitches and apply sterile dressings.
Recovery from any type of surgery is different for everyone and depends on factors such as your age, general health and whether or not there were any complications during your surgery. Your consultant will be able to give you an estimated recovery timeline based on your individual circumstances.
You may experience cramping similar to period pain for the first few days after your surgery. Your abdomen may be swollen, and you may also have some discomfort in your shoulders, upper chest, and neck. This is due to the gas that was pumped into your abdomen during the procedure, and will subside in a few days. Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if you need to.
It's normal to have some slight vaginal bleeding for up to a month after your surgery. Only use sanitary towels during this time, because tampons can increase the risk of infection. Contact your healthcare provider if your bleeding is heavy, lasts longer than a week or has an unpleasant smell.
Your incision wounds will be closed with either dissolvable stitches or surgical glue. Neither of these needs to be removed, but your consultant may arrange a follow-up appointment after around five days to check they are healing properly.
Your incision sites may ooze for the first day or two. You will normally have a sterile dressing in place for the first twenty-four hours after which it can be removed. Your surgical wounds should be kept clean and dry. Always wash your hands before and after any contact with your wounds.
You can take a shower the morning after your surgery. Dry your incision sites carefully afterwards by patting them dry with a clean towel. Contact your healthcare provider if your wounds become red, sore, swollen or have an unpleasant smell.
Laparoscopic sterilisation can usually be done as a day case, meaning you'll be able to go home later the same day. In some cases, you may need to spend one night in hospital.
Due to the general anaesthetic, it is not safe for you to drive yourself home from hospital after your surgery. Please make arrangements for someone to come and collect you. We can arrange for a taxi to collect you, but it's always best to have a loved one with you when you get home.
We recommend that you rest at home for at least the first two days after your procedure. If you have a sedentary job like office work, you may be able to return to work after a few days. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least a week after your surgery.
Do not drive for at least 48 hours after having a general anaesthetic as your reaction times may still be impaired. After this, you can drive when you feel safe to do so and can wear a seatbelt and perform an emergency stop comfortably. You should check with your insurance company, as they may have specific rules about when you're safe to drive.
Recovery from laparoscopic sterilisation is different for everyone. You can help your recovery by following your consultant's post-operative instructions carefully. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns during your recovery.
After your surgery, increase your activity level gradually and stop if you experience pain or feel particularly tired. Most women are able to resume normal activities about a week after surgery.
As with all types of surgery, laparoscopic sterilisation carries a small risk of complications. Your consultant will explain all the possible risks and complications before your surgery and answer any questions you may have. Being as well-informed as possible about the possible risks and complications of your procedure will allow you to make an informed decision.
Possible complications of any surgery include:
Possible complications specific to laparoscopic sterilisation include:
Laparoscopic sterilisation is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
You can have sex as soon as you feel comfortable after your surgery. Your sex life and libido (sex drive) should not be affected by your sterilisation.
You may not have a period for around four to six weeks after your surgery. Your period may be heavier than normal, and you may experience some discomfort for the first two to three menstrual cycles after your sterilisation.
You can swim or take a bath two weeks after your surgery.
Laparoscopic sterilisation normally takes around twenty minutes.
No. Sterilisation does not affect your hormone levels or menstrual cycle, and does not cause early menopause.
If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about laparoscopic sterilisation, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.