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Female sterilization procedures

For women whose family is complete and who no longer wish to use reversible forms of contraception such as the pill or an IUD, a number of options exist for permanent sterilization. In the past, the most common form of female permanent sterilization was a laparoscopic tubal ligation.

  • This technique uses a keyhole incision to pass a camera (laparoscope) through the umbilicus and pass CO2 into the abdomen. The fallopian tubes are viewed and a clip of plastic and titanium placed across each tube. The technique has a quoted failure rate (pregnancies) of 1:300-500 and causes a mild abdominal pain for up to a week post-op. There are risks of laparoscopy which would all be explained, and whilst the clips can be removed at a later stage, it should be thought of as a permanent procedure.

It has been recognized that one of the major forms of ovarian cancer, serous carcinoma of the ovary, is likely to get its origin from the fallopian tube. Accordingly we have been removing the fallopian tubes at all hysterectomies since 2010 and for our patients desiring sterilization, removal of the tubes rather than simply clipping (as described above) is a suitable and viable option.

Dr Rosen was involved in the first stages of introducing a new and less invasive method of hysteroscopic sterilization worldwide. In 2000 he was an investigator in the trials to show the effectiveness of the updated device, and spent 2001-2 travelling around this country training his fellow gynaecologists in the technique of inserting the device, as well as lecturing and demonstrating the procedure in Asia and Europe. Sadly for Australian women, these hysteroscopic devices are no longer supplied to the Australian market leaving Laparoscopic sterilisation as the only available option.

We would be happy to discuss the risks and benefits of female sterilisation as well as comparing them to male sterilization methods (vasectomy).

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