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What is Laparoscopic Sterilization?

Sterilization is a permanent method of contraception for women planning not to be pregnant in the future. The laparoscopic technique is a minimally-invasive procedure and in recent years laparoscopic sterilization has gained popularity owing to its advantages over the traditional approach. Laparoscopic sterilization is a technique of tubal ligation to block or close the fallopian tubes, the pathway for sperms to reach eggs for fertilization. Fallopian tubes, located on either side of the uterus, pick up eggs released from the ovaries and transfer them to the uterus. So, if these tubes are closed, sperms fail to reach the eggs and thus fertilization will not occur.

Procedure of Laparoscopic Sterilization

During the surgical procedure, you will have general anesthesia administered so that your muscles remain relaxed and no pain is felt. A device that helps move the uterus is slowly inserted into the vagina. Then, a small incision is made near the belly button through which a laparoscope is passed. The abdomen is inflated so that the surgeon gets an improved view of the internal organs.

A second incision is made at the pubic hairline through which a special device is inserted which is used to grasp the fallopian tubes. Next, the fallopian tubes are sealed off either with an electric current that coagulates the tube (electrocoagulation) or by placing a band or clip over the tubes. In some circumstances, the tubes may also be cut. Once the tubes are sealed, both the laparoscope and grasping device are withdrawn and a small surgical dressing is placed over the incisions on the skin.

You may return home after the observation period, once you have recovered. A follow-up visit will be scheduled within the next 2 to 8 weeks. Vaginal bleeding may continue for up to 1 month after the surgery is considered normal.

Laparoscopic sterilization is considered to cause permanent loss of fertility. Hence, a well-informed, careful decision should be taken bearing in mind the other alternatives, before you decide to undergo laparoscopic sterilization. It offers a very safe and convenient form of contraception that requires no additional measures to prevent pregnancy. It also does not affect the menstrual cycle. The laparoscopic procedure is more advantageous than the traditional procedure. The smaller incisions require a shorter recovery period and the risk of complications is minimal.

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