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Tubal ligation

What is tubal ligation?

Permanent contraception is called sterilisation.

A tubal ligation is a procedure to cut or clip the fallopian tubes.

A tubal ligation (also known as 'having your tubes tied') is a procedure to close both fallopian tubes which means that sperm can’t get to an egg to fertilise it.

How is a tubal ligation done?

The tubes are closed using rings or clips or by cutting and tying.

It is usually done by putting a tiny telescope called a laparoscope in through a small cut near the belly button and closing the tubes through another small cut near the pubic hair.

If a laparoscope can’t be used then a longer cut is made near the pubic hair.

Tubal ligations are done in hospital under a general anaesthetic. Depending on the type of operation it may be day surgery or may require a stay of one to two days in hospital.

How effective is tubal ligation?

The failure rate for tubal ligation is one in 200.

Does Family Planning do tubal ligations?

We don’t do tubal ligations at our clinics.

Our nurses and doctors can refer you to a hospital or to a specialist who can perform the procedure.

Talk to our staff if you think tubal ligation might be an option for you.


It is not always possible to reverse tubal ligation and the reversal procedure is not available in public hospitals.

If you consider your decision carefully and do not feel pressured by anyone, you are unlikely to regret your choice.


It is recommended that you discuss sterilisation fully with your partner. This is because you are both affected by the decision.

However, it is not a legal requirement for your partner to give consent. You can choose a tubal ligation if you have no partner or if you have no children.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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