Definition - What does Hysteroscopic Sterilization mean?
Hysteroscopic sterilization is a birth control surgery that involves tying the fallopian tubes using a long instrument called hysteroscope. The hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and advanced into the cervix and finally into the uterus and fallopian tubes.
FertilitySmarts explains Hysteroscopic Sterilization
Hysteroscopic sterilization is usually performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient clinic. Usually, all women can be candidates for this procedure, except for those with serious medical problems that prevent them from undergoing general anesthesia, even for a short period. The doctor first makes a cut in the umbilicus (belly button) and one or two more cuts in the midline or lower side section of the abdomen. After achieving abdominal access, both fallopian tubes are identified and blocked with implants or clips.
Following hysteroscopic sterilization, the scar tissue takes about 3 months to completely form and block the tubes. This implies that a woman can still conceive while the tubes are healing and the scar tissue is developing. Because of this, doctors will suggest the use an alternative birth control method to bridge the gap until the surgery works. After 3 months, an X-ray procedure called hysterosalpingography (HSG) is done in order to ensure that the fallopian tubes are blocked. Once an HSG shows that the fallopian tubes are blocked, the backup birth control method will be discontinued.
Hysteroscopic sterilization carries the following risks:
- Difficulty placing the clips or implants within fallopian tubes
- Incomplete blockage of the tubes
- Injury to the uterus and/or fallopian tubes, displacing the implant into the abdomen, calling for surgery
- Ectopic pregnancy (extremely rare)
- Abdominal pain (usually goes away within 48 to 72 hours) but in very rare cases, the pain may not go away and becomes chronic