Female sterilisation involves the tying of the fallopian tubes (tuba legation) to interrupt the path through which the ovum passes on its way to the uterus. This litigation prevents the sperms from reacting the ovum, thus canceling out all chances of pregnancy.
It is possible to remove the uterus or ovaries or both in order to sterilise a woman; but such operations are generally performed only when these organs are diseased.
Till recently, female sterilisation was usually done puerperal, 48 hours after child-birth; but today it can be performed at any time after 6 to 8 weeks following child-birth.
There are several advantages of such puerperal or post-partum sterilisation.
“The new born infant has survived its most critical period of life outside the uterus, the first 24 hours; the patient is already hospitalized; often local’ anesthesia may be used; uterine enlargement is adequate to hold the intestines out of the operating field; a smaller incision can be made; and the fallopian tubes are more easily accessible.”
Female sterilisation must, however, be considered a major operation in comparison with male sterilisation. Female sterilisation is, for all practical purposes, irreversible. A sterilised woman has no need to use any contraceptives following tubal legation.
Normally, the sterilised woman does not suffer from any after effects. She continues to ovulate and menstruate as usual, for hormonal production is not affected. As in the case of the unevaluated sperms, the released ova are absorbed.