Your contraception guide
Can I get a sterilisation reversal on the NHS?
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Methods of contraception
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- Things to consider
- Methods that may help heavy or painful periods
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Female sterilisation is considered a permanent form of contraception.
The operation involves cutting, sealing or blocking the fallopian tubes.
This prevents the eggs from reaching the uterus (womb) where they could become fertilised, resulting in pregnancy.
Reversing female sterilisation
Female sterilisation is meant to be permanent. It can be reversed, but it's a very difficult process that involves removing the blocked part of the fallopian tube and rejoining the ends.
There's no guarantee that you'll be fertile again (able to get pregnant) after a sterilisation reversal.
The success rates of female sterilisation reversal vary widely, and depend on factors like age and the method that was used in the original operation.
For example, if your tubes were clipped rather than tied, a successful reversal is more likely.
Sterilisation reversal isn't usually available on the NHS. Speak to your GP for more information.
It's possible to have a sterilisation reversal done privately, although it'll cost between £3,000 and £5,000.
Again, there's no guarantee that the procedure will be successful.
If a sterilisation reversal isn't possible, fertility treatment such as IVF may be an option.
The cost will depend upon the treatment you have. You should consult your GP for further advice.
As with a reversal, there's no guarantee that fertility treatment will be successful.
For these reasons, sterilisation is only usually recommended if you're completely sure that you no longer want children.
Before deciding to be sterilised, you should also consider the other options that are available to you.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods, such as the contraceptive implant, contraceptive injection and IUD (intrauterine device, or coil), may be more suitable if you don't want to get pregnant in the next few years but decide to in the future.
A vasectomy (male sterilisation) is another possibility, and might be a better option if you and your partner already have children and don't want to have any more.
Page last reviewed: 30/01/2018
Next review due: 30/01/2021