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The side effects of sterilisation are primarily those of the surgical procedure- i.e. risks of the anaesthetic, possible infection, possible bowel damage if electrocautery employed.

There is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy should the procedure fail - occurring in about 0.4 per 100 women per year. A woman undergoing sterilisation must be counselled upon the necessity to have a pregnancy test if she should miss a period, and, if positive, of the requirement for an early scan to assess whether there is an intrauterine pregnancy.

Periods may appear heavier following sterilisation. This may be because the woman had been previously taking the oral contraceptive pill which often makes periods lighter.


Complications of Filshie clip application that have been reported include:

  • pelvic pain and intraperitoneal migration into the bladder, appendix and vagina (1,2)
  • extraperitoneal migration of the clip - this is an extremely rare complication (3)


  1. Konate A et al.. Intraperitoneal migration of Filshie clip tubal sterilization clips: An uncommon cause of chronic abdominal pain. Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2002; 26: 630–632
  2. Kesby GJ, Korda AR. Migration of a Filshie clip into the urinary bladder seven years after laparoscopic sterilization. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997; 104: 379–382.
  3. Lok IH et al. Spontaneous expulsion of a Filshie clip through the anterior abdominal wall. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2003; 55: 183–185

Last reviewed 01/2018