failure rate ( female sterilisation )

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • Filshie clips are the most commonly used method of female sterilisation in the UK - sterilisation via this method fails in about 2 to 3 per 1000 cases at two years, with a lifetime failure rate of 5 per 1000.

Clips are generally less successful than rings or the Pomeroy procedure. Often, this is due to failure to detect an early implantation at the time of operation. Steps that may be taken to reduce this include:

  • performing a routine D+C at the time of operation. This removes endometrium which may include a fertilised ovum and also creates a hostile environment for the implantation of any fertilised ovum

  • the operation may be planned so as to avoid the luteal phase of the woman's menstrual cycle

  • continuation of existing contraception until operation

Sterilisation is best avoided immediately after delivery as operation is more difficult because the uterus is large and highly vascular, and the tubes are high in the abdomen. The failure rate is increased if the procedure is undertaken immediately post-partum (about 14 per 1000 cases).