Tubal Ligation Illustrations
Fallopian Tube Anatomy
What is tubal ligation?
Tubal ligation is the general term for any surgical procedure that blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.
Sperm enter the fallopian tube through the uterus, and eggs enter from the ovarian or fimbrial end of the tube. When the fallopian tubes are blocked, sperm and eggs are kept apart and fertilization is prevented.
Ligation means to apply a ligature or tie, and tubal ligation is often called "tying" the tubes. Many people picture tying a fallopian tube like tying a shoe lace or a bow, and wonder why the tube can't simply be untied to restore fertility. To explain this, the anatomy of the normal fallopian tube is shown on this page, followed by illustrations of the most common tubal ligation procedures.
Fallopian tube anatomy
The fallopian tube is a narrow muscular organ arising from the uterus and ending just next to the ovary. The inner tubal lining is rich in cilia, the microscopic hair-like projections that beat in waves and move the egg to the uterus.
The fallopian tube is about 10 cm (4 inches) long and consists of several segments. Starting from the uterus and proceeding toward the ovary, these are the:
- Interstitial segment -- passes through the uterine muscle
- Isthmic segment -- narrow muscular segment by the uterus
- Ampullary segment -- wider middle segment
- Infundibular segment -- funnel shaped segment near the ovary
- Fimbrial segment -- ciliary lining facing the ovary
Tubal ligation procedures
The tubal ligation procedures described in the pages that follow are the:
- Pomeroy Tubal Ligation
- Tubal Rings and Clips
- Monopolar and Bipolar Tubal Coagulation
- Parkland and Irving Procedures
- Essure and Adiana (Hysteroscopic Procedures)