The feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of hysteroscopic sterilization compared with laparoscopic sterilization

Lina Antoun, Paul Smith, Janesh Gupta, T. Justin Clark

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Background: In contrast to conventional laparoscopic sterilization, newer hysteroscopic approaches avoid the need for hospital admission, general anesthesia, and prolonged recovery. However, there are concerns that the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of hysteroscopic sterilization may be lower than established laparoscopic sterilization.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the outcomes of hysteroscopic sterilization compared with laparoscopic sterilization in routine clinical practice in a comparative observational cohort study.

Study Design: This study was carried out at University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, National Health Service teaching hospital, office hysteroscopy clinics, and day-case hospital unit. In all, 1085 women underwent hysteroscopic sterilization and 2412 had laparoscopic sterilization. Hysteroscopic sterilization was carried out using the tubal implant permanent birth control system in the office setting and laparoscopic sterilization using the tubal ligation system as a day-case under general anesthesia. Outcome data were collected regarding feasibility (technical completion of the sterilization procedure, satisfactory radiological confirmation at 3 months–hysterosalpingogram or transvaginal pelvic ultrasound scan), safety events within 30 days of procedures, reoperations, and unintended pregnancies within 1 year of procedures.

Results: Hysteroscopic sterilization was successful in 992/1085 (91.4%; 95% confidence interval, 89.6–93.0%) at the first attempt. In comparison, bilateral tubal ligation was successfully performed in 2400/2412 (99.5%; 95% confidence interval, 99.2–99.8%) of patients who underwent laparoscopic sterilizations (odds ratio, 18.8; 95% confidence interval, 10.2–34.4). In all, 902/1085 (83.1%; 95% confidence interval, 80.8–85.2%) of successfully performed hysteroscopic procedures attended for radiological confirmation testing were considered satisfactory. The rate of adverse events within 30 days were similar: 2/1085 (0.2%) vs 3 (0.12%; 95% confidence interval, 0.04–0.36%). There were 3/1085 (0.3%; 95% confidence interval, 0.1–0.8%) unintended pregnancies after hysteroscopic sterilization compared with 5/2412 (0.2%; 95% confidence interval, 0.1–0.5%) laparoscopic sterilization (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.3–5.6). Median length of follow-up for pregnancy outcome was 5 years. Hysteroscopic sterilization was associated with a higher risk of reoperation at 1 year compared to laparoscopic sterilization (odds ratio, 6.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.8–14.0) and the commonest reintervention was unilateral salpingectomy (12/22, 54.5%).

Conclusion: Hysteroscopic sterilization has been introduced as a more convenient, office-based method of permanent fertility control. However, while the small risk of unintended pregnancy is comparable to conventional laparoscopic sterilization, women should also be counselled regarding its lower success rate in successfully completing the procedure and its higher rate of failed reoperation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2017


  • hysteroscopic sterilization
  • laparoscopic sterilization
  • unintended pregnancy


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