When to Perform the Procedure

IMPORTANT: If there is no medical reason to delay, a woman can have the female sterilization procedure any time she wants if it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant and there are no medical conditions that limit when, where, or how the female sterilization procedure should be performed. To be reasonably certain she is not pregnant, use the Pregnancy Checklist.

Woman's situation When to perform
Having menstrual cycles or switching from another method

 Any time of the month

  • Any time within 7 days after the start of her monthly bleeding. No need to use another method before the procedure.
  • If it is more than 7 days after the start of her monthly bleeding, she can have the procedure any time it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant.
  • If she is switching from oral contraceptives, she can continue taking pills until she has finished the pill pack to maintain her regular cycle.
  • If she is switching from an IUD, she can have the procedure immediately (see Copper-Bearing IUD, Switching From an IUD to Another Method).
No monthly bleeding
  • Any time if it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant.
After childbirth
  • Immediately or within 7 days after giving birth, if she has made a voluntary, informed choice in advance.
  • Any time 6 weeks or more after childbirth if it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant.
After miscarriage or abortion
  • Within 48 hours after uncomplicated abortion, if she has made a voluntary, informed choice in advance.
After using emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)
  • The sterilization procedure can be done within 7 days after the start of her next monthly bleeding or any other time if it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant. Give her a backup method or oral contraceptives to start the day after she finishes taking the ECPs, to use until she can have the procedure.