Sterilisation Failure Solicitors - UK Medical Negligence Compensation Claims


SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7005



Whilst most surgical procedures for female sterilisation are carried out satisfactorily there are times when things go wrong as a result of medical negligence resulting in solicitors issuing proceedings in a court of law to claim compensation for what is termed 'wrongful birth' when contraception fails and a child is born. There are a number of surgical methods of carrying out female sterilisation and a number of terms for the procedure including tubal sterilisation, tubal ligation and tubal occlusion. Our solicitors use the no win no fee scheme and in the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you would like advice from a medical negligence solicitor on failed sterilisation just use the helpline or contact our offices by email.

Surgical sterilisation is considered a low risk but highly effective form of contraception. As this surgery is permanent, it offers peace of mind by providing lifetime protection from pregnancy for the majority of women who undergo the procedure. However, this is not always the case as failure can occur. The procedure commonly referred to as having the 'tubes tied' involves creating a restriction in the area of the female body involved with the very first stage of reproduction, the fallopian tubes. This may be accomplished by a variety of techniques :

  • The fallopian tubes are cut and tied (via a postpartum partial salpingectomy).
  • The fallopian tubes are "pinched shut" with Filshie clips, which are clamped over the fallopian tubes.
  • The fallopian tubes are 'tied off' through use of a silicone rubber band tightly restricting the tubes.
  • Essure is a coil-like device that is introduced into the fallopian tubes to create an obstruction. The micro-coil is not, strictly speaking, a surgical procedure as it accesses the fallopian tubes through the vagina and uterus. Scar tissue grows in the area and, after 3 months, blockage of the fallopian tubes is complete. It should be noted that this method is new and, thus, there are no evaluations of the failure rate available as yet.

All these methods theoretically prevent fertilisation, but still leave the ovaries fully functional to produce eggs as normal. All are considered safe methods. The procedure for each technique is viewed as minor and there should be no reason for further prevention surgery.

Advantages of Sterilisation

There are many advantages, both psychological and physiological. These include :

  • The procedure is effective immediately.
  • It allows sexual spontaneity at any time.
  • It is a permanent method of birth control.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, which may be more easily contracted due to the freedom sterilisation provides. Unfortunately, sexual safety is often neglected after sterilisation, but safe sex precautions should always be followed to prevent STDs.

Disadvantages of Sterilisation

These possible drawbacks should be given careful consideration before any decision is made to undergo a sterilisation procedure :

  • The procedure may fail and result in pregnancy.
  • It requires undergoing surgery, which, although minor, still carries risks .
  • It is more complicated than male sterilisation.
  • It may not be reversible.
  • There is a possibility of regret.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, which may be more easily contracted due to the freedom sterilisation provides. Unfortunately, sexual safety is often neglected after sterilisation, but safe sex precautions should always be followed to prevent STDs.

Reasons for Failure of Sterilisation

Research shows that the percentage of failure of sterilisation is approximately 1 in 1,000. The reasons can be due to several factors, including :

  • The woman may have been recently pregnant when the procedure was carried out.
  • The younger the woman (25-35 years old), the higher the chances of failure of sterilisation.
  • Sterilisation of women who are non-white, are 2.5 times more likely to fail than in Caucasian women.
  • Failure can occur from 1 to 10 years after date of the procedure.

Conclusion

There are several factors to take into account when discussing the results of failed sterilisation. Research has shown that there is a slight risk of ectopic pregnancy for sterilised women.

Research also indicates large differences in results of the different procedures. The highest failure rate is for those procedures that have the potential to be reversible at a later date, such as clamping with Filshie clips and silicone rubber band methods. The safest and most permanent method of female sterilisation is the postpartum partial salpingectomy (severing the fallopian tubes and sealing the ends).


SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7005