Definition of STOP (selective tubal occlusion procedure)

STOP (selective tubal occlusion procedure): A nonsurgical form of permanent birth control in which a physician inserts a 4-centimeter (1.6 inch) long metal coil into each one of a woman's two fallopian tubes via a scope passed through the cervix into the uterus and thence into the openings of the fallopian tubes. Over the next few months, tissue grows over the coil to form a plug that prevents fertilized eggs from traveling from the ovaries to the uterus.

STOP takes 15 to 30 minutes, can be done in a doctor's office, and usually requires only a local anesthetic. During a 3-month period after the coils are inserted, women must use other forms of birth control until their physician verifies by X-ray that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked.

STOP is permanent (not reversible) and is designed as an alternative to surgical sterilization which requires general anesthesia and an incision. About 6% of women who have had STOP have side effects, mainly due to improper placement of the coils.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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