BACKGROUND: Tubal ligation is the most popular family planning method worldwide. While its benefits, such as
effectiveness in protecting against pregnancies, minimal need for long-term follow-up and low side-effects profile
are well documented, it has many reported complications. However, to date, these complications have not been
described by residents in Congo. Therefore, the study aimed at exploring the experience of women who had
undergone tubal ligation, focusing on perceptions of physical, psychological and contextual experiences of
METHODS: This qualitative study used a semi-structured questionnaire in a phenomenological paradigm to collect
data. Fifteen participants were purposefully selected among sterilized women who had a ligation procedure
performed, were aged between 30 and 40 years, and were living within the catchment area of the district hospital.
Data were collected by two registered nurses, tape-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Reading and re-reading cut
and paste techniques, and integration were used to establish codes, categories, themes, and description.
RESULTS: Diverse and sometimes opposite changes in somatic symptoms, psychological symptoms, productivity,
ecological relationships, doctor-client relationships, ethical issues, and change of life style were the major problem
CONCLUSIONS: Clients reported conflicting experiences in several areas of their lives after tubal sterilization.
Management, including awareness of the particular features of the client, is needed to decrease the likelihood of
psychosocial morbidity and/or to select clients in need of sterilization.
PML conceived and designed the study, collected data, analyzed and
interpreted data. JH designed the study, interpreted data, and revised it
critically for important intellectual content. LNL designed the study and
revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors read and
approved the final manuscript.