Pregnancy & Gynaecology Injury Claims

Failed Sterilisation Claims

Deciding not to have any more children can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Many families seek sterilisation surgery to prevent conceiving another child. However things can go wrong meaning that you conceive a child despite your decision.

If you have conceived a child despite undergoing sterilisation, our medical negligence lawyers are here to help. We could help you make a claim if your surgeon or doctor failed to:

  • Clamp or cut the fallopian tubes properly
  • Cut the sperm duct correctly
  • Advise on using contraception for four months after a vasectomy

However, sometimes the fallopian tubes and sperm duct regrow naturally after a sterilisation procedure which is a recognised risk of the surgery and therefore not negligent. Our experience in handling these claims means that we can identify if the failed sterilisation was due to natural causes or negligence. If your failed sterilisation was caused by negligence, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors can help you secure funds which can account for your lost right to reduce your family size, care costs, loss of earnings, any maternity/paternity leave and for the cost of re-sterilisation. We’ll always put your needs first, making sure you get the support you need.

We can also help you if surgical errors during your surgery led to unnecessary pain and suffering, for example if the procedure wasn’t performed correctly and as result you required further treatment and additional care.

We can accept cases on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning you won’t end up worse off, even if your claim is unsuccessful*.

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Failed Sterilisation - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and whether you have a legal claim. We’ll discuss what funding options are available to you to pay for your claim, including No Win No Fee agreements*.

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your negligent treatment at an early stage to see if they accept the blame. If they accept responsibility, we’ll try to secure interim compensation payments which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. Any interim payments will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence from independent medical professionals. These experts evaluate what care you should have received and can determine any future implications to your health. They’ll also advise us on the care you’ll need in the future.

      We’ll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim does need to go to court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • You will generally have three years from the date you find out you were pregnant to make a failed sterilisation claim. If you’re making a claim relating to negligence which meant you suffered unnecessary pain and suffering because of errors during your procedure, you’ll have three years from the date of the surgery or from when mistakes were discovered to be the reason for your discomfort.

      The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin investigating what happened in order to get you the compensation you deserve. To make a claim, contact us on 0800 121 6567.

      Find out more about claim time limits

    • Can I Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • Can I Claim Against The NHS?
    • If your failed sterilisation was performed by an NHS organisation and there was negligence, we help you make a claim. You might have concerns about claiming against the NHS and may feel that by seeking compensation you will be depriving the NHS of funds for patient care.

      By making a claim you’re highlighting important issues about the medical care you received, ensuring that someone else won’t suffer from the same mistreatment. Often the appropriate NHS trust will start its own internal investigations to find out how your negligence happened. This can lead to changes which can help protect future patients and raise the standard of care. We also believe that you are entitled to compensation to account for the pain and suffering you have encountered as a result of the negligence and any associated financial losses.

      If you’re still receiving medical treatment from the NHS organisation you’re making a claim against, you have the right to continue treatment with them and any decision about where you can get medical help shouldn’t be affected.

      Our medical negligence lawyers can also help if your negligent sterilisation was performed by a private practitioner, or at a private hospital.

      Find out more about making claims against the NHS

    • Meet Our Experts
    • Our specialist team of medical negligence experts has experience in helping with failed sterilisation cases. We know what it takes to work with families to get the recognition and compensation they deserve, so you can be reassured that your claim is in safe hands.

      We’ll always handle your case with sensitivity, talking to you to understand your needs and to make sure any questions that you may have about making a claim are answered. To make sure your case is as well supported as it can be, we’ll collect evidence from leading experts on fertility issues.

      We have one of the largest medical negligence teams in the country, with award winning experts based across the UK. Our lawyers are proud to have won the Claimant Solicitor of the Year award at the 2015 Rehabilitation First Awards, an accolade which praises our focus on helping clients make the best recovery possible. We’re proud to have won this award on seven other previous occasions.

      View our medical negligence lawyers

They were always there to answer my questions and queries when I was at my most vulnerable and they persevered to obtain the best possible result."

Lisa, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Risks During Vasectomies?

A vasectomy is the male form of sterilisation that prevents the sperm from being able to reach the egg, eliminating the risk of pregnancy. Vasectomies are less invasive and safer than female sterilisation, involving the tubes being cut...

...that carry a man’s sperm from the testicles to the penis. Things can go wrong during this method of sterilisation, which can either lead to unwanted pregnancies or unnecessary pain and suffering.

You might be able to make a claim if your surgeon or doctor failed to:

  • Cut the correct body part (sometimes ligaments are cut instead of tubes)
  • Inform you about the risk of intractable pain (severe, constant pain)
  • Tell you about secondary bleeding and the need for time off work (especially manual labour)
  • Examine your scrotal sack before the procedure to check for conditions
  • Warn you that you’re likely to be fertile for three/four months after the procedure
  • Provide checks on the presence of semen in the sperm after 12 weeks

Vasectomies have a number of side effects that can occur both naturally and because of negligent treatment, including:

  • Haematoma – clots forming around broken blood vessels in the scrotum causing swelling and pain
  • Granulomas forming – sperm leaking out of the cut tubes creating hard lumps
  • Long-term pain in the testicles – this can vary in frequency and at which stage it occurs. You could be advised to undergo further surgery to minimise the pain.
  • Infection – bacteria can cause infection in the cuts made in your scrotum
  • Testicles feeling full – the epididymis (tubes in each testicle) can become full with stored sperm
  • Fertility – the vas deferens can reconnect meaning this procedure will no longer act as contraception  

As well as helping when failed vasectomies result in unwanted conception, we can also assist with your claim if you’ve suffered excessive pain because of your doctor’s actions (or another medical professional), or weren’t informed about the risks and side effects of your vasectomy.

To find out more about how we can help, contact us today on 0800 121 6567.

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What Can Go Wrong During Female Sterilisation?

Female sterilisation is a form of contraception which involves sealing or blocking the fallopian tubes. This stops the sperm reaching the eggs, preventing the chance of getting pregnant. Female sterilisation can be performed in different ways including...

... tubal occlusion (when the tubes are blocked with clips or rings) and hysteroscopic sterilisation (when implants are used to block the fallopian tubes).

All types of female sterilisation have risks, and your doctor should inform you of these so you can make an informed decision about the procedure. These risks include:

  • Tubal occlusion complications – internal bleeding and infections to other organs
  • Failed sterilisation – the fallopian tubes can rejoin meaning you’re fertile again
  • Ectopic pregnancies – these are more likely if you get pregnant after the procedure and involve the egg growing under the womb
  • Pregnancy – after hysteroscopic sterilisation there’s a small risk of pregnancy
  • Implants – these can be inserted incorrectly
  • Bleeding – it’s normal to have bleeding for around three days, but if this continues it can be serious

When you suffer complications during this sort of surgery the implications may not only leave you suffering with pain, but might also mean that you’re put in the emotionally traumatic situation of becoming pregnant again.

The medical professional performing your procedure should always inform you that this isn’t always a successful method of contraception, and if they didn’t you could claim compensation. Our experience working with other women in this situation means we know how difficult it can be for you and your family at this time so we can help you get funds to make things a little easier.

If you’re thinking about making a compensation claim, contact us free today on 0800 121 6567 to set up a free initial consultation.

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How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

We can help you claim funds to compensate for the fact that your choice to limit your family size has been taken away from you. We know that deciding to have sterilisation is very difficult and unexpectedly becoming pregnant after this procedure can be distressing...

… If this has happened to you, you’re entitled to a fixed sum of £15,000 to help you through this time. Additionally, we can also help you claim compensation of up to £5,000 which takes into account any pain and suffering you suffered during your pregnancy and labour. This compensation can also consider factors such as:

  • Lost earnings during maternity/paternity leave
  • Care and assistance provided during the pregnancy
  • Psychological treatment
  • Cost of re-sterilisation

Unfortunately we can’t help you secure funds to help bring up the child you conceived after your failed sterilisation as the court has ruled the amounts and circumstances in which compensation can be claimed in failed sterilisation cases.

In some circumstances, we might be able to help you claim extra expenses if your child is disabled. These funds can pay for the likes of specialist care, equipment and therapy.

For more information on how compensation could help you, contact us today on 0800 121 6567.

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"One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

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We could help you access specialist care and rehabilitation that can make a huge difference to your life.

We’re proud to have won Post Magazine’s Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on seven separate occasions, showing our dedication to helping clients above and beyond the compensation claim.

We want you to have the best possible quality of life after your claim, and we’ll make sure that you have access to advice, care and therapies to achieve this.

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