Tubal occlusion procedure, selective (STOP): 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.
As of November, 2000, STOP was experimental and had not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).