Tubal Ligation, Pros and Cons
Tubal ligation — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy.
Tubal ligation prevents an egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. The procedure doesn't affect your menstrual cycle.
Tubal ligation can be done at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgery, such as a C-section. Most tubal ligation procedures cannot be reversed. If reversal is attempted, it requires major surgery and isn't always effective.
Tubal ligation is one of the most commonly used surgical sterilization procedures for women. Tubal ligation permanently prevents pregnancy, so you no longer need any type of birth control other than tubal ligation itself. However, tubal ligation does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Tubal ligation may also decrease your risk of ovarian cancer, especially if the fallopian tubes are removed.
Tubal ligation isn't right for everyone, however. Talk with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of the procedure, or try using video consultation from leading international medical experts from UK, USA and Europe. Docspert Health enables you to have an online video consultation with the international expert to discuss your condition and their medical advice, with the option of having a medical interpreter. You can book a video consultation here
Your doctor may also talk to you about other options, including long-acting reversible contraceptives such as an intrauterine device or a birth control device that's implanted in your arm. You can also receive a detailed medical report about your condition with an accurate diagnosis, the best treatment plan and answers to your questions. Our medical team helps you understand the expert's report.
Tubal Ligation Pros and Cons:
The Pros of Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation is permanent. This is a big plus if you don’t want to have children or you don’t wish to have any more.
Tubal ligation works. Only about one in 200 women get pregnant after a tubal ligation. That’s less than 1%.
Tubal ligation doesn’t affect your hormones. Tubal ligation won’t change your periods or bring on menopause. And Tubal ligation doesn't cause the side effects that birth control pills do, like mood swings, weight gain, or headaches, or the ones sometimes caused by intrauterine devices, like cramps, heavier periods, or spotting.
You don't need to remember to do anything. You don’t have to put in a diaphragm, take a pill, use a condom, or count days on the calendar to avoid pregnancy. That may make you feel more relaxed about sex.
Tubal ligation may lower your chances of ovarian cancer. Scientists aren't sure exactly why this happens, but research has shown that tubal ligation can greatly lower a woman's odds of this type of cancer.
If pregnancy would be a health risk for you, or if you or your partner has a genetic disorder that would be risky to pass on to a child, tubal ligation may be right for you.
The Cons of Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation is permanent. While tubal ligation can sometimes be reversed with surgery, that's not always possible. Only around half the women who have a reversal are able to get pregnant. Unless you're certain you'll never want to get pregnant, tubal ligation isn’t right for you.
Tubal ligation doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. You’ll need to use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus.
Pregnancy. It’s rare, but tubal ligation can fail. If your tubes aren’t completely closed, you can get pregnant.
Tubal ligation may lead to an ectopic pregnancy. If you do get pregnant, you’re more likely to have this type of pregnancy, occurs in someplace other than the uterus, usually in one of your fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy may cause the tube to burst. This can lead to severe bleeding. You’ll need surgery right away to fix it.
There are risks to tubal ligation surgery. Problems are very rare, but this type of surgery can cause bleeding or damage your bowel, bladder, or major blood vessels.
After tubal ligation, you might have a rapid decline in the estrogen and progesterone hormones. Whether this may occur is often debated but it is referred to as post-tubal ligation syndrome. Symptoms are a lot like menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, a dry vagina, mood swings, trouble sleeping, a lower sex drive, and irregular periods. Or you could have heavy, painful periods.
The cut made from your tubal ligation surgery can get infected, or you might react to the anesthesia. There's also a small chance of lingering belly pain.
Your risk for these types of issues is higher if you’re overweight, have had surgery in the same area before, or have diabetes, lung disease, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Burns to your bowel or skin are also possible if your surgeon uses electric current to seal off your fallopian tubes.
Tubal ligation is an operation that involves making incisions in your abdomen. Tubal ligation requires anesthesia. Risks associated with tubal ligation include:
- Damage to the bowel, bladder or major blood vessels
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Improper wound healing or infection
- Continued pelvic or abdominal pain
- Failure of the procedure, resulting in a future unwanted pregnancy
Things that make you more likely to have complications from tubal ligation include:
- History of pelvic or abdominal surgery
Up to 20% of women who have tubal ligation eventually wish they hadn't, so it’s important to think about all the possibilities. Women younger than 30 are more likely to change their minds later
Results of Tubal Ligation:
Tubal ligation is a safe and effective form of permanent birth control. But tubal ligation doesn't work for everyone. Fewer than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant in the first year after the tubal ligation procedure. The younger you are at the time it's done, the more likely it is to fail.
If you do conceive after having a tubal ligation, there's a risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. This means the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical treatment. The pregnancy cannot continue to birth. If you think you're pregnant at any time after a tubal ligation, contact your health care provider immediately.
Keep in mind that although tubal ligation reversal is possible, the reversal procedure is complicated and may not work.
You should be able to have sex a week after your tubal ligation.
You don’t need to use a backup form of birth control after the tubal ligation procedure, but it won’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Using a condom during sex will help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
You can probably go home a few hours after your tubal ligation procedure.
Your tubal ligation incision sites (where you got the cuts) may be a little uncomfortable afterward. You might also have pain or cramps in your belly, fatigue, mild vaginal bleeding, dizziness, or a sore throat from the anesthesia.
If the surgeon used gas to blow up your abdomen to do the tubal ligation, you may have some bloating. It could cause belly or shoulder pain. This should go away in a couple of days.
Wait 48 hours after your tubal ligation to bathe or take a shower. Don’t rub or scrub your tubal ligation incision sites for at least a week. Pat your skin dry carefully after your bath or shower.
You should be able to get back to your normal routine a few days after your tubal ligation. But don’t lift anything heavy until your doctor says it’s safe to do so. Docspert Health enables you to travel abroad to consult the expert or to receive your treatment or operation
. Your health care provider will discuss management of any post-procedure pain with you, before you go home from the hospital.
If you have any concerns that you aren't healing properly, call your doctor. Call your health care provider immediately if you have:
- Temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or greater
- Fainting spells
- Severe abdominal pain that continues or gets worse after 12 hours
- Bleeding from your wound through your bandage
- Discharge from your wound that is foul smelling
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