So, what exactly is tubal ligation? This surgical procedure involves a woman’s fallopian tubes being cut, clamped or blocked, preventing eggs from traveling down to the uterus. Not only that, it also blocks the sperm from traveling along the tube to meet the egg.
Women interested in a permanent form of birth control should look into an attractive procedure called tubal ligation. This surgical procedure serilizes a woman very effectively, preventing pregnancy with a failure rate as low as 0.4%.
Women should be aware of one important fact –tubal ligation is generally regarded as a permanent type of birth control, although reversal surgery may be available, but there is no guarantee reversal will work. Success rates for pregnancy after a tubal ligation reversal range between 70% and 80%.
There are also several possible side effects and possible complications that could occur during and after the operation. Although tubal ligation is an effective way of preventing pregnancy, in no way does it protect against sexually transmitted diseases, which is why safety measures will still be necessary if a patient enjoys a high-risk sexual life.
More then 700,000 tubal ligation procedures are performed each year in the United States, and almost 50 percent are performed right after a woman gives birth. Eleven million US women between 15-44 years of age rely on sterilization, and more than 190 million couples worldwide use surgical sterilization. It obviously represents a very safe and reliable method of permanent birth control.
Tubal ligation may be the best option for women who are certain that they wish to prevent future pregnancies - in other words, to be permanently sterilized. Some women regret their decisions later on, however, and the rule is that the younger the woman, the more likely it is that she will eventually want a reversal procedure. However, this operation should be considered as a permanent procedure, and it isn’t recommended as a temporary or reversible one. Although tubal ligation can sometimes be reversed, this requires a major surgical procedure and a great majority of women will not be able to get pregnant again in life.
Although highly effective, a tubal ligation is a relatively simple operation done in a clinic, doctor's office, or hospital, and it can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
Most surgeons will advise a patient to take 2 to 3 days off after the surgery. Some patients are concerned about how much time will have to pass until sexual activity becomes an option again. The answer is, sexual activity can start again as soon as the woman feels comfortable, usually after a week or so.
Recovery time depends on a patient’s pain tolerance, the type of anesthesia used, and overall healing ability. Some patients feel slight abdominal pain and tiredness. Less often, patients may experience dizziness, nausea, shoulder pain, abdominal cramps, a gassy or bloated feeling, or general fatigue, but most or all of these symptoms usually go away within two to five days, and most women return to their usual routines a couple of days after surgery.
About four or five years ago a new, non-surgical method of blocking the fallopian tubes was presented to the patients. It is based on one specific form of tubal ligation which involves having a small coil placed into the fallopian tubes, thereby creating a barrier. The only problem is that it takes between three and six months before this type of tubal ligation becomes effective. During this time, a woman should use other available forms of contraception.
See Also: Tubal ectopic pregnancy
As with any other type of surgery, there are risks involved with having one’s tubes tied, including infection and uterine perforation. Besides these possible side effects, women who have had their tubes tied and still become pregnant are more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy, which is considered to be a life-threatening condition. Other possible risks include menstrual cycle disturbances and gynecological problems.
Bleeding, infection, or reaction to anesthetics may also occur. Other possible but very rare complications include damage to organs, including bowels, bladder, uterus, ovaries, blood vessels, and nerves. Although rare, deaths have also been reported in tubal ligation procedures, and patients should be made aware of this.
• Permanent birth control.
• Immediately effective.
• Allows sexual spontaneity.
• Requires no daily attention.
• Not messy.
•Cost-effective in the long run.
• Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
• Requires surgery.
• Has risks associated with surgery.
• More complicated than male sterilization.
• May not be reversible.
• Possible regret.
Effects on sexuality are an improtant concern for almost all patients, because women are worried whether the operation will have an effects on sexual intercourse. The answer is simple – women are fully able to enjoy sex after a tubal ligation. In a great majority of cases, hormone levels and the menstrual cycle are left unaffected by this method of sterilization, which means that ovaries continue to release eggs, but they are stopped in the tubes and reabsorbed by the body.
The initial cost of a tubal ligation can be high, ranging between $1,000 and $3,000. However, because the effects are permanent, it may be a more cost-effective solution for some women. The bottom line is, only women who are sure that they do not want any more children should consider a tubal ligation as a best possible successful means of birth control.
The incidence of menstrual problems after tubal ligation may be higher in women who undergo the procedure in their 20s. The technique does sometimes impair blood flow to the ovary, and can lead to menstrual irregularities earlier than normal, which is why young women are at higher risk.
Women who are planning to have tubal ligation done should know that, generally, this procedure is done with no intentions of being reversed. Most patients are satisfied with their permanent sterilizations. However, experts are saying that some types of the procedure can be reversed with surgery. Best candidates for the reversal are those women who have left a sizable amount of tubal tissue in place. However, tubal ligation with the use of cauterization generally leaves very few candidates for reversal,likely none.