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Tubal Ligation: What You Should Know Before Getting Your Tubes Tied

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner


Written by Red Ricafort · Updated Feb 16

    Tubal Ligation: What You Should Know Before Getting Your Tubes Tied

    What is tubal ligation?

    Tubal ligation, also called female sterilization, is a form of permanent birth control. It involves undergoing surgery to have your fallopian tubes cut off or blocked to prevent getting pregnant.

    Every month, a woman’s ovaries release an egg that travels through your fallopian tubes, to the uterus, where it may be fertilized. Ligation is the procedure of blocking or destroying parts of the fallopian tubes to prevent your eggs connecting with sperm.

    It is a surgical method that can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient surgical clinic. This ligation process can be done:

    • After a caesarian delivery
    • Together with other abdominal surgeries
    • Anytime after consulting with your healthcare provider.

    How does tubal ligation work?

    Before the procedure

    Before undergoing this procedure, it is important for you to know what will happen and fully understand the repercussions. Proper documentation is important to note that you have consented to the procedure.

    Your healthcare provider will determine the best approach and discuss the possible risks and complications associated with the procedure.

    Types of tubal ligation

    Laparoscopic

    If you chose to have a tubal ligation separate from pregnancy, or what is commonly known as an interval ligation, your healthcare provider will be using a laparoscopic technique.

    A needle or a small incision is made through the belly button. This will then be inflated with gas and a laparoscope will be inserted. Using this tool, your doctor will use clips to block or damage your fallopian tubes.

    This technique also has a faster expected recovery time.

    Minilaparotomy

    A minilaparotomy is done with the doctor making an incision in your abdomen. If your procedure is done during a c-section delivery, the same incision for the c-section will be used by your doctor. If the tubal ligation is performed during a natural childbirth, your doctor will likely make an incision under your belly button. Your fallopian tube would then be brought up to where a small part, or the entire tube, can be removed.

    After the procedure

    When the surgical operation is over, you might experience discomfort at your incision area, including:

    • Cramps
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue
    • Shoulder pain.

    After the procedure, make sure to also take note of the following. If they occur, contact your doctor immediately.

  • High temperature around 38 C
  • Bleeding through your bandage
  • Discharge or foul smell from the wound
  • Be sure to also keep the wound dry for at least 48 hours. Try to avoid straining the wound or rubbing it. Avoid straining your body with heavy lifting and sex. Consult your doctor for when you may resume these activities.

    When should you get a tubal ligation?

    Since this birth control method is permanent, it’s important that you only choose this method if you’re completely sure you do not have plans to get pregnant in the future. This method is perfect for you if:

    • You and your partner mutually agreed to not get pregnant in the future
    • You are an adult woman
    • Pregnancy is high-risk for you
    • You and your partner would like to avoid passing on a genetic disorder

    What are the possible risks and complications?

    The laparoscopic tubal ligation method is relatively safe and effective. Most studies have shown no deaths due to this procedure, with only a very slim chance of fatalities. Cases of complications are usually due to preexisting conditions or problems with the anesthesia.

    Some complications include:

    • Infections
    • Damage to organs
    • Fever
    • Bleeding

    In the rare chance of a pregnancy due to tubal ligation failure, you are also at risk of a possible ectopic pregnancy where your egg would be fertilized in your fallopian tube instead of your uterus.

    What happens if I change my mind after the procedure?

    While it is possible to undergo a second surgery to undo a tubal ligation, it is not always successful. In cases of unsuccessful tubal ligation reversal, you may try in vitro fertilization, or other assisted fertilization methods.

    Key takeaway

    Before undergoing tubal ligation, you should be very sure you do not want to get pregnant in the future. Since, it’s a permanent birth control, it’s necessary to discuss this with your partner and healthcare provider to make sure you’re choosing the best birth control method for you.

    Learn more about Medical Procedures and Surgeries here.

    Disclaimer

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

    General Practitioner


    Written by Red Ricafort · Updated Feb 16

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