Is It Time To Tie It Up?

For a woman or family looking for a birth control option, getting the tubes tied is often part of the conversation. Tubal ligation is actually one of the more common birth control methods. In 2017-2019, 18.1% of women opted for tubal ligation, while only 14% use birth control pills. Tubal ligation is a type of permanent contraception, and the woman is essentially being sterilized. A doctor will cut, tie, or block the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy permanently.

my texas health care obstetrics & gynecology What Can I Expect After A Tubal Ligation Procedure? Recovery & Benefits

What happens during the procedure?

Tubal ligation is a surgery performed in a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center (ASC). The doctor may use either general anesthesia or local anesthesia for the procedure. Minimally invasive is the order of the day, so the surgeon starts with 1-2 buttonhole incisions on the stomach. The stomach may be inflated using gas to allow the doctor a clearer view. Using a laparoscope, the doctor will cut, seal, band, clamp, or tie the fallopian tubes. The tools are then removed, and the incisions are closed.

What can you expect?

Tubal ligations are generally outpatient procedures, meaning the patient goes home on the day of the surgery. For women having a tubal ligation after childbirth, the surgery will not require a further hospital stay. Pain and some discomfort in the belly area are expected for a few days after the surgery. Also, if the doctor used gas to inflate the pelvis, there may be some shoulder pain. Other symptoms include abdominal pain or cramping, fatigue, dizziness, and bloating. A healthcare provider will advise how to manage these side effects.

How long is the recovery period, and what must be done?

The medical team will also guide when normal activities can resume, which is typically within a few days. Tasks like bathing will not be possible 48 hours after the procedure to avoid damaging the incision. Avoid sex for at least one week and heavy lifting for 3-4 weeks. Over time, the incision heals, and everyday activities can resume. The stitches will dissolve over time, and there will be no need for a follow-up procedure. Ask the healthcare provider for a follow-up appointment if there are signs of fever and discomfort.

What are its benefits?

In general, tubal ligation is a safe and effective form of contraception with a failure rate of 0.5%. Meaning, 1 out of 200 ligated women may still become pregnant. More so, women with tubal ligations still have monthly periods and can have sex normally. The procedure is excellent for family planning, helping women to have a healthy sex life. More importantly, this helps prevent cases where getting pregnant is a danger to health.

Is tubal ligation a good choice for you?

This procedure is a great birth control method for adult women looking for a permanent option. Tubal ligation is also a good choice if pregnancy may pose a health risk. Some parents do not want to pass a genetic disorder to a child. As a side note, the procedure doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections. Make sure to practice safe sex at all times. Speak with a doctor or family planning expert to weigh out the pros and cons of tubal ligation.

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