Permanent birth control surgery
Tubal ligation, or “tying your tubes,” is a surgical procedure that prevents you from becoming pregnant. It is a safe procedure that closes the fallopian tubes, which are connected to the ovaries and uterus. This sterilization method prevents sperm from reaching any unfertilized egg, which can lead to pregnancy.
After the procedure, you will still have your periods and can have sex normally. However, patients may feel more at ease because they don't have to worry about unwanted pregnancy. Having your tubes tied does not affect your hormones, change your periods, or bring on menopause. It does not cause the same side effects of birth control pills, like mood swings, weight gain, or headaches, nor symptoms caused by IUDs, like cramps, heavier periods, or spotting.
It is important to note that this form of birth control is only reversible for 50% to 80% of people who undergo surgery.
If you are considering tubal ligation, ARC Ob/Gyns are available to perform the procedure and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
Is tubal ligation right for you?
You might want to consider tubal ligation if:
- You are done having children
- You are at risk of having a failed pregnancy
- Pregnancy may become a complication for you
- You don’t want children
This permanent form of birth control may not be the right choice if you are uncertain if you want children in the future.
What happens during a tubal ligation?
Here is the general process for a tubal ligation:
- All patients are given medicine to help prevent feeling pain during the surgical procedure.
- The surgeon will make one or more small cuts (incisions) near your belly button. Sometimes the surgeon makes a small incision in your lower abdomen as well.
- Gas may be pumped into your belly to inflate it. This gives your surgeon a better view and more room to work.
- The surgeon will put a narrow tube with a light and a camera on the end, called a laparoscope, into your abdomen.
- Your surgeon will use long, thin instruments put through the laparoscope or through another tiny cut to find and grab hold of the fallopian tubes.
- After the surgery is done, the surgeon will close the incisions in the skin, probably using 1 to 2 stitches. They will cover the area with small dressings.
What happens after a tubal ligation?
After your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room while you recover from the anesthesia. You will probably be able to go home in a few hours.
Here is what you can probably expect at home:
- You will be able to gradually resume your normal diet.
- Some discomfort is normal. Ask your surgeon what medicines to take for pain.
- You may have shoulder pain for a few days. This is from the gas that was pumped into your belly. Lying down for a while often relieves this pain.
- Keep your incision areas dry for a few days. Follow your surgeon's instructions on bathing and dressing care. You may need to go back to have your stitches removed. Keep all your follow-up appointments.
- Gradually resume normal activities in a few days.
- Avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks. Ask your surgeon when you can return to specific activities.
- You may be able to return to sexual activity in about one week.
Tell your surgeon about any of the following:
- Increasing pain or pain that is not relieved by medicine
- Any drainage, bleeding, redness, or swelling
- Vomiting or nausea
- Dizziness or fainting spells