Tubal ligation is a form of surgical sterilization. The most popular form of permanent birth control in the world, in tubal ligation the fallopian tubes are removed or closed with bands, clips, or thread. After which they are sealed with an electrical current and then blocked with scar tissue. Once completed, tubal ligation prevents the sperm from reaching the egg, thus preventing pregnancy. If a patient chooses sterilization through tubal ligation and then changes her mind, attempts to reverse the procedure may prove ineffective. Even after the procedure is reversed, women often experience an ectopic pregnancy or are unable to become pregnant.
Depending on the way it is performed, pregnancy rates within 10 years of having the procedure done are between 1 in 55 and 1 in 27. If the fallopian tubes are removed altogether, the likelihood of pregnancy in the first 10 years after the procedure is negligible. However, while tubal ligation is effective in preventing pregnancy, it does not protect a person from sexually transmitted disease (STD). Women who have had a tubal ligation performed will still need to use barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms, to protect against STD’s.
When performed laparoscopically, most women can return home 2-4 hours after a tubal ligation. There, they may feel some discomfort that lasts a few days. Symptoms may include dizziness or nausea from the anesthesia, sore throat from the breathing tube used during general anesthesia, a gassy or bloated feeling, and mild abdominal cramps. Most patients are able to return to their normal routines within a week. The doctors at San Francisco Women’s Healthcare provide thorough consultations before tubal ligation as well as comprehensive post-operative care that helps their patients recover as quickly and painlessly as possible.