Tubal ligation is a highly effective form of female sterilization
Most women think of tubal ligation as “getting their tubes tied.” This procedure is a form of female sterilization, or permanent birth control. The physicians at Athens ObGyn discuss the benefits and risks with patients to help them make informed decisions. Many women choose to have the surgery after they give birth or have other abdominal surgery, such as a C-section. However, our surgeons can perform the procedure any time in an outpatient setting or hospital.
How does tubal ligation prevent pregnancy?
During tubal sterilization surgery, our surgeons close the fallopian tubes. They use surgical instruments to cut, tie, clamp, seal or remove the tubes. Closing off the connection from the fallopian tubes to the uterus removes the path for eggs to meet the sperm for fertilization.
Women should consider the following facts about this surgery.
- In some cases, tubal surgery is reversible, but it is meant to be a permanent form of female sterilization.
- Female sterilization surgery is highly effective, with fewer than 1 in 100 women getting pregnant within one year of having the operation. There is no form of contraception that is 100% effective.
- The procedure does not protect women from sexually transmitted infections.
How do the physicians at Athens ObGyn perform this female sterilization surgery?
The surgeons at Athens ObGyn perform this minimally invasive surgery laparoscopically. During laparoscopic surgery, our surgeons place a thin, lighted tube with a camera attached into small abdominal incisions. They insert instruments through the laparoscope to close the tubes, before closing the incisions with one to two stitches.
Now, the most common method performed is bilateral salpingectomy (removing both fallopian tubes). There is evidence that this may decrease risk of some cancers.
Most women go home after a few hours in recovery and can perform most normal activities in a few days.
What are the risks and benefits of this form of permanent birth control?
Tubal ligation comes with some risks, including bleeding at the site of the incisions, infection and shoulder pain. Gas or bloating can also occur if the surgeon uses gas to inflate the abdomen during the procedure. Rarely, women may experience a tubal pregnancy after the procedure.
Women who have finished having children, or who do not want children, benefit from freedom from birth control and worrying about unwanted pregnancies. Also, in the case of tubal removal, the risk of developing certain cancers is decreased.
Women who are interested in tubal ligation or tubal removal should contact us for an appointment.