Tubal ligation or tying tubes is a permanent birth control surgical procedure for women who no longer want children.
In this surgery, both of your fallopian tubes (the tubes on either side of your womb that collect eggs from the ovaries and transport to the womb) are tied or blocked so that the sperms and eggs cannot be met for fertilization.
When tubal ligation is performed with a laparoscope (a flexible tube with a camera), it requires only three to four small keyhole-sized cuts on your lower belly near your navel to reach up to your tubes.
The procedure can be done in hospital settings. You can go home on the same day and resume your normal activities within a few days. This method is effective immediately with a very low failure rate of 0.5%.
What happens during this surgery?
- Before the surgery, you will be given anesthesia for sedation.
- Two to three small keyhole incisions are made on your belly near naval.
- A laparoscope (a thin flexible tube with a camera) is inserted into your belly, usually at the sight of your navel through small keyhole incisions.
- Air will be used to inflate the belly for a better view and to create more space.
- Both the fallopian tubes are cut and the ends are folded back and then tied off.
- The laparoscope is withdrawn, and incisions are closed with stitches or a special tape.
- The wound is bandaged.
What should I expect after surgery?
After the procedure,
- You will be monitored for a short time.
- You will be discharged within two to four hours after the surgery.
- You will need someone to take you home.
- You can return to your normal routines within one week of surgery.
- You may have other symptoms that can last a few days such as
- Soreness in your navel and belly
- Shoulder and back pain (because of gas used during the procedure)
- Belly cramps
- Gassy or bloated feeling
- A sore throat (from the breathing tube if given general anesthesia)
- Some vaginal discharge or spotting
- Your incisions will be closed with skin adhesives and bandages that will be removed after 24 hours.
- Stitches will get dissolved on their own.
- You can take a bath the next day. However, do not soak your incision in a bathtub or go swimming.
- You can gradually increase your activity level with short walks and light activity.
- You can start sexual activity when you feel comfortable.
What are the benefits of laparoscopic tubal ligation?
- Permanent birth control
- Most effective
- Immediately effective
- Minimum invasive
- Less failure rate
- Quicker recovery
- Fewer complications
- Outpatient surgery
- Short hospital stay (same-day discharge)
- Resume to work shortly
- Do not cause any change in your menses or cause menopause
- After the procedure, no further steps, little or nothing to do or remember
What are the risks?
There is a small risk of
- General anesthesia-related issues.
- Injury and damage to the surrounding organs such as the bladder, gut, and womb.
- Bladder infection.
- Surgical site infection.
- Failure of birth control (very rare).
- Ectopic pregnancy (the baby grows outside the womb).
- The possible need for further surgery.
Can you get pregnant after laparoscopic tubal ligation?
After tubal ligation, if you want to reverse the surgery, it may not work. Even after reversing tubal ligation, many women are still not able to get pregnant. Additionally, the risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb) is increased.
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University of Michigan https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw7496
Emory University school of Medicine https://med.emory.edu/departments/gynecology-obstetrics/patient-care/patient-education/bilateral-tubal-ligation/index.html
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/sterilization-by-laparoscopy
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs https://opa.hhs.gov/reproductive-health?pregnancy-prevention/sterilization/female-sterilization/index.html
Top What Is Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation? Related Articles
Birth Control OptionsBirth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning-after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed before using any birth control method.
Choosing Your Birth Control MethodWhich birth control option is right for you? Discover birth control methods such as birth control pills, birth control shot, implant, patch and more. Learn about birth control side effects and effectiveness.
Can Fallopian Tubes Grow Back After Removal?Fallopian tube removal is effective in preventing pregnancy, but it's not entirely reliable. An estimated 1 in every 200 women will get pregnant after tubal ligation.
Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside the inner lining of the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube. Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include abdominal pain, lack of menstrual period (amenorrhea), vaginal bleeding, fainting, dizziness, and low blood pressure.
Treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy include observation, medication, or surgery.
How Does Tubal Sterilization Work?Tubal sterilization is also called tubal ligation. It is a form of permanent birth control for women. Tubal sterilization works to permanently prevent pregnancy by cutting and tying or clipping the fallopian tubes, hence preventing the egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes. It also blocks the sperm from entering the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
Is Tubal Sterilization Reversible?Tubal ligation is technically reversible. However, the procedure is complicated and the results are not guaranteed. Though it is possible to reverse a tubal ligation, it is a major surgery that doesn’t always work, it is rarely covered by insurance and it is not recommended.
Tubal Pregnancy PictureA pregnancy that is not in the usual place within the uterus but is located in the Fallopian tube. See a picture of Tubal Pregnancy and learn more about the health topic.