What to Expect From Tubal Ligation Surgery
More than 220 million couples around the world choose sterilization to prevent pregnancies. Tubal ligation is a safe and effective sterilization option, and the surgery itself takes just 30 minutes.
If you’re on the fence about tubal ligation surgery being a contraceptive option for you, knowing what to expect during the procedure can help you make a firm decision.
Now is the time to tune into this guide to learn about the tubal ligation procedure, recovery time, and much more!
What Is Tubal Ligation Surgery?
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that prevents pregnancy. Each month, an egg is released from the ovary and travels through the fallopian tubes into the uterus. Sperm then travels up the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
When you have a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are either tied, cut or blocked off permanently.
Women often choose a tubal ligation if they don’t want a pregnancy due to health or genetic reasons. However, most women have tubal ligation as a permanent birth control option if they want to eliminate the possibility of any future pregnancies.
What to Expect During a Tubal Ligation Procedure
Typically you’ll have a tubal ligation done at a hospital or an outpatient surgery clinic under general anesthesia.
Tubal ligation is usually performed as a laparoscopic procedure, which is less invasive. During a laparoscopy, a surgeon will pump gas into your abdomen so they can see your organs. They’ll make 1 to 2 small incisions near your navel and use a small tool to find the fallopian tubes to cut or tie them off.
The entire procedure takes 30 minutes, and you’ll be taken to another room to recover from anesthesia. You can expect to return home within a few hours after the surgery is complete.
Tubal Ligation Recovery
You’ll experience mild discomfort around the incision site for the first few days after surgery. You might also experience temporary symptoms like:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Shoulder discomfort
- Gassiness and bloating
You’ll need to keep your incision areas clean and dry and wait for at least 48 hours to bathe or shower.
If your stitches aren’t dissolvable, you’ll have to return to your surgeon for a follow-up appointment to have them removed. You can resume your normal activities after surgery, but it’s important to avoid heavy lifting for at least two weeks.
Complications After Tubal Ligation Surgery
While tubal ligation surgeries are safe and effective and significant complications are rare, some women will experience complications that include:
- An egg that’s fertilized outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
- Incomplete closing of the fallopian tube which results in pregnancy
Some women report heavier and more painful menstrual periods as well as hormonal imbalances after surgery. You can learn more here about these types of symptoms and what you can do about them.
Talk to Your Doctor to Learn More
Now that you know more about tubal ligation surgery, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn more about the risks and benefits.
Remember to do as much research as you can, and take the time you need to consider if this surgery is right for you.
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