What is Tubal Ligation?

A tubal ligation is a procedure which cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. It is considered a permanent solution to unwanted pregnancies. But there are many things women worry about when they consider this solution.

For example, tubal ligation is also referred to as a woman having her tubes tied. This phrase presents all the wrong images. The surgeon does not go in and tie the fallopian tubes into a neat little bow. They are surgically closed off in a manner that cannot become undone.

No Going Back

A woman must be sure she wants this surgery. Doing it to please her partner is the wrong reason. It could bring regrets later. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that up to fifty percent of women regret having the surgery even if they no longer have the desire to have another child. There seems to be something about not being able to, even though they do not want to, that haunts them.

Some women think that a good time for the surgery is immediately following the birth of a child. Most surgeons will not recommend this for a couple of reasons. One is that having been through the discomfort of the last several weeks of a pregnancy followed by the pain of birth a woman may tend to make a decision based on the moment not on what is actually right for her.

As well, as the most delicate time for a new baby is in that first month, doctors recommend waiting to be certain the infant survives. There is more chance of a child dying in those first few weeks than any other time in their life.

Half a Million a Year

This operation is preformed on over a half a million women yearly in the United States alone. Of these women six percent are going to decide at some point during the five years following the surgery that they want to reverse it.

This may be because they want to have another child, because they have remarried and want a family with their new partner or simply because they are unhappy with the after affects that some women experience. These include poor sleeping habits, sweats and mood swings.

The factors that will help a surgeon decide if this is possible include the womens age when she makes her request, her health and the method that was used to perform the surgery. Due to the different factors that need to be considered in a reversal the success rate varies greatly. Surgeons will quote this rate as somewhere between twenty and seventy percent.

In other words it is not a guarantee and a woman must know this should she decide to proceed. There is more likely to be a successful outcome if the surgeon used clips to close the tubes or if there was the tiniest part of the tube removed. If the surgeon was gentle when the surgery was done and nothing was torn there is a chance of success. This is why most surgeons work hard to make sure a woman is certain before they will agree to do a tubal ligation.