At least 18% of women in the US use female sterilization as their method of contraception. It’s the most common option in the country for couples.
Tubal occlusion is one of the most common methods. It’s also known as “having your tubes tied” because it blocks pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes.
Read on to learn 5 important things you need to know about the surgery.
1. It’s Not the Same as Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation surgery involves an incision in the abdomen to find the fallopian tubes. Another incision is made above the pubic line, and the tubes are then closed, cut, tied off, or cauterized.
Tubal occlusion blocks off the tubes using metal coils inserted using a catheter. The uterus scars over them, creating a barrier over the fallopian tubes that prevents pregnancy.
2. It’s Effective but Risky
Most women resume their normal activities within a few days of tubal occlusion. It’s effective with a failure rate of only 0.5%.
It’s important to understand the risks before you undergo the procedure. Most are similar to those of any surgery, such as:
- Bladder or large intestine injuries
It can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy. It occurs when an egg implants outside the uterus. This can be life-threatening for the mother and the baby.
3. It Can Change Your Period
Female sterilization prevents pregnancy, but it doesn’t remove hormones. You’ll still have estrogen in your body, and it will trigger you to release eggs.
This means you’ll get a period every month, but it may not be the same as you had before the surgery. It may become longer or heavier, and you may get stronger cramps.
4. You’ll Need to Use Contraception
You’ll need to use some form of contraception up to the day of your tubal occlusion surgery to keep from becoming pregnant. When it’s done, you’ll need to take them until the day of your next period.
Be aware that the surgery won’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. That requires using other methods such as condoms.
5. It’s Difficult to Reverse
At least 10% of women regretted sterilization. The number differs depending on their age and race.
Tubal occlusion is meant to be a permanent solution for preventing pregnancy. Reversal is difficult, expensive, and increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
The process depends on what method of occlusion your doctor used. Go here to learn more about Essure reversal surgery.
Where to Learn More
Sterilization keeps sperm and eggs from meeting to cause pregnancy. The most common method is tubal occlusion.
It differs from tube ligation which clamps or blocks the fallopian tubes. Occlusion blocks them with coils instead.
Make sure your doctor explains the risks of the procedure such as bleeding and ectopic pregnancies. They should also let you know that it may change your periods and that you’ll need to use contraception before and after the surgery.
Tubal occlusion is difficult to reverse, so be sure you want it before you begin. Read the rest of our content for more information.