The procedure was easily done right at the time of my C-Section surgery and there was virtually no impact on recovery that I could tell.
However the biggest concerns for many women are how the tubal ligation after C-Section is done, the risks, recovery and reversing the procedure.
All great concerns that we’ll discuss here…
A tubal ligation done immediately after your a c-section is a fairly basic procedure. Most women don’t ever experience any physical complications, added pain or discomfort from the procedure. The tubal ligation itself adds about 30 minutes to the c-section surgery.
The Tubal Ligation Procedures
A tubal ligation, also known as “having your tubes tied”, involves tying, cutting or burning the Fallopian tubes so as to prevent your eggs from passing from the ovaries to the uterus.
There are several Tubal ligation procedures. For the sake of confusion I won’t cover every procedure name. Instead we’ll discuss the basic tubal ligation methods which involve cutting, burning, tying or clamping of the Fallopian tubes. Hopefully this will give you a good reference point for researching and discussing with your doctor the fine details.
The Pomeroy technique is a common tubal ligation method. Doctors like it because it’s simple, effective and reversible. It involves tying off a segment of the Fallopian tubes and removing it leaving segments of the tube that can be rejoined later if a reversal is desired. Fertility answers has a great graphic of the Pomeroy method so you can see how this is done and how the reversal works.
Pomeroy Reversal Success: The Pomeroy method has about a two-thirds success rate and according to tubal-reversal.net, where they keep local patient statistics, the reversal success of this method is about 75% on average with the greatest success for patient that range in ages <30-34. The percentage drops to about 56% for ages 35-40+.
The tubal cauterization is another popular method that cauterizes or burns a section of the fallopian tubes. This was the tubal method my doctor used for me. My husband watched the procedure and said it looked like the doctor used a cauterizing iron to burn the ends of the tubes. That’s a rough explanation but it’s basically what happens.
Reversal: When tubes are cauterized only a small segment of the tube is burned. The majority of the fallopian tube is left in tact. For reversal the damaged portion will be removed and the healthy segments will be rejoined.
Tubal Clips, Bands or Rings
Tubal clips, bands and rings like the Filshie and Hulka are placed on each fallopian tube preventing eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. The clips or rings gently compress the fallopian tubes unlike the other methods that burn, cut or tie the tube.
Clips, bands or Rings Reversal. You’ll want to research each of the various methods that use clips, rings or bands but they are noted to result in minimal Fallopian tube damage providing a good amount of tube left to repair during a reversal.
Tubal Implants (Essure)
Tubal implants or the Essure method came about in around 2002, so it’s relatively new.
With Essure there is no cutting burning or tying of the Fallopian tubes. Instead they put inserts into your fallopian tubes or coils made of polyester fiber, nickel-titanium and stainless steel alloy. Scar tissue then forms around the inserts preventing the eggs from getting through.
This Essure procedure is not done during your C-Section, it has to be done as a separate procedure entering through the cervix. The procedure is done without surgery or anesthesia.
Essure Reversal success statistics are difficult to find as the procedure is fairly recent. Reversal is possible but not recommended by many specialists. Reversal is also quite expensive costing around $6,000-$7,000.
Recovery of Tubal Ligation After C-Section
My tubal ligation didn’t affect my C-Section recovery, I recovered just as I thought I would. There wasn’t any more or less pain, no hormonal changes out of the ordinary, I had a few days of the blues but everyone has some of that.
Of course everyone is different as you can see from these forum participants. However unless you have unusual circumstances most doctors will tell you there’s no changes or additional pain associated with any of the tubal ligation methods, so don’t get too stressed out about it.
Tubal Ligation Reversals
I don’t ever recommend having a tubal ligation with the idea that it can be reversed. It’s not meant to be a temporary form of birth control.
A tubal ligation by design is meant to be permanent birth control. If you choose to reverse your tubal ligation that means more surgery which is never a good thing; also a successful pregnancy after a reversal is never guaranteed and each method varies slightly when it comes to reversal.
The dangers of reversing tubal ligations can be ectopic (tubal pregnancy) or reversal failure. Achieving a successful pregnancy after a tubal ligation ranges from about 50% – 70% in women under the age of 40.
Other Tubal Ligation Concerns
Tubal ligation concerns include things like risks, how your period will be affected, sex drive changes and effects on menopause.
Risks. Tubal ligation is a relatively safe procedure and the risks are rare. However possible risks are…
- Bleeding from incision or inside the abdomen
- Damage to other organs
- Side effects from anesthesia
- Ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy)
- Incomplete Fallopian tube closure resulting in pregnancy
Menstrual Cycle. You will continue to have a monthly period and it shouldn’t change. Any changes you experience with your cycle will most likely be due to things like your age or from discontinuing use of your past contraceptives.
Sex Drive. A tubal ligation also won’t decrease your sex drive. Your hormone reproduction will be the same. In fact some women have said they enjoy sex more because they no longer fear getting pregnant.
Menopause. A tubal Ligation has no effect on menopause. Your body will experience its regular hormonal change as normal.
Careful Thought for Tubal Ligation is important
If you’re considering a tubal ligation talk to your doctor about this well beforehand. It’s not a procedure to jump into. You should have well thought out discussions with both your doctor and your spouse.
It’s also important to remember that how you feel today about more children isn’t necessarily how you will feel two, three, five or ten years from now.
No one can predict the future but think of your future in terms of the kind of person you are, your maternal instincts, your spouse’s views and also your faith beliefs. All these things play a part in how to make your decision and how it will affect you and your family later on.
Did you have a tubal ligation? What are your thoughts?