There are pros and cons to every birth control option, and tubal ligation, one of the permanent methods, is not an exception. You owe it to yourself and your body to learn about all the pros and cons before you take the plunge.
There are multiple birth control options available to women and men but tubal ligation or tying or tubes doesn't get enough attention. Tubal ligation is when the fallopian tubes are permanently closed off and that is one of the reasons that it is often not recommended since it is so permanent. However, if you think you don't want to have kids anymore or don't want children at all, there is no harm in exploring this option as well.
There are multiple ways it can be done, according to OB/GYN Kecia Gaither, MD. The fallopian tubes can be cut, burned, or clipped, she told Bustle. Sometimes, doctors shy away from performing it if the person is in their 20s but for older women, it is not so frowned upon.
If you are considering getting your tubes tied, here are eight things you need to know about it, apart from the fact that it is permanent:
Getting your tubes tied won't change your periods or make you have menopause. It also doesn't have side effects that birth control pills have like mood swings, weight gain, headaches, or that IUDs can cause like cramps, heavier periods, or spotting, according to WebMD.
While it is an expensive procedure that is only true in the short-term. The procedure can cost anything between $2,000 and $6,000, says Gaither. Dr. Prudence Hall adds that many insurance plans can cover it partially, which will be far lesser than going for copay every month for the bill for several years.
Like any other surgery, there are risks involved in getting this procedure too. If you have good health overall, are a healthy weight, and haven't had surgery in that area earlier there are less than 1% chance of complications.
"There's anesthesia, which always carries a risk, and the surgeon is going into the abdomen, so there's some risk of injuring the bladder and bowel," Nikki Zite, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology surgery at the University of Tennessee, told Prevention.
You can get the procedure after a C-section and you won't have to stay in the hospital longer. There will be some discomfort at the incision site. You might also experience abdominal pain or cramping, fatigue, dizziness, gassiness or bloating, and shoulder pain, according to Mayo Clinic. However, if you have a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or greater, fainting spells, severe abdominal pain that continues or gets worse after 12 hours, bleeding from your wound through your bandage, and discharge from your wound that is foul smelling, you must get in touch with your health care provider right away.
It is not known why this happens but research has shown that tubal ligation reduces the chances of ovarian cancer. The Mayo Clinic said that recent research suggested that cells the fallopian tubes have cells that form a type of ovarian cancer but it is not known if the two findings are related.
If you have decided as a family to opt for sterilization, then you might want to consider him getting a vasectomy, which can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer for him. "Vasectomy is far less risky," says Zite. "The guy's anatomy is on the outside, you aren't going into the abdomen, and there's no general anesthesia involved." Vanessa Cullins, MD, Planned Parenthood's vice president for external medical affairs, added that getting him snipped is cheaper and more effective at preventing pregnancy.
Every month your body is still producing eggs, which go into the abdomen or blocked tubes. However, this means that you can still get pregnant. Sterilization in women is only 99.5% effective in stopping pregnancy. While the chances are tiny they are still there.
"Yes, there are failures of permanent methods," Alison Edelman, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University's School of Medicine, told Prevention. "However, the failure rate is incredibly low."
If you are getting the procedure done, it is good to be sure of it since it is really hard to reverse. There is a procedure that can reverse tubal ligation but the success rate is not high, says the Mayo Clinic. So, getting pregnant the traditional way is out of the question but IVF is still possible, says Hall.