When Is Tubal Ligation a Good Choice?

When Is Tubal Ligation a Good Choice?

You’re quite certain that children are not in your future so you’re weighing your options — wait it out with birth control until you pass through menopause or put a permanent end to your ability to get pregnant now. 

Here at Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Jack Tubbs and the team offer a wide range of family planning options, and tubal ligation is certainly on the list. While tubal ligation is an effective path to female sterilization, we want you to consider a few points beforehand.

The pros of tubal ligation

Let’s start with some of the positive aspects of tubal ligation. During this procedure, we seal your fallopian tubes so sperm cannot meet and fertilize your eggs. 

The first benefit of tubal ligation is that the procedure offers excellent protection against pregnancy — more than 99%. So, if you truly don't want to get pregnant, or there’s a medical or genetic reason why you shouldn’t get pregnant, a tubal ligation is a very good choice.

Tubal ligation is also a permanent approach — one procedure and you don’t have to think about birth control again.

Another reason why women prefer tubal ligation is that it doesn't interfere with the production of reproductive hormones. We’re simply tying off your fallopian tubes, which doesn’t affect your ovaries. So, you’ll still ovulate and have periods after the tubal ligation.

And if you’re sensitive to hormonal birth control methods and develop unwanted side effects, you won’t have any of those with tubal ligation.

Lastly, some women consider a tubal ligation because they’re at high risk for ovarian cancer, which is diagnosed in nearly 20,000 women each year. There’s evidence that a slightly different procedure called a salpingectomy (removal of both fallopian tubes) may lower your risk of ovarian cancer, which often starts in the fallopian tubes.

The cons of tubal ligation

Now let’s look at some potential drawbacks of tubal ligation. First, tubal ligation is a surgery, and every surgery carries some degree of risk. That said, we perform tubal ligations using the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques available, and we perform them on an outpatient basis.

Second, tubal ligation can prevent pregnancy, but it won’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Another consideration is that if, for any reason, you do want to get pregnant again, we can reverse the tubal ligation, but the procedure is far more involved than the original. As well, even if we perform a reversal, there's no guarantee — only 50% to 80% of women are able to get pregnant again. 

If you’ve had a salpingectomy, your fallopian tubes have been removed, so this procedure cannot be reversed. 

We hope we’ve painted a complete picture of the advantages and disadvantages of tubal ligation. If you have more questions or you’d like to figure out whether this approach is good for your circumstances and goals, please contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to schedule an appointment.

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