Tubal Ligation Overview
Tubal ligation, commonly called “tying the tubes”, is the surgical procedure for female sterilization. Permanent sterility is achieved in women by preventing transport of the egg (ovum) to the uterus. The surgery also prevents the sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes where fertilization normally occurs. The physicians at Women’s Specialists of Plano treat countless women in the Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas communities with this procedure each year.
What is Tubal Ligation?
Sterilization is performed using a laparoscope, into which small instruments are inserted through two small incisions in the abdomen. The fallopian tubes are either burned (using electrocauterization or electrocoagulation) or sealed shut (with bands or clips) while the patient sleeps under general anesthesia. The patient can return home only a few hours after sterilization.
What is the Effectiveness of Tubal Ligation?
Except in very rare cases, tubal ligation is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Is Tubal Ligation Reversible?
The tubal ligation procedure is reversible, and has been 75-80% successful in women who were deemed candidates for reversal surgery. However, many women are not considered candidates due to various health issues, and thus sterilization is considered a permanent form of contraception.
Hysteroscopic Sterilization: Another Option
In hysteroscopic sterilization, a small telescopic device called a hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and into the uterus, in order to place a small device at the openings to the fallopian tubes, thus blocking them. This form of sterilization does not involve any anesthesia or incisions, and patients can return to their normal activities the following day. After three months, x-ray images called hysterosalpingograms are used to check the position of the devices to ensure they are blocking the fallopian tubes. For those three months, patients are advised to use alternate forms of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, until success of the procedure has been established.
If you are considering permanent birth control, then tubal ligation surgery may be an alternative for you. For additional resources on female sterilization, tubal ligation surgery or other birth control and contraceptive methods, please contact the Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas area office of Women’s Specialists of Plano today.