Pros and Cons of Getting Your Tubes Tied

If you are done having children or have made the decision not to have children, then you may want to consider a permanent form of birth control. Every woman has a different reason for choosing a permanent procedure, such as this beyond birth control. Some women may have health risks associated with becoming pregnant, and others may not want to pass down a genetic disorder that they or their partner carry. As with any procedure, they are pros and cons you will have to weigh before deciding that your tubes tied is the best solution for your body. Tubal ligation is recommended for adult women who have had time to weigh the benefits and risks carefully. After reading this, give Dr. Lodge a call at Cool Springs OBGYN located near Nashville.

What is Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation is the formal term for “getting your tubes tied.” This procedure is a surgery involving your fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes connect your uterus and ovaries and offer a small passageway for the egg to pass through once released. These tubes are cut completely or closed off in a tubal ligation. With no route to the uterus to be fertilized by sperm, the released eggs will be reabsorbed one released. Some women will choose this as their method of birth control. 

The Pros of Tubal Litigation

  • If you are looking for a permanent form of birth control, this is it. There are no pills, shots, prophylactics, vaginal ring, or other types of birth control that you have to remember. Once your tubes are cut, the egg can no longer be fertilized.
  • Getting your tubes tied is effective. After the procedure, the odds of getting pregnant again are 1 in 200. The odds of pregnancy are less than 1% and are lower than other forms of birth control. Getting your tubes tied does not 100% prevent pregnancy because, over time, tubes may grow back naturally in some women.
  • Your hormones are left intact. By leaving the ovaries in place, your hormones will won’t be affected. Other forms of birth control can cause mood swings, weight gain, headaches, and menstrual issues. Unlike a hysterectomy, a careful tubal ligation leaves the ovary intact and able to continue making necessary feminine hormones. 
  • Your risk of developing ovarian cancer lessens. Even though ovarian cancer is uncommon, it is still the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women. One reason for the decreased occurrence is that many times, this cancer develops in the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are tied off, cancer has a more difficult time traveling to the ovary.

The Cons of Tubal Ligation

  • There is an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is where the egg is fertilized and implants inside the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. This type of pregnancy can not reach full term, and you will need to speak to your ob-gyn to determine an emergency contraception option.    
  • Tubal ligation is permanent female sterilization, so you must be very sure that you no longer want the option pregnancy. Tubal ligation reversal is a possible surgical option to reopen the fallopian tubes. Still, its success will depend on your age, type of tubal ligation surgery you had, and your reproductive health.
  • While this prevents pregnancy, it does not prevent STDs. Protective measures will need to take place to ensure you do not contract transmittable diseases from a partner. A female condom is one way to take control of your reproductive health. 
  • Like any surgery, there are risks with more invasive procedures. You risk damage to your bladder, bowel, and blood vessels. Incisions can also become infected, leave scars, or lingering abdominal pain.

What is the Recommended Age to Get Your Tubes Tied?

The legal age varies between states, but you must be between 18 and 21 to undergo this procedure. It is reported that 25% of women under 30 years of age who choose tubal ligation experience regret. We all change as we grow and mature, and many times our life goals change with time or even with a partner. It is recommended to wait until your 30s to choose to get your tubes tied.

If getting your tubes tied isn’t the form of pregnancy prevention that works for you, there are many other options. Some low maintenance options that are 99% effective include IUD and a birth control implant. 

  • IUD: This is a tiny device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Different FDA approved brands may use copper or hormones to prevent sperm from getting to the egg. While it is long term, it is also reversible. The IUD lasts 3 – 12 years and are 99% effective. This method can cost $0 – $1,300. 
  • Birth Control Implant: This implant, also known as Nexplanon, is a small thin rod that is inserted into your arm. It releases hormones into the body that prevent pregnancy. This method is reversible and can last up to 5 years. It is 99% effective and costs $0 – $1,300.

If you would like more information about tubal ligation or would like to know is this option of pregnancy prevention is right for you, please schedule an appointment with an experienced gynecologist. Dr. Jefrey Lodge is a compassionate and experienced women’s health doctor who can assess your current health status and give you the best options that will work for you.