We’ve all joked about getting our tubes tied to avoid getting pregnant, right? Sure. But what does that really mean?
Actually, if a woman decides to get her “tubes tied”, it has nothing to do with tying anything in a knot. This process, also called sterilization or tubal ligation, is a permanent form of birth control, and it is a big deal. Women are not the only ones who can get sterilized, though. Men can go through a sterilization procedure called a vasectomy.
According to Banner Health, Tubal Ligation (female sterilization) is done surgically through small incisions in the belly or vaginally. There are a few common misconceptions about tubal ligation. The first is that it is easily reversible. “The biggest thing people sometimes don’t realize is that this is permanent,” Dr. Shah said. “While it can sometimes be reversed with surgery, it’s not always possible and definitely does not guarantee pregnancy.” (Banner Health)
The second misconception is that women who undergo sterilization will not get a period after the procedure is complete. Women can and likely will still get their period after undergoing tubal litigation.
Though tubal litigation is not easily reversed, it is possible. According to WebMD, women under 35 years of age experienced a 70-80% success rate in sterilization reversal. Women over 40 years of age experienced a 30-40% success rate in reversal.
It is important to note that even if the reversal is successful, it does not guarantee pregnancy. Tubal reversals have more risk of scarring to the tube, which increases risk of ectopic pregnancy. It is important to talk with your doctor and partner about the risks associated with sterilization. Whether you’re considering tubal litigation or a vasectomy, this is not a decision that should be made lightly.
What Happens When I Get My Fallopian Tubes Tied?. (2023). Retrieved 17 January 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/what-is-tubal-ligation
Should I Get My Tubes Tied? 7 Things You Should Know | Banner. (2020). Retrieved 17 January 2023, from https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/advise-me/should-i-get-my-tubes-tied-7-things-you-should-know