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Tubal Ligation - Side Effects, Alternative and Prevention

Published on May 20, 2022   -  5 min read


Tubal ligation is a permanent birth control procedure that is advisable for some women. For more details, read the following article.


What Are Fallopian Tubes?

A pair of tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus and carry fertilized eggs released from the ovaries into the uterus. The fallopian tubes are an essential part of the female reproductive system.

What Is Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure performed in women, which involves getting the fallopian tubes blocked or cut. This procedure is also known as ‘female sterilization’ and prevents pregnancy.

For Whom Is Tubal Ligation Advised?

Tubal ligation is generally performed for women who:

How Is Tubal Ligation Performed?

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure performed under either general or local anesthesia. It is carried out in a hospital or surgical clinic. Patients are usually discharged the same day.


The abdomen is inflated with either carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide gas through a needle insertion or an incision made through the belly button. Next, a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen, and other special instruments are inserted through the abdominal wall to either destroy some parts of the fallopian tubes or clip them. The gas is then removed, and the patient may go home a few hours after the procedure. Patients may experience abdominal bloating and pain, tiredness, and occasional dizziness or fainting spells as immediate side effects of the procedure that will soon wear away.

When Can Tubal Ligation Be Performed?

Does Tubal Ligation Prevent Periods and a Normal Sex Life?

Women will still menstruate after getting their tubes tied and can enjoy a normal sex life without the added hassle of worrying about pregnancy.

Does Tubal Ligation Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Tubal ligation only prevents pregnancy by preventing the fertilized egg from traveling to the uterus from the ovaries and preventing sperm from traveling to the egg through the fallopian tubes. It does not offer any form of protection against sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, using adequate protection like condoms or other STI prevention devices is a must even after tubal ligation; unless one is in a committed, monogamous relationship and both partners have tested negative for any STI.

Can the Tubal Ligation Procedure Be Reversed?

Tubal ligation is an effective permanent birth control option. Nevertheless, depending on the original ligation type and procedure, it may be possible to reverse a tubal ligation. However, it is complicated and does not guarantee a pregnancy. Reports on women getting pregnant after reattachment of tubes have ranged from 50 % - 80 % success rates. This means that the chances of getting pregnant after a tubal ligation are slim.

What Are the Side Effects of Tubal Ligation?

Side effects may include:

What Is Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome?

Some women may experience a series of characteristic symptoms following tubal ligation, referred to as post tubal ligation syndrome. On average, around 37 % of women face the possibility of developing the syndrome, of which younger women form the more significant part.

The symptoms associated with post tubal ligation syndrome include:

Can Pregnancy Occur Even After Tubal Ligation?

While tubal ligation is a highly effective procedure, there is a 1 in 200 possibility of getting pregnant, especially in younger women. Women below the age of 28 show the most significant risk of getting pregnant even after tubal ligation, while women over 35 may be at a lower risk of getting pregnant. However, this comes with a complication of an ectopic pregnancy (the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus - usually in a fallopian tube). This type of pregnancy is dangerous and requires medical attention. It is also not possible or advisable to attempt carrying such a pregnancy to full-term.

What To Do if Pregnancy Is Desired After Tubal Ligation?

Pregnancy after tubal ligation may be facilitated in the following ways:

Is Tubal Ligation Expensive?

What Are Some Alternatives to Tubal Ligation?


Tubal ligation is an intelligent choice for those who are sure that they do not want any children or those who cannot undergo pregnancy for medical and other reasons. It can be challenging work trying to make a decision, but with enough information and support from physicians and partners, it is possible to make informed decisions and choose what suits one’s physical and personal needs best.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can Periods Occur After Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation does not in any way affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. It only works to prevent eggs and sperm from traveling through the fallopian tubes. It blocks eggs from traveling to the uterus and sperm from traveling to the egg. However, the occurrence of periods will continue as usual.


How Does a Woman’s Body Change After Tubal Ligation?

Post-tubal ligation syndrome (PTLS) is a rare possibility after tubal ligation. In this condition, the estrogen and progesterone levels will rapidly decline. The symptoms may be as follows:

- Irregular periods.

- Vaginal dryness.

- Hot flashes.

- Night sweats.

- Low sex drive.

- Disturbed sleep.

- Mood swings.

- Heavy, painful periods.


How Long Does Recovery From Tubal Ligation Take?

Recovery depends on the type of procedure performed.

- Following Laparoscopy: Around one week.

- Following Mini-Laparotomy: One to three weeks.

- Procedure After Delivery: If the procedure was performed after giving birth to a child, recovery might take several weeks (longer than three weeks).


What Are the Requirements When Getting Tubes Tied?

Some of the considerations that may present good reasons for getting one’s tubes tied include:

- An adult woman who does not want to have children or have any more children.

- Women in a stable relationship with a mutual agreement between partners on permanent birth control.

- Either partner suffers from a potentially hereditary genetic disorder.

- Pregnancy constitutes a health risk to the woman.


What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Tubal Ligation?


- Tubal ligation is permanent.

- It requires no further efforts like keeping track of ovulation dates or using a diaphragm.

- It has fewer side effects.

- It is highly effective.


- Offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

- It is permanent, and women who change their minds about wanting children may not be able to have them naturally.

- Pregnancy may occur in rare cases where tubal ligation fails.

- In case pregnancy does occur, there is a chance that it may be an ectopic pregnancy.


Do Periods Get Worse After Tubal Ligation?

- Periods are typically normal after tubal ligation.

- However, in rare cases where patients develop post-tubal ligation syndrome, they may experience heavy, painful bleeding during their period.


Is Tubal Ligation Painful?

Tubal ligation may result in mild symptoms that quickly go away. These symptoms include:

- Tiredness.

- Abdominal cramps.

- Pain in the abdomen.

- Nausea.

- Dizziness.


What to Avoid After Tubal Ligation?

- Avoid rubbing at the incision sites for about a week.

- Avoid lifting heavy objects for a few weeks.

- Avoid sexual activity for a week.

- Avoid intense exercise for a few weeks.


What Happens to a Woman’s Eggs After Tubal Ligation?

- A woman’s eggs will still be released after tubal ligation.

- However, getting the tubes tied will mean that the eggs are blocked from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus.

- Instead, the eggs are now absorbed naturally by the woman’s body.

Last reviewed at:
20 May 2022  -  5 min read




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