Tubal ligation, commonly called “tying the tubes”, is the surgical procedure for female sterilization.  Permanent sterility is achieved 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.

During a tubal ligation procedure, a gynecologist will cut, tie, or clip the fallopian tubes. During this procedure, the tubes can also be closed off by clamping them. A lot of women choose to receive a post-partum tubal ligation while they are pregnant with their last child. This procedure is popular because it eliminates the issue of having two recovery periods. Most women have recovered from their tubal ligation long before they recover from childbirth. This procedure is especially productive when a woman receives a C-Section.

A few of the tubal ligation approaches offered by the Women’s Specialists of Plano include:

  • Post-Partum Tubal Ligation: This procedure is very similar to the mini-lap, except that the incision will be made just below the belly button because the fallopian tubes are higher in body after childbirth.
  • Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation: During this procedure your gynecologist will insert a small camera and surgical instruments through a very small incision made in the abdomen. The tubal ligation will take place via this method that is considered a more minimally invasive approach.
  • Open Tubal Ligation:  This procedure is performed when a woman desires a tubal after delivering via caesarean section, because the abdomen is already open. This procedure is also performed when a woman pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or is already receiving a surgery which requires the opening of the abdomen.
  • Trans-Uterine Tubal Occlusion: This procedure is performed with anesthesia.  The cervix is dilated and a hysterscope is placed in the uterine cavity.  The opening of the tube into the uterus is identified and a “plug” is placed into the fallopian tube as it passes through the uterine wall.

As with every surgical procedure, a tubal ligation surgery has both pros and cons:

Benefits of Tubal Ligation

  • Tubal ligation is effective immediately
  • It can be done at the same time as another surgery such as a C-section or removal of a cyst
  • Requires no daily attention
  • It’s very reliable
  • More cost effective in the long run then a daily procedure
  • Allows for sexual spontaneity

Negatives of Tubal Ligation

  • It is a surgery and has associated risks
  • It is not 100% reversible in the event of regret
  • It does not protect against STD’s (only the proper use of condoms can do this)
  • It is more expensive than the male form of permanent contraception (vasectomy)

The recovery period after most tubal ligations is about a week though you will most likely leave the hospital within a few hours after surgery. Because the procedure is immediately effective, you can maintain sexual activity as soon as you feel well enough. You will be permitted to shower (not bathe) 24 hours after the surgery, though scrubbing of the incision is not permitted.

If you are researching permanent birth control for women and female sterilization, it is suggested that you do proper research and reflection to be sure that you will not regret the decision in the future. If you are sure about your decision to receive permanent birth control (female sterilization), please discuss all of your alternatives and options with your doctor so that the two of you can discuss which procedure will be most fitting to your life.

For more information about the family planning services offered by the Women’s Specialists of Plano, or to learn more about tubal ligation surgery as a form of sterilization and permanent birth control for women, please contact our office today. We service women throughout the north Dallas area.


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