Tubal ligation (“having your tubes tied”) is a permanent form of birth control. This surgical procedure blocks or closes fallopian tubes to stop an egg from reaching the uterus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg.
Reasons to Consider Tubal Ligation
- You are finished having children or do not wish to have children. Tubal ligation is completely effective in preventing pregnancy and does not involve hormones.
- You have a high risk of developing ovarian cancer. Research shows that tubal ligation may decrease your lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer, especially if you have the procedure before age 35.
- It will not impact your menstruation or sex life. You will continue to get your period after the procedure and it will not trigger menopause. Also, tubal ligation does not interfere with your ability to enjoy sex. And while it does prevent pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
What Other Factors Should I Consider?
Your Rush OB-GYN can help you decide if tubal ligation is right for you based on your age, health history and lifestyle factors. Other factors to consider are:
- Surgery required: Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make one or two small incisions near your belly button, unless the procedure is performed at the same time as a C-section.
- Effectiveness: Tubal ligation prevents pregnancy permanently and is effective immediately. Although reversal is an option, it is not common, rarely covered by insurance and pregnancy is not guaranteed.
- Timing: Your OB-GYN can perform a tubal ligation after delivery, while you’re still in the hospital. You can also schedule this procedure at any time outside of pregnancy.
- Recovery: Because tubal ligation is a surgery, recovery time is typically one to three weeks depending on the patient.
- Risks: As with any surgery, it's important to talk to your doctor about its risks. Tubal ligation risks include damaging the bowel, bladder or blood vessels, having a reaction to anesthesia, infection, pelvic or abdominal pain or failure of the procedure.
Rush Excellence in Tubal Ligation and Sterilization
- Nationally ranked for gynecologic care: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center No. 13 in the country for gynecology services.
- Supporting your family planning: Rush providers understand how personal and emotional it may be for you to consider sterilization options. We will explain all aspects of the procedure, recovery and risk factors with compassion and confidentiality in a supportive setting.
- Family planning specialists available: At Rush University Medical Center, we offer family planning specialists — OB-GYNs specially trained in comprehensive birth control methods. Particularly if you are considering tubal ligation unrelated to pregnancy or if you have more complex health needs, you may consider meeting with a family planning specialist for expert care.