Getting a Tubal Ligation

Written by Emily McBride (last updated November 5, 2011)

The way that a woman can become sterile is by getting a tubal ligation. This permanent form of birth control is also known as "getting your tubes tied." In this procedure, the fallopian tubes (which are part of the reproductive system) are pinched off and sealed, so that the eggs can no longer travel to the uterus to be fertilized by the sperm. There are many different procedures used for tubal ligations, so if you are considering one, talk to your doctor about what kind would be best for you. This procedure is far less risky than a hysterectomy, which is when the entire uterus (and sometimes more of the reproductive organs) are removed.

  • Does it work? Tubal ligations are 99 percent effective in the first year. Be careful though because sometimes in succeeding years, the tubes end up reconnecting, which can cause pregnancy.
  • Why do it? Only consider a tubal ligation if you are absolutely sure that you will not want to become pregnant in the future. Often this is a good option for women who should not become pregnant due to health issues.
  • Keep in mind: Just because a tubal ligation can keep you from getting pregnant, it doesn't mean that it can keep you from getting STDs. It's important to still be responsible about sex. Also remember that surgery, no matter what kind, is always associated with risks. When deciding if you want to get a tubal ligation, keep in mind possible situations that could happen in the future, such as the death of your spouse—would that change your mind?
  • Can it be undone? You should be very sure and positive that you want to be sterile before getting a tubal ligation. However, if you do change your mind, it is usually possible to reverse the procedure. It's best though to only commit to the procedure if you are sure, so you don't have to risk having yet another operation if you change your mind.

If you are in a stable marriage that you plan on staying in, consider having your husband get a vasectomy instead; a tubal ligation is a much bigger surgery with greater risks than a vasectomy. Most importantly, remember to be completely sure that you will not want to become pregnant in the future before you get a tubal ligation. There are many other effective forms of birth control that can help you out without affecting you permanently.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...


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