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Tubal Ligation Questions

Tubal ligation is one of the most popular forms of permanent birth control. It is a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are “tied” to prevent the egg from reaching the uterus to be fertilized by the sperm. There are several methods of tubal ligation. The most common one is to clamp the fallopian tubes. The tubal ligation is usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Once the woman is placed under the anesthesia, two small incisions are made below the navel to reach the fallopian tubes. The surgeon will then tie, clamp, sever or cauterize the tubes. To learn more about tubal ligation, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

Are vaginal odors, problems with having a bowel movement or bloody bowel movements common with having a tubal ligation? Can the surgery cause a hole in the rectal region?

A tubal ligation generally doesn’t happen in the area between the rectum and the vagina and therefore shouldn’t cause the symptoms described above. While the creation of a hole may be possible, in most cases, this condition would only occur in women who have had their pelvis exposed to radiation or an extensive amount of surgery done to the pelvic area. When this happens, a hole called the recto vaginal fistula is created in the tissue between the vagina and the rectum. If a woman is experiencing foul vaginal odors and bloody bowel movements, an examination by a doctor would be in order. In most cases, foul odors emitting from the vagina is a result of bacterial vaginosis. This condition can be cleared by using antibiotics. Another possible reason could be the expulsion of a fibroid or polyp in the uterus which could lead to heavy bleeding and a bad odor. However, since there are bowel issues, it would be better to seek the help of a gastroenterologist to diagnose the problem clearly.

Can someone who has had a tubal ligation be artificially inseminated?

In order for a woman to be artificially inseminated, a reversal tubal ligation would have to take place as the fallopian tubes need to be healthy enough to properly aid the fertilization of the egg. In many cases, women choose to have the reverse tubal ligation procedure performed at a fertility clinic. This procedure requires a specialist and is usually very expensive. There is another approach if the woman chooses to avoid a reverse tubal ligation which is the test tube method. In this procedure, an ovum is removed from the woman and fertilized by a donor sperm in a lab which is then implanted back into the woman’s womb to help the fetus to grow.

Which type of tubal ligation is more permanent? When the tubes are tied or cauterized? Is there any other method of birth control better than this?

While both methods are recommended to prevent a pregnancy, getting the tubes tied is considered a little more effective than cauterization. Another effective procedure to help birth control is known as the Essure Procedure. In most cases, this can be performed in an office setting. The Essure procedure is done by numbing the woman's cervix and placing tiny flexible coils in the tubes. The woman's body usually reacts to the coils and closes the tubes completely, thereby preventing the possibility of a pregnancy.

After having a tubal ligation, what are the chance of the tubes coming untied and being able to conceive?

Since there are many methods of tubal ligation, one would first have to know how the tubes were tied in order to determine the chances of the tubes coming untied. If the tubes were “tied” by suturing a part of them, the failure rate is generally about 3%, over time, since a major part of the tubes is intact. Cauterization of the tubes, however, may have injured them further causing the failure rate to drop to 1%. With surgery, it is possible to reverse tubal ligation and depending on how the tubes were “tied” and the procedure was reversed; the chances of conception could vary from 10 - 40%. Tubal ligations are performed daily for a variety of reasons. Many women opt to have this procedure to avoid having more children. However, in some cases the tubal ligation is performed for medical reasons.

If you have any questions about having a tubal ligation reversed or would like more information on tubal ligation itself, ask an Expert now. They can offer medical clarity and insights based on the details of your case.

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