Bilateral tubal ligation is more commonly known as female sterilisation. The nature of this procedure means that it is a permanent method of birth control and the possibility of reversal should not be considered as an option for a later date – reversal is often not an option. If however you and your partner are sure that you have completed your family and if you have carefully considered all the available options it may that you have decided that you want a permanent solution to contraception and if so bilateral tubal ligation may be something to consider.
If you are not sure about taking that step to a final and permanent contraceptive solution you should ensure that you have considered all the other options.
Oral contraception or condoms are probably the most common methods of contraception but may be seen as unreliable by some.
Contraceptive implant – a small implant containing synthetic progesterone, placed under the skin of the arm and left in place for up to three years. Easily reversible.
Contraceptive injection – lasts up to eight weeks.
Inter Uterine Device (IUD) – small devices situated in the uterus and left in place for up to ten years, easily reversed, not 100% reliable.
Many women suffer with various side effects as a result of using artificial hormonal contraception and may, therefore, be considering a more permanent solution which does not involve the use of artificial chemicals.
Bilateral tubal ligation is a surgical method which will prevent fertilization and cause the unfertilized egg to be absorbed back into the womans body during menstruation. This procedure involves the clipping or suturing of the fallopian tubes or cauterizing a mid-section of the tubes. Some surgeons choose to tie knots in the fallopian tubes and sever the tubes on either side of the knots.
Whilst this procedure used to involve major surgery recent medical advances mean that bilateral tubal ligation surgery can now be done laparoscopicicaly, or via a keyhole, which not only leaves less scarring but also means a quicker recovery and less time in hospital. If you are having a caesarean section your doctor may consider doing the bilateral tubal ligation after the baby has been delivered, however some doctors may be reluctant to carry the procedure out at this stage due to pregnancy swelling within the reproductive system – in order for a successful outcome of the bilateral tubal ligation it may be necessary to use extreme surgery on the fallopian tubes if the process is to take place during a caesarean section.
Tubal ligation is considered to be a permanent solution to birth control and is found to 99% effective in the first 12 months post-op; however there have been isolated cases where the fallopian tubes have been found to have grown back.
It must always be remembered that surgical sterilization is a permanent solution to contraception and therefore should only be undertaken after careful and considered thought, it is important not to assume you will be able to reverse the result as it is just not always possible and will involve major surgery.