Tubal ligation is preferred by women because of its effectiveness and convenience 2. It lacks the side effects associated with temporary birth control methods. This procedure is considered a permanent, although sometimes reversible, highly effective method of contraception. It may be performed after a C-section, while the patient is still anesthetized, or laparoscopically, which means through small abdominal incisions, as a separate procedure. The surgery requires a general anesthetic, or a spinal or epidural anesthetic, and entails blocking or severing the fallopian tubes. In most cases, the surgery goes smoothly, and there are no significant side effects. However, no surgery is without risks, and some women have experienced side effects.
Every surgery involves risks, including pain, bleeding and infection. Major complications of tubal ligation are uncommon but may include heavy blood loss, complications with general anesthesia, such as:
- reactions to medications
- injury to major organs or blood vessels
- the need for a laparotomy
- or a larger incision
- during the surgery 2
Complications From Hemorrhoid Surgery
Side effects during recovery from the procedure include cramps, discharge, pain at the wound site, bloating, sharp pains in the neck or shoulder, which are caused by gas put into the abdomen during the procedure, bruising around the wound, lethargy, and general discomfort.cause:
- Side effects during recovery from the procedure include cramps
- pain at the wound site
- sharp pains in the neck or shoulder
- which are caused by gas put into the abdomen during the procedure
- bruising around the wound
- general discomfort
Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome
Most women are satisfied with the procedure, but each decision must be considered carefully, especially if the procedure is scheduled at the time of a C-section. Some women elect to have the procedure then, because it spares them a separate surgery, but they need to be certain they do not wish to have any more children.
Complications From Hemorrhoid Surgery
Post Hemorrhoidectomy Complications
What Are the Side Effects of Endometrial Ablation?
Abnormal Bleeding After a D&C
Complications of Hiatal Hernia Surgery
The Risks of Running After a Hysterectomy
Causes of Pain in the Leg After a C-Section
Appendix Surgery Side Effects
How to Get Rid of Bloating After a Hysterectomy
Hernia Symptoms for Women
- Coalition for Post Tubal Women: Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS) Symptom List 1999
- MedlinePlus: Tubal Ligation
- CDC Office of Enterprise Communication: CDC Researchers Report Increased Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy After Tubal Sterilization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Effectiveness of family planning methods.
- Shoupe D, Mishell DR. Contraception. Women and Health. 2013:209-234. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-384978-6.00015-7.
- Sung S, Abramovitz A. Tubal ligation. StatPearls. 2020.
- Premalatha R, Tripathi MS. A study on the reversal of sterilisation in women over two decades. J Obstet Gynaecol India. 2012;62(1):62–67. doi:10.1007/s13224-012-0144-x
- Jokinen E, Heino A, Karipohja T, Gissler M, Hurskainen R. Safety and effectiveness of female tubal sterilisation by hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy: a register based study. BJOG. 2017;124(12):1851-1857. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.14719
- Rice MS, Murphy MA, Tworoger SS. Tubal ligation, hysterectomy and ovarian cancer: A meta-analysis. J Ovarian Res. 2012;5(1):13. doi:10.1186/1757-2215-5-13
- Levgur M, Duvivier R. Pelvic inflammatory disease after tubal sterilization: a review. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2000;55(1):41-50. doi:10.1097/00006254-200001000-00022
- ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 208: Benefits and risks of sterilization. Obstet Gynecol. 2019;133(3):e194‐e207. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000003111
- Cornell Law School: Legal Information Center. 42 CFR § 441.258 - Consent form requirements.
- American College of Surgeons. Medication and surgery: before your operation. Updated May 2019.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist. Sterilization by laparoscopy.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Sterilization for women and men. Updated March 2019.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Postpardum sterilization.
- University of Michigan: Michigan Medicine. Laparoscopic tubal ligation. Updated May 29, 2019.
- American Academy of Family Physicians: FamilyDoctor.org. Tubal sterilization (tubal ligation). Updated May 11, 2017.
- "Comprehensive Gynecology"; Family planning: contraception, ...; Mishell DR Jr., et al; 5th ed; 2007
- "ACOG Education Pamphlet AP035"; Sterilization by laparoscopy; ACOG; February 2003
Lucia LaBoy-Apseloff began writing professionally in 1996 and has publications in "The Lancet," "The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology" and the "American Journal of Therapeutics." She has a Bachelor of Science in biology with a concentration in chemistry from Central Connecticut State University.