“Getting Your Tubes Tied” or Bilateral Tubal Ligation: Permanent Birth Control

All permanent methods of birth control performed by our physician require a surgical procedure. All of the procedures are brief and performed as an outpatient at Flowers Hospital. This means that you arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery and are able to go home several hours after your procedure.

Permanent methods should be considered to be just that—permanent. While tubal procedures can sometimes be reversed, this often involves a much larger procedure that does not guarantee success.

One of the greatest risks of permanent sterilization is regret. This is often dependent on the age at which a woman decides to have the procedure. In one of the largest trials to assess regret after permanent sterilization, young age at the time of sterilization was the strongest predictor of regret, regardless of marital status or the number of children a woman had. In women age 20 to 24 years at the age of sterilization, an average of 4.3% reported regret over the follow-up period. In women age 30 to 34, the rate of regret was significantly lower at 2.4%.

Bilateral Tubal Ligation, or Getting Your “Tubes Tied”

The fallopian tube is a structure that is attached to and opens into the uterus. The fallopian tube allows two things; the sperm can travel through the tube to reach the egg for fertilization and the egg can travel through the tube to reach the uterus. A tubal ligation closes this tube off so that sperm and egg cannot reach each other. A tubal ligation can be performed the day after a vaginal delivery, at the time of cesarean section, or as a completely separate procedure. The procedure is effective immediately. Failure rate is less than 1 woman per 100 per year.

Description of the procedure: If performed as a separate procedure, a tubal ligation is done laparoscopically, typically through two small incisions less than 1cm in size. A camera is placed through one of these incisions and the operating device through the other. The tube can be cut, sealed with clips, or a segment of tube removed. If performed on the day after a vaginal delivery, an incision is made at the base of the belly button and the tubes reached through this. Again, the tube can be cut, sealed with clips, or a segment removed.