Whether you’re done having children or you prefer not to have any kids at all, there are many different avenues of birth control for you to choose from. But there are only a few options that are permanent, and tubal ligation is one of them. Because it’s a permanent procedure, it’s important to understand when it’s right for you.
Dr. John Paul Roberts is a board-certified OB/GYN who specializes in helping women find the right birth control, including tubal ligation in some cases. When you’re ready to talk about permanent birth control methods, Dr. Roberts provides the guidance you need to make the best decision for you and your family.
How a tubal ligation works
A tubal ligation is a medical procedure that’s performed when you no longer want to have children. This procedure is permanent, which is why it’s also called tubal sterilization. Tubal ligation prevents pregnancy by altering your fallopian tubes.
In order for pregnancy to occur, a mature egg is released from your ovary and travels down your fallopian tube. If there are viable sperm waiting in the tube, fertilization of the egg occurs, and it continues to move down the tube to your uterus, where it implants and starts to grow.
So how does tubal ligation prevent pregnancy? During this procedure, Dr. Roberts either cuts or ties your fallopian tubes, which prevents sperm from reaching an egg. The tubes are no longer connected to the lower part of your reproductive system, therefore preventing fertilization and pregnancy from occurring.
Although a tubal ligation is technically a permanent procedure, in some cases, it can be reversed. However, if you decide to reverse a tubal ligation, it may not work, and it increases your chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.
The tubal ligation procedure
During a cesarean section, after your baby is delivered, Dr. Roberts uses the same incision that was used when your baby was delivered to perform the procedure.
In some instances, a tubal ligation can be performed on an outpatient basis when you aren’t pregnant and haven’t recently delivered a baby.
When a tubal ligation is needed
Usually, you want a tubal ligation when you’re sure you don’t want any more children. It’s used as a permanent birth control option. However, in some cases, a tubal ligation may be a medical option to prevent harm to you or your potential offspring.
One reason a tubal ligation may be an option is if you have a medical condition that could be worsened if you were to become pregnant. Certain heart conditions and other serious medical problems could be potentially fatal if you were to carry a pregnancy to term.
A tubal ligation can also be used when you or your partner are carriers of certain genetic disorders that you don’t want to pass along to your offspring. These genetic disorders could include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Fragile X syndrome
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Spinal muscular atrophy
If you’ve undergone genetic testing and are either a carrier or have one of these disorders, a tubal ligation ensures a permanent method of birth control to prevent these disorders from being passed on.
Although not typically performed for this reason alone, a tubal ligation may decrease your risk of getting ovarian cancer in some cases, like if genetic testing reveals that you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations.
If you’re ready to take the step to put your child-bearing years behind you, contact our office in Plano, Texas, to make an appointment. You can either call us or use our online booking tool located here on our website.