On my list of the world’s best inventions, I’ve often placed birth control right up there. It has allowed many women (and men) to control their reproductive systems and to choose how many, if any, children they have.
This is a right all women should have.
When people think of voluntary sterilization, they often think of a tubal ligation. Fortunately, we also have the option of having our partner take action in terms of permanent male birth control, namely a vasectomy.
Both are excellent choices but both have some risks to note. Let’s take a look.
A tubal ligation is performed by tying and/or burning the fallopian tubes with an electric current.
In order for pregnancy to occur, sperm must travel to these tubes to fuse with an egg that has been released by the ovaries during ovulation. When these tubes are burned/tied, there can be no connection between sperm and egg.
The sperm simply evacuates within days and the egg remains unfertilized.
Some women have their tubes tied right after childbirth. Others wait and have it done when they are sure they want no more children.
The surgery itself is quite basic but it’s also invasive. Women will need a few days of rest after it’s done.
Is it reliable? Yes, very. But it's not 100 percent. A hysterectomy or abstinence remain the only two surefire ways for a younger woman to avoid getting pregnant.
Is pregnancy even possible after a tubal ligation? According to EmpowHER’s Stacey Lloyd, the answer is yes.
In her article “What is a Tubal Ligation?” Lloyd notes:
“Pregnancy may occur if the tubes grow back together or a new passage forms that allows an egg to be fertilized by sperm. If this happens, there is an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the baby starts to develop outside the womb. Ectopic pregnancies can happen years after the surgery and are most likely three or more years after the procedure.”
The risk actually increases as the years go by.