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Birth Control by Tubal Sterilization

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In today’s expanding population and with the concept of small nuclear families being widely accepted, birth control has become a popular sector in the field of medicine. Birth control techniques for women have become commonplace, as they are reliable and affordable with minimal side effects on health. Tubal sterilization is one such approach, which is usually safe and effective in its purpose.


What is tubal sterilization?

Sterilization involves closing or blocking a woman's fallopian tubes to permanently prevent conception. Sperms cannot reach the ovum released from the ovaries into the fallopian tube. Hence it is an effective method of birth control. 


How can it be achieved?

This is done in many ways, that include -

Cutting and tying the tubes – a process is also known as tubal ligation. This is by far the most common method of tubal sterilization.

Cautery which involves sealing tubes with clips, clamps, or rings. It can be performed by laproscopy using electricity.

Essure which involves putting tiny inserts in the tubes, after which tissue growth occurs around them and automatically blocks sperms from reaching the ovum.

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Why would you choose this method?

Tubal sterilization has a number of perks to its credit. It isn't an extreme approach as most women presume it to be.

Safe and convenient

Sterilization is reliable, hassle free and simple. It has a better success rate as compared to contraceptive pills, condoms and diaphragms. It can be performed at any stage of the menstrual cycle.

Allows a couple to have safe and carefree intercourse

The tension of an unwanted pregnancy may prevent a woman from enjoying sexual intercourse with her partner. This worry is definitely eliminated by tubal sterilization, and has accounted for heightened sexual pleasure in many cases.

It doesn't rob a woman of her femininity

That cutting of your fallopian tubes might affect a woman's sex drive, hair, muscle tone and breast, is a major myth. Oestrogen is only synthesized in the ovaries, and they will continue to circulate in the body after sterilization. It will not affect her menstrual cycle or accelerate menopause.

Prevents transfer of faulty genes to the offspring

Tubal sterilization is the best option for women with genetic or hereditary disorders (that may or may not be expressed) who wouldn't want to pass it to their offspring/s.


Is it risky?

Tubal sterilization has proven to be 100% effective and safe. However there is a rare possibility of the tubes reconnecting by themselves. If a woman does get pregnant by any chance after sterilization, it usually results into an ectopic pregnancy which means the zygote develops in the fallopian tube itself, instead of the uterus.  It can be fatal, and requires immediate attention. 

Essure form of tubal sterilization can result in moving of the metal coils. The tubes may not be adequately blocked and can result in pregnancy. Second procedures may have to be performed if Essure fails. Insertion could also damage the uterus. Other medical procedures may damage the inserts.

Other side effects include fluid build up in the bloodstream or oedema, excessive vaginal bleeding, uterine toxicity, back pain, fever and infection.

It is permanent procedure, and reversal methods may not be successful. 

Moreover, sterilization does not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases.


Recovering from Tubal Sterilization

Tubal sterilization, being a surgical procedure requires the use of anaesthesia, which could be general or local depending on the patient's choice. In either case, it causes some discomfort. It is slightly more in the case of general anaesthesia, and might result in mild fever and slight vaginal bleeding for the next few days. This further differs from person to person, depending on her lifestyle and health. Lifting of heavy weights should be avoided after surgery, for at least a week or two.   

If extreme symptoms such as a high fever, nausea and abdominal discomfort persist, visit your doctor.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: June 25, 2013

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