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Tubal Ligation

Tubal Ligation is a surgical form of contraception in which the woman is sterilised by cutting or sealing the fallopian tubes. This prevents fertilisation between the ovum or egg and the spermatozoa which normally takes place in the tube.

It is a method more commonly used by women who have had children and donít want to be worried about other methods of birth control for the remainder of their reproductive life.

The operation should be considered as irreversible and is not advisable for young women who have never had children. Most requests for reversal surgery come from childless women sterilised when comparatively young.

There are certain conditions which might make this operation inadvisable. Your doctor is in this position to advise you.

There are two main surgical methods used for sterilisation.

The first is via Laparoscopy which is performed either under a local or general anaesthetic

Two small abdominal incisions are made and a laparscope which consists of a tube with lenses and a light at the end inserted through one of the incision, clips or a loop are placed around each tube, and are secured with a ring, or the tubes are cut and sealed with the heat from a diathermy machine. The two incisions are small and only a few stitches or clips are necessary for healing purposes. Abdominal discomfort may be present for a few days due to gas which has been pumped into your abdominal cavity to enable the doctor to gain better access to the fallopian tubes. The gas disperses with no permanent ill effects.

The second type of sterilisation operation is via a Laparotomy which is a much more involved operation under general anaesthetic. The incision is larger and the surgeon gains easy access to the tubes via a cut in the lower abdomen which are cut and tied. There is post operative pain more in keeping with an abdominal operation. You generally stay in hospital a little longer and it takes longer to recover. There is a variation to this operation where a smaller incision is made and the tubes drawn up to the surface and tied.

Normal menstrual cycles can be expected after most sterilisation operations. The first one or two periods may be heavier and painful. Severe persistent pain should be brought to the attention of your doctor. Rarely a clip can slip off or severe pelvic inflammation might build up indicating the need for medical attention.

The failure rate for female sterilisation is about 1 in 300.

The pregnancy is ectopic which means that the fertilised egg does not move down into the womb to develop but does so in the tube. Consistent and intense pain is a characteristic of an ectopic pregnancy and even though a rare occurrence should always be considered a possibility in the years after a tubal ligation.

- Ageing - AIDS
- Anorgasmia - Barrier Methods of Contraception
- Frigidity - Genital Herpes
- Impotence - Loss of Libido
- Masturbation - Miscarriage
- Post Natal Depression - Pregnancy
- Premature Ejaculation - Retarded Ejaculation
- Sex and Disability - Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy
- Smoking and Pregnancy - Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
- Syphilis and Gonorrhoea - Termination (Abortion)
- The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device) - The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP)
- The Rhythm Method of Birth Control
or Natural Family Planning
- Tubal Ligation
- Vasectomy - What is Normal??

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