Tubal Ligation or Tubal Lies?
Tubal Ligation Video
What the Doctor may not tell you
( I must say I am not a Doctor ,this article is based on my personal experience and self research. I am in no way for or against Tubal Ligation( also known as having ones "Tubes Tied") but want to bring awareness about things that I experienced since having this procedure.)
Recently after having my fifth child, and a fifth c-section , my husband and decided to opt for a Tubal Ligation as our form of birth control. We had discussed our options previously, I ,of course ,suggested for him a vasectomy, but after much thought and his reservations, and the fact that I would be in the operating room already having my fifth child via c-section, it seemed the easiest and most affordable option.
My Doctor discussed, with me and my husband, a few things and made sure that this was our choice way before our child's due date. These are the things he brought to our awareness:
- This is a sterilization process, though it can be reversed, there is no guarantee that you would be able to conceive( 50 to 80% chance) and the cost is high.
- Many women have reported having extremely heavier periods, inconsistent menstrations cycles, and more painful periods, though, in his experience with his patients, it was rare .
- Even though it was a sterilization , the risk of becoming pregnant was at 99% and most resulted in a tubal pregnancy.
I am now at three months Post-Op and I have noticed these symptoms that were not "normal" for me previous to having a Tubal Ligation:
- Before the onset of my period, I have annoying pain on my lower left side. What I refer to as "Ovary" pain. It alternates between a dull ache and a sharp stabbing pain for about two days before I actually start to bleed.
- For the first 2 days of my period, it is light flow, almost a spotting of "old blood"
- For day three, continuing for at least two to three days, I have extremely heavy bleeding to the point I am almost homebound for fear of over flowing onto my clothes if I even go to the store.
- For days six, seven,eight & nine, I have what I refer to has my normal( pre-tubal) period.
- My pre-tubal . pre-pregnancy periods were normally only five days in length with moderate flow.
Of course, I began to think something was wrong with me personally and that perhaps something hadn't healed correctly so I did as most now days and went in search of others experiences. Before I list my findings, I wanted to give some statistics on Tubal Ligation:
- About 700,000 women a year in the Untied States have this procedure done
- 50% usually do it after the birth of a child
- Risks of becoming pregnant in the first year are 1 out of 100 women, and if pregnancy does occur, 33% will result in an ectopic pregnancy
- Risks of becoming pregnant in the following years increase
So, I began my research on the internet and I came across some very interesting information. When I first typed in "Tubal Ligation" most of the hits were on reversals.
As, I continued my quest for knowledge, I found out why Tubal Ligation Reversal was so popular. There is a thing called Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome, which has an extensive list of symptoms claimed by women that had not experienced these symptoms pre-tubal. The issue, in here lies,as most Doctors don't recognize their claims as being a result of the tubal, therefore, there run tests for other possible causes or even worse, some may tell the patient it's all in their head. Thus there are few Doctors that will do Tubal Reversals and in most cases insurance companies will not pay.
To fully understand these women and what they are going through I will list some of the symptoms that they mention, as I have stated earlier, though my symptoms are few, they are a part of more than 50 symptoms that women have reported , not all symptoms are felt by all Tubal Ligation recipients. However, there are many that are experienced as common denominators. For the sake of time and length I am only going to list a few of the more common out of over 50 symptoms and complaints:
- Irregular periods- heavy, painful, inconsistent
- Painful intercourse/ bleeding after intercourse
- Severe PMS- mood swings,hot flashes, irratibility, night sweats
- Painful ovulation- stabbing or constant ache
- Changes in color of vaginal area
- Mental Confusion/Memory lapses
- Depression/ Anxiety
As I said, these are only a few of the over 50 symptoms gathered for PTLS or Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome.
My heart goes out to these women, even though I myself have not encountered most of these symptoms and consider myself one of the lucky ones, I know too well the pain and embarrassment of having a Doctor that tells you "There's nothing wrong with you, it's all in your head, your just depressed." or "You should try exercising more and lose some weight, you'll feel better and feel better about yourself " . Of course, this is not any of my current Doctors that have said these things to me!
Some believe that these symptoms may not be the result of a Tubal Ligation, but the result of a Doctors negligence during the procedure. Thus is my conclusion would explain, perhaps, why only some of the 700,000 women a year that have this procdure are complaining of these symptoms and are the minority rather than the majority .
But still the numbers are too high to ignore.