Tubal ligation is a surgery for the purpose of sterilization, popular for women who are older than 28 to 30 and who have all the children they planned.
It is meant to be a permanent procedure, although there is a lot of interest in tubal ligation reversal. According to Ref.16 (p. 718) about 1 million tubal ligations are performed in the U.S. every year and about 10 million women had this procedure already done. Regardless of the technique used there is a failure rate of about 1% to 2% . The procedure can be done after the birth of the last child.
Techniques are usually by laparoscopy surgery (thanks to gwunyeechin.com for this link) or by minilaparotomy. There is a vaginal tubal ligation technique, but this can only be done well away from the postpartum time period (to avoid engorgement of vascular structures from pregnancy). All of these procedures are best done by a gynecologist and should be done with the knowledge that this is a permanent procedure.
Utilizing expensive microscopic surgery in about 70% to 80% of cases a tubal ligation can be successfully reversed, but tubal pregnancies and genetic problems with the fetus are much more common in this older age group of pregnant women.
Many churches or religious groups are against these techniques as they are perceived as countering God’s biblical purpose of “being fruitful and multiplying”. Others say that with judicious use at the end of the desired family size this method would be the method of choice. The risk of the procedure is the risk of the anesthetic and possibly minor infections after the procedure that can be treated with antibiotics. Within 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure the postoperative pain usually settles. The advantage of this permanent procedure is that the couple has no more pregnancy worry like the other couples who need to be cautious until the age of menopause. However, you need to discuss this carefully with your doctor, your husband/partner and be aware that it is meant as a permanent procedure as success with reversal of tubal ligation is not guaranteed.
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