Patients who wish to have tubal ligation typically are finished with childbearing or are sure of their decision to not have any children. Specific overall health and health of your specific reproductive system are also factors.
Almost every woman is a possible candidate for tubal ligation, barring other health conditions. However, some physicians will refuse to perform the procedure for younger women who have not had any children, as it is essentially considered a permanent form of birth control.
Your doctor will likely have a prior consultation to ensure you are sure about your decision to have a tubal ligation. Any blood thinners such as aspirin and other pain relievers should be discontinued 7 days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. If you can, quit smoking, as this will also reduce your risk of excessive bleeding. Your doctor will likely have you stop eating and drinking the night before surgery. Prior to the procedure, you may need to take a laxative or have an enema to prepare the abdominal region for surgery.
Patients should expect to take pain relievers after the surgery, and will likely go home the day of the procedure, barring any other complications. Laparoscopic treatment may cause nausea and pain in your shoulder, which is caused by bubbles of carbon dioxide gas becoming trapped against the diaphragm. That and other pain can typically be relieved by over-the-counter pain medication, or prescribed medication by your physician. Avoid sexual activity and other vigorous activity for 1-2 weeks, and gradually resume work and normal activity as soon as you feel better. Continue to use contraception for 3 months after the procedure, and ensure you follow up with your physician to ensure that the tubal ligation was successful in blocking the fallopian tubes.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. A proper assessment of every patient, along with complete lab work, will help to prevent postoperative complications. A postoperative course of antibiotics can reduce the risk of infection. After healing, scars are handled with special treatments to minimize their appearance. Complications specific to tubal ligation include damage to other adjacent organs and failure of tubal ligation, or subsequent pregnancy. This occurs in about 1 in 200 women, and can lead to ectopic pregnancy, a highly dangerous complication that requires surgery and hospitalization.