Should I Get My Tubes Tied? 6 Things To Know About Tubal Ligation
When we talk about birth control, there’s one option that’s often left out of the discussion: getting your tubes tied. During a tubal ligation, your fallopian tubes — where the eggs normally travel down to the uterus — are closed off, permanently preventing pregnancy. It's frequently overlooked, especially for younger people, since it's so permanent. But if you're sure you don't want kids, it's worth learning about.
A tubal ligation can be performed any of several ways, OB/GYN Kecia Gaither, MD tells Bustle. The fallopian tubes can be cut, burned, or clipped. Medicaid doesn't usually cover it until you're 21 and may require a 30-day waiting period, but private insurance companies are usually less strict about it, she adds. Some doctors' individual beliefs prevent them from performing tubal ligations, since they may worry their patients will regret it. So, it may be difficult to find a doctor to give you one in your 20s, though it's still possible. Finding one should get easier by the time you're in your 30s, says Astroglide's resident OB/GYN Dr. Angela Jones.
"A tubal ligation was a great decision for me," Megan Brown Bennett, who got a tubal ligation right after a C-section, tells Bustle. Bennett is happy about never having to worry about becoming pregnant — or to spend money or put hormones in her body for birth control again.
Here are some things to know before you get a tubal ligation, according to experts.
1. It's Hard To Reverse
There is a surgical procedure to reverse tubal ligations, but it often doesn't work, according to The Mayo Clinic. This means that if you do it, you should be sure you never want to get pregnant — at least the traditional way. But you could still get pregnant through IVF after getting your tubes tied, Prudence Hall, MD, author of Radiant Again & Forever, tells Bustle.
2. It Can Cause Early Menopause
When decreased blood flow to the ovaries, your hormone production will change, which can lead to early menopause, says Hall. People who experience early menopause have a higher risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and osteoporosis down the line.
3. It's More Expensive Than Most Birth Control — In The Short-Term
A tubal ligation will usually cost between $2,000 and $6,000, says Gaither. However, many insurance plans will at least partially cover it, says Hall. And if you think about it, years of paying copay for the pill every month can add up to even more.
4. It May Hurt — A Little
You may experience some pain, since tubal ligation is a minor surgery, says Gaither. But you'll be under general anesthesia, so you won't feel much, says Hall.
5. It Carries Some Slight Risks
Tubal ligations are typically an out-patient procedure, and they're not particularly risky. But any surgery can carry risks like bleeding, infection, and injury to nearby organs, says Jones. You also might need a week or two to recover, according to Gaither.
6. It's Damn Near Perfect
Getting your tubes tied is considered the most effective form of birth control. "While there is nothing that is 100 percent effective; it’s pretty darn close," says Jones.
If you think getting a tubal ligation is right for you, talk to your doctor about it. You may not find someone willing to do it right off the bat, but you still have the right to.