Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Babies: Women Go Under The Knife

Tubal ligation is the clinical name for female sterilization. The fallopian tubes are altered in such a way that egg and sperm can't ever get together. There are 4 methods utilized to make sure those frisky cells don't dance their magical conception dance:
  • cutting the fallopian tubes then re-attaching them off-kilter (most common)
  • squeezing the tubes shut with clips, causing scar tissue to permanently block them
  • same as above except using fancy hi-tech silicone rings in place of clips
  • cauterizing teach tube closed with electrical current (can be done laparoscopically)
You will notice that none of the methods involve any tying of any tubes, but "she got her tubes tied" is just catchier than 'she got a partial salpingectomy'.

knot tying badge not required

These procedures can be done under general or epidural/spinal anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, there is no pain at all during the procedure, but there can be some discomfort if the epidural is chosen. Happy drugs are usually given in conjunction with the epidural option. The cost can be anywhere from about $1500 to $6000.

Recovery can take everywhere from a couple of days to a week or two. Aside from pain, there can be some period-like symptoms...bleeding, gassy feeling, cramping, etc. Sexual abstinence is recommended for at least a week, and alternate forms of birth control are needed until blockage is confirmed if the clip/ring procedure was performed.

Tubal ligation is intended to be permanent. It can be reversed, but it's a pretty serious surgery. As a result, it's generally difficult for women under 30 find someone to do it for them. It has a failure rate of less than 1%, but when it does fail there's an increased risk of it ending up as a tubal or ectopic pregnancy, which is lame.

All in all, folks, a vasectomy seems a whole lot easier than tubal ligation to me. It carries less risk and costs a WHOLE lot less. Should it come time to choose sterilization in Chakabox's hoping the Manfriend can be convinced to wear an ice jock for a couple of days. I'd totally make it worth his while.


  1. 800 deaths a year from tube tieing, mainly due to the general thank you. I picked Essure. Have you heard of that? I had it done 1 week ago - there was some pain, but hey, we made it through delivering a baby, right?

  2. A close friend went under the knife when her Manfriend wouldn't. She was running in 2 days. Running, as in jogging. Seriously.

    I tried to get a vasectomy, when I was 20. No dice, three docs. Then again when I was 24. Nope. Finally remembered when I was 30. Success. A decision I am proud of and I have heartily recommended this choice to many men.

    Some day when the politics are navigated, there may be a hormone birth control pill for men. I participated in 3 sequential trials with the World Health Organization, administered locally (Seattle) at the (defunct) Pacific Medical Center (Amazon building, now). If a man takes Testosterone daily in small amount, sufficient to keep the blood level of Testosterone above a minimal threshold, then sperm are not created. It's really that simple. More direct intervention in conception than the hormone BCP for women. Likely to have significantly less adverse side effect than the hormone BCP for women. But the politics of a MALE contraceptive were enormous. As well, by 1990 W.H.O. hadn't found a formula that brought 100% of men to zero sperm production.