Can You Reverse Your Tubes Being Tied – After Rebecca Reveley had her third child, she and her husband decided their family was complete. Many women she knew had their tubes tied as a permanent form of birth control, so in 2013 the now 38-year-old mother had tubal ligation surgery, hoping to get rid of the side effects of hormonal birth control.
“I was like, ‘Hey, what’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong,” said Revelli of Ashland, Kentucky. “We’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about having their tubes tied.”
Can You Reverse Your Tubes Being Tied
Her stomach was severely bloated, her hair began to thin, and sex with her husband was painful. Her doctor ran blood tests and did a physical exam, but found nothing. That’s when Revelli’s internet search turned up post-tubal ligation syndrome (PTLS), a collection of symptoms some women say they experience after having their tubes tied.
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A tubal ligation is when a doctor clamps, stitches, cuts, or removes the fallopian tubes to prevent the egg and sperm from meeting, preventing pregnancy. It’s one of the most popular forms of birth control worldwide, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noting that 13% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have their tubes tied. .
Doctors consider it a low-risk procedure, and some say the two biggest side effects are regret and accidental pregnancy; it has a 0.5% failure rate, according to the CDC.
However, an unknown number of women claim to experience problems afterwards. Tubal ligation syndrome is a condition that is not widely understood in the medical community. According to a 1992 literature review on the subject, some women reported experiencing a variety of symptoms, including painful periods (cramping), prolonged menstrual bleeding, and midcycle bleeding. Despite the fact that tubal ligation is a common procedure worldwide, there is no further research into why some women experience debilitating side effects while others do not.
Earlier this year, dozens of women reported experiencing additional symptoms such as fatigue, migraines, nausea, depression, mood swings and loss of sex drive.
Tubal Reversal Cost
“The retrograde tubal ligation syndrome has not been known. There is no clinical definition of what constitutes tubal ligation syndrome,” said Dr. Donna Mazlumdost, director of the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, said:
“There is probably a subset of women who have a scar tissue reaction and are disturbed,” Mazlumdost explained.
Like Revelli, women affected by PTLS struggle to find relief. Some believe that reversal of tubal ligation surgery may be the only cure for their unpleasant symptoms. However, reverse surgery is not straightforward and is not recommended by doctors.
“Reversal itself is a much more complicated procedure,” said Dr. Carolyn Givens, associate medical director of the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco and a member of ACOG, said: “It’s meant to be permanent.”
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Reversing a tubal ligation involves very delicate stitches and can take about two to three hours, Givens said. Sometimes it is impossible to turn it because there may not be enough to reattach the tube. Reversals are more successful when enough healthy fallopian tubes are left. During the procedure, doctors will eventually use small stitches to reattach the undamaged ends of the fallopian tubes to the woman’s uterus.
In 2015, Revley attempted to reverse his tube ligation. Neither her OB-GYN nor her doctor had heard of PTLS. Other doctors billed him about $20,000 because insurance often doesn’t cover the procedure. Revely ended up traveling to a pediatrician in Tennessee who performed the procedure at a reasonable cost.
“It was different,” he said. “Within a few weeks my body started to behave. The pain associated with intimate relations completely disappeared. My hair became thicker. It seemed like everything was connected.”
Another patient who says he suffers from PTLS has yet to have a turnaround. Stacey Underwood had vaginal bleeding for more than six months straight and experienced a blood clot that her doctor believes was caused by the loosening of the clamp used to seal her fallopian tubes.
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“When I (saw) the tubal reversal specialist, he thought my hormones might be off, which was the reason for my constant vaginal bleeding. He did a hormone panel test and absolutely everything came back normal, so there’s no other reason for my symptoms,” said the 36-year-old from Lexington, North Carolina.
Stacey Underwood has had profuse bleeding and other issues since her tubal ligation. He is hoping that a setback in August will correct his symptoms. Courtesy of Stacey Underwood
Dr. Charles Monteith, who performs tubal ligations at his practice in North Carolina, says he has seen some women who say they have PTLS, but he considers tubal ligation a “last resort.”
“Women should be evaluated in different terms,” he said. “If no other conditions can be identified … then that’s something that might be helpful to consider reversal.”
Tubal Reversal Procedures For Tubal Ligation Patients
Experts agree that when doctors discuss sterilization with their patients, they should emphasize that it is permanent and make sure patients clearly understand this. The women interviewed for this story also hope that doctors will disclose that the procedure can have negative side effects.
“It’s the biggest regret of my life,” Underwood said of the tubal ligation surgery, and she’s still struggling to deal with the aftermath.
Megan Holohan is a contributing writer who writes about health and parenting. She enjoys cooking, yoga, reading, music and walking her two rescue dogs. Follow her on Twitter to see her latest stories. Once a woman decides she is done having children, there are many options to prevent further pregnancy. One popular method, tubal sterilization, has left some women with serious and unexpected side effects that also baffle doctors.
Tubal ligation surgery, often called “tying your tubes,” is a permanent method of birth control and the most common form of birth control worldwide. For Stacey Underwood, it seemed practical after the birth of her fifth child. But her symptoms started right after the procedure.
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“It was like my body went into shock,” said Underwood, 36, of Lexington, North Carolina. “For six to eight hours, something was completely strange.”
After having her tubes tied five years ago, Stacey Underwood has experienced many symptoms that she attributes to the procedure. She hopes experts will pay more attention to tubal ligation syndrome. Courtesy of Stacey Underwood
A week later the chills and night sweats started. Worried, she called her doctor, who advised Underwood to visit the emergency room because they feared she had postpartum preeclampsia.
“They were like chills and I woke up and my clothes were wet,” she explained.
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For an upcoming series, asked women to share their stories about the challenges of receiving a health diagnosis. A surprising number of women have reported complications after tubal ligation. In the medical community, this condition is referred to as posttraumatic ligament syndrome, although it is not widely understood. According to a 1992 literature review on the subject, some women reported experiencing a variety of symptoms, including painful periods (cramping), prolonged menstrual bleeding, and midcycle bleeding.
Women reported experiencing additional symptoms such as fatigue, migraines, nausea, depression, mood swings and loss of libido.
“I never got my feather,” said Kristen Hoy, 35, of Clementon, New Jersey. “My first period… I was literally on my knees and I had to go to the ER because I bled through the tampon within an hour.”
Hoy knew she didn’t want any more children after her third child, and her doctors said a spay was the best thing to do. However, he received little warning about the side effects.
Tubal Ligation Or Female Sterilisation
“I feel so defeated. I used to leave the office and cry. I wouldn’t get anywhere,” Underwood said. She has had symptoms for the past five years and they have worsened, including almost constant bleeding.
According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 13% of women ages 15-44 have had a tubal sterilization. It is permanent, but not perfect. A very small percentage of women can get pregnant afterwards. Experts say that regret is the most common side effect after an accidental pregnancy.
“If you change your mind, it’s hard to turn around,” said Dr. John Harris, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said:
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, during tubal sterilization, the fallopian tubes are removed or cut and tied with a special wire, closed with tapes or clips, closed with an electric current, or blocked with scar tissue formed by small implants. The purpose of the surgery is to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
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Tubal ligation should not affect how the ovaries work or change the amount of hormones a woman makes. But doctors admit there isn’t much research on it
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