Can I Get Pregnant After Having My Tubes Tied? Signs Of Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation

  • OB/GYN - Women's Health
  • fertilization
  • October 19, 2021

A tubal ligation is one of the most effective forms of contraception. Look for these warning signs of pregnancy after tubal ligation.

One Baby Too Many

Some couples want to stop having kids for good to focus on an already growing family. Over-the-counter contraceptives work. But the chances of another pregnancy are far too great. One powerful option is a tubal ligation or getting the tubes tied. About 700,000 tubal ligations happen yearly and are the most effective form of contraception available.

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All tied up

For a woman to get pregnant, both egg and sperm first travel through the fallopian tubes for fertilization. Tubal ligation prevents this by cutting and tying the tubes. The process is a quick outpatient procedure, minimally invasive, and very effective. Most women decide on tubal ligations after childbirth or a C-section, but the procedure can be done at any time. Reversals, however, are difficult, with some couples opting for IVF instead.

The procedure is no laughing matter

Tubal ligations essentially make the woman sterile. However, women can still have menstrual cycles or sexually transmitted infections. So the same care must be taken in both circumstances. With any surgical procedure, doctors will make the patient aware of possible complications. While the procedure has a 99% success rate, there are still several risks involved. These include a chance of infection, scarring, or pelvic pain. Some women also report heavier periods and pain during intercourse.

Pregnancy is not impossible

With tubes tied, getting pregnant again sounds impossible, right? Women can get pregnant even with tubal ligation. About 0.1-0.8% of women whose tubes are tied get pregnant again. This figure goes up to about 5% in the following 5 years. Younger women are at a higher risk of pregnancy. While this sounds like a small figure, the fact remains, conceiving after tubal ligation is possible.

Signs a pregnancy is in motion

So how can pregnancy happen? In some instances, the tubes can grow back. This opens the door to pregnancy. The signs of pregnancy are similar to a woman with a healthy reproductive system. Symptoms include nausea, headaches, tender breasts, and frequent urination. A missed period is also a clear sign. Get a pregnancy test if one or more of these symptoms show up.

The dangers of pregnancy with tubal ligation

Many women with tubal ligations have ectopic pregnancies. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus. Women with ectopic pregnancies experience severe pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding, along with the usual symptoms of pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy poses a high risk and can be harmful. Seek medical help immediately for these signs.

Practice care after the procedure

Tubal ligation is the most effective method of pregnancy prevention. That does not mean a tubal ligation is 100% successful. If a pregnancy is suspected, do a quick test, then speak with an OB/GYN as soon as possible.

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