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Side Effects of Tubal Ligation

written by: AlyssaAst • edited by: BStone • updated: 4/8/2011

Tubal ligation side effects often result in post tubal ligation syndrome, despite the fact skeptics say the side effects and syndrome don't exist. 37 percent of women who undergo this procedure report side effects.

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    Tubal ligation, more commonly known as “getting your tubes tied," is a permanent form of sterilization for women, which involves severing and sealing the fallopian tubes. Sealing the fallopian tubes is often accomplished by tying, clipping or cauterizing the tubes to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. While most women who undergo tubal ligation never experience side effects, 37 percent of women are said to develop side effects, known as post tubal ligation syndrome.

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    Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome

    Tubal ligation side effects are more common for certain women, such as those who had the process of cauterization. Although, any woman can suffer from post tubal ligation syndrome, women who have their tubes tied in their 20’s have an increased risk for side effects when compared to women who have their tubes tied in their 30’s or 40’s. Women who have a history of irregular menstrual cycles appear to have an increased risk for side effects as well.

    It is believed that women develop post tubal ligation syndrome as a result of low estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. This often results from the altered blood supply to the ovaries during the tubal ligation procedure or damage to the receptor cells. Although many women experience side effects of tubal ligation, skeptics say there aren’t any side effects associated with the procedure and post tubal ligation syndrome doesn’t exist. They argue that the symptoms believed to be associated to the procedure, may in fact, be side effects of stopping the use of other birth control methods, which are known to cause the same symptoms.

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    Side Effects of Tubal Ligation

    While the debate over whether or not tubal ligation side effects do exist, many women report to experience episodes of rapid heartbeat, headaches, dizziness and loss of balance. Other side effects associated with the procedure include hot flashes, chills and night sweats, as well as fatigue, difficulty concentrating and memory lapse. Mood swings and irritation are associated with tubal ligation as well. Many women report heavy, light or irregular periods, as well as vaginal itch and dryness. Women may experience loss of libido, breast tenderness and decreased breast mass. Gastrointestinal problems, sore joints and itchy skin have also been reported.

    Some women report to experience thinning or hair loss to the point that it has affected the pubic area and other areas of the body other than the head. Other women report an increase in facial hair. Other side effects may include bleeding gums, burning tongue and a poor taste in the mouth.

    While the Centers for Disease Control is currently investigating whether or not these side effects are associated with tubal ligation, seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms to ensure an underlying condition isn’t the cause.

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