After having a kid or a couple of kids, many parents take the wise decision of undergoing sterilization. This is permanent contraceptive method that helps in prevention of pregnancy. Women no longer have to worry about morning after pills or have problems making their partners wear condoms. Partners too, no longer have to worry about accidentally impregnating their wives. Once a woman who has given birth to children and no longer wishes to get pregnant, can think of undergoing female sterilization. This is a permanent solution to prevent unwanted pregnancies and will last for life. The process to carry out female sterilization is called tubal ligation. There are different types of tubal ligation procedures that involve a minor surgery. In this HerHaleness article, we shall have a look at tubal ligation types by going through the following paragraphs. This will help you understand the choices one has, when thinking of undergoing a permanent sterilization solution.
What is Tubal Ligation?
A surgical procedure that helps in blocking the fallopian tubes and thus preventing pregnancy is called tubal ligation. When the sperms are deposited in the vagina, they travel up to the uterus and reach the fallopian tube. It is here, where the sperms meet the egg released from the ovary in the fimbrial end of the fallopian tube. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, it does not allow the sperms to meet the ovaries. Thus, fertilization does not take place and pregnancy is prevented. So, when one undergoes tubal ligation, it literally means, the fallopian tubes have undergone 'liagture' or 'tying'. Thus, many times tubal ligation is referred to as 'tying' the tubes.
The fallopian tubes are actually narrow muscular organs that arise from the uterus. These tubes end just next to the ovary and are internally lined by cilia (microscopic hair-like projections). These tubes are about 10 cm in length and divided into several segments. The first segment passes through the uterine muscles and is called interstitial segment. The narrow muscular segment by the uterus is called the isthmic segment. The middle segment that is wider than other segments is called the ampullary segment. The end that is shaped like a funnel near the ovary is called the infundibular segment. And lastly, the ciliary lining that faces the ovary is called the fimbrial segment.
Different Types of Tubal Ligation Procedures
Now that we know what is tubal ligation and the different parts of a fallopian tube, it will be easier to understand the procedures. The following sterilization procedures are carried out in woman who wish to undergo a permanent solution for contraption.
Pomeroy Tubal Ligation and Resection Technique
Under the Pomeroy tubal ligation and resection technique, complete removal of one part of the fallopian tube is carried out. A segment of tube is tied and removed. The first person to describe this technique about 100 years ago was Dr. Ralph Pomeroy. What happens in this procedure, a part of the tube is elevated. It is then made into a loop and tied in place with an absorbable ligature. Then the tubal segment is cut from the middle. In a few days, the peritoneum tissue grows over the cut ends and the fallopian tube separates off as the ligature dissolves. Thus, leaving two healthy segments of fallopian tubes that do not allow fertilization.
This is one of the most preferred methods of ligation by doctors. If one wishes to get pregnant again, they can undergo a tubal ligation reversal surgery. The two healthy, separated ends are rejoined and one can have a chance of getting pregnant again. This type of tubal pregnancy is a good choice for women, who may want to consider a tubal reversal surgery in future. It has been found, there are about 2/3rd women who have been able to become pregnant after undergoing the reversal surgery.
Tubal Ligation with Fallopian Ring
In this method of tubal ligation, a small silastic band is placed on the loop of the fallopian tube. Method is more or less similar to the Pomeroy method. About 2 to 3 cm of the fallopian segment is pulled together and a silastic ring is placed over the loop formed. As the ring is elastic in nature, it will contract and keep the loop in place. Thus, in the end it blocks the fallopian tube and blocked tissue will be devoid of any blood supply. It will soon be replaced by a scar tissue and two healthy, separate segments will remain. If one wishes to undergo a tubal reversal method the following year, the chances of getting pregnant are placed at 65%.
Tubal Ligation with Hulka Clip
Hulka clip is a metal clip with a spring that is used to block the fallopian tubes. This spring-loaded clip was first developed by Dr. Jaroslav Hulka. The clip is made of plastic and a gold spring lock. This clip is placed across the narrow segment of the tube near the uterus. The tube is just 7 mm in width and thus causes minimum damage to the fallopian tubes as opposed to other methods. If one undergoes tubal reversal surgery after a year, chances of pregnancy are placed at about 75%.
Bipolar Tubal Coagulation
Bipolar tubal coagulation is a method where the fallopian tubes are held between two poles of electrical conducting forceps. When an electric current is passed through the poles, it causes loss of about 2 to 3 cm of fallopian tube. This is one of the most preferred laparoscopic methods of tubal sterilization in the United States. Changes of pregnancy after a reversal surgery are about 60% for this method.
Parkland Tubal Ligation
Parkland tubal ligation is a type of tubal ligation and resection method. There two non-aborbable ligatures are tied around the fallopian tubes. These ligatures are placed in the proximal to middle segment. Then the tube between these ligatures is cut off. Thus, one is left with two healthy and separate segments of fallopian tubes. It has been found that 2/3rd women who undergo reversal surgery after this procedure can get pregnant.
Irving Tubal Ligation
The Irving tubal ligation is similar to the Parkland tubal ligation procedure. Two ligatures are placed around the proximal and middle segments. Then the segment is cut and sutured to the back side of the uterus. The other segment is buried in the connective tissue lining near the fallopian tube. These healthy segments can be connected back during a tubal reversal ligation process. Thus, the woman has about 65% chances of getting pregnant again.
These are a few types of tubal ligation methods that one can think of undergoing. Discuss with your partner and weigh all the pros and cons of sterilization. You should also speak to your doctor regarding the tubal ligation side effects as well. Once you are mentally as well as emotionally prepared and feel your family is complete, you should think of undergoing female sterilization.