Tubal Ligation Recovery

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure to help prevent pregnancy. Unlike other birth control methods, it is permanent. It means you should go for this procedure only when you know you will never want a child again. The procedure involves burning, cutting, clipping the fallopian tubes that enables eggs to move from the ovary to the uterus.

When the tubes are closed, sperm cannot meet the egg. The egg automatically dissolves and is absorbed by body. It is possible to ask for tubal ligation during a C-section delivery or while recovering from vaginal childbirth. You may opt for interval tubal ligation that involves using a laparoscope under short-acting general anesthesia. Tubal ligation recover usually depends on the method used as well as many other factors.

What to Expect in Tubal Ligation Recovery?

You will have to go through different phases while recovering from your surgery. If you opted for the interval tubal procedure, it is important to first withdraw the gas from your abdomen after the procedure. You can go home after several hours. If you choose to have your tubal ligation during childbirth, the procedure will not extend your hospital stay.


During tubal ligation recovery, it is common to experience some discomfort around the incision site. You may also experience fatigue, abdominal pain, shoulder pain, and bloating. Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help relieve pain. You should not take aspirin though because it increases the risk for bleeding.

Things to Avoid

While you are allowed to take a bath 48 hours after your procedure, you should avoid rubbing or straining the incision site for at least a week. Similarly, you should not do any strenuous lifting and stay away from having sexual intercourse for a couple of weeks after your procedure.

When to Call Doctor

Your stitches usually dissolve during tubal ligation recovery, but you should ask your doctor if they want you to arrange a follow-up appointment. You should also call your doctor if your notice some issues while recovering from your surgery. Seek immediate medical help if you experience fainting spells, high temperature (higher than 38C or100.4F), abdominal pain that becomes worse with time, and bleeding or discharge from the incision site.

FAQs for Tubal Ligation Recovery

  • How long will it take me to go back to work?

You can resume your normal activities in 2-5 days of surgery.

  • How long should I wait before having sex?

You can resume whenever you feel comfortable, but it is a good idea to wait for at least a week after your surgery to engage in vaginal sex.

  • Will there be a change in how sex feels after sterilization?

No. In fact, most women enjoy sex even more because they know they cannot become pregnant.

  • How fast will I recover?

It is important to understand that the speed of tubal ligation recovery will depend heavily on your pain tolerance, your overall healing ability, and the type of anesthesia used during the procedure.

What If Tubal Ligation Fails to Prevent Pregnancy?

While failure rate is quite low, usually around 2-10 per 1000 women, it is possible to become pregnant after the procedure. If you become pregnant even after the procedure, your pregnancy will proceed normally. However, there will always be a higher chance of having an ectopic pregnancy. If it is an ectopic pregnancy, you will also experience signs such as pain on the sides of your lower abdomen, spotting, a very light period, dizziness, and pressure on the bowels. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have these signs or you suspect that you may have become pregnant.

What Others Have Experienced

"I had my tubes tied the very next day of my delivery. I got an epidural during labor, so they proceeded without putting me under general anesthesia. The procedure did not take long and it was not painful either. During the procedure, they gave me morphine to help me stay relaxed. The procedure continued for half an hour. After the procedure, I had to stay out of work for a couple of weeks and it was not easy with a newborn baby to handle. I could feel pain on the incision site. I could also feel pain inside that would go all the way up through my shoulders. They said that was because they had to pump me with air for better visibility. I took some painkillers that really helped with pain. It all settled after some time, but I was left with a regret that I really decided to go for this option."

"I had my tubes tied yesterday and I was quite fine until I wake up this morning. I had some cramps with little spotting as well. There was no shoulder pain but it was a bit difficult to get out of bed due to cramps. I did not take any pain killers because I am not trying to cover it up. I believe tubal ligation is one of the very best methods to stop becoming pregnant. Just think twice before you take the plunge."

More FAQs Regarding Tubal Ligation

Many women have so many questions about tubal ligation recovery and procedure. Here are common FAQs with their answers.

Are there any complications associated with tubal ligation?

The most common complications are infection, bleeding, or reaction to anesthetic. Damage to organs, including the bladder, bowel, ovaries, uterus, nerves, and blood vessels can also occur. Only 1-4% of women going for tubal ligation experiences organ damage. In very rare cases, it may become necessary to repair a major blood vessel after surgery. It may take blood transfusion and a larger incision to complete the procedure safely.

Some injuries do not appear immediately after the procedure and usually require another operation. There have also been some reports of deaths because of tubal ligation – the chances are quite low though.

Is it important to get my partner's consent before the procedure?

No, it is not necessary, but it is always a good thing to discuss it with them before you decide to have the surgery. Your partner may also help you during tubal ligation recovery if you take them in confidence. 

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