What are the Best Tips for Tubal Ligation Recovery?

Thomma Grindstaff

In tubal ligation surgery, a woman is permanently sterilized. A tubal ligation is performed when a woman decides that she either doesn't want more children or that she doesn't want to become a mother. The best tips for tubal ligation recovery involve being aware of what one should expect after surgery to avoid complications, both while still in the hospital and after discharge. The patient should follow all instructions provided by the doctor, and if any complications arise, she should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

A diagram of the female reproductive system, including the fallopian tubes.
A diagram of the female reproductive system, including the fallopian tubes.

A tubal ligation involves closing off the fallopian tubes by cutting them or blocking them, thereby preventing fertilization of an egg by sperm. The surgery is fairly simple, so it's usually done on an outpatient basis. If there are no problems, then the woman gets to go home the same day.

Obstetrician-gynecologists can perform tubal ligations to prevent pregnancy.
Obstetrician-gynecologists can perform tubal ligations to prevent pregnancy.

After surgery, the patient stays in a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. She's kept under close observation to mitigate any adverse effects. Some women experience numbness in their hands and legs as a result of spinal anesthesia. Normal feeling will come back within about six to eight hours. In the meantime, a patient might not be able to walk to the bathroom, so she'll need to ask a nurse for a bedpan.

Once she's discharged from the hospital, the patient takes charge of her tubal ligation recovery. She must monitor herself for such abnormalities as a fever, dizziness, nausea or severe pain in her abdomen. If those symptoms arise, then they're an indicator that complications have arisen, which could be a serious matter. She'll need to go back to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

During tubal ligation recovery, a patient must follow all instructions given by her doctor. These will encompass what medications to take, how to take care of the surgical wound, what level of activity she may safely attempt, when she may begin driving again and when she may return to work.

In addition to discomfort at the surgical site, some women have pain that results from inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas during the procedure. Sometimes this pain will manifest in one of the shoulders. If that's the case, the patient can kneel or recline with her chest down to help relieve the pressure.

Most women who have tubal ligation surgeries can return to work within one week. During tubal ligation recovery, women are advised to get plenty of rest, though patients must move around enough so that they can gradually build back to normal activity. Patients must avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for the duration of their recovery, even if full recovery takes longer than one week.

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