If you are a Doctor reading this; I mean no disrespect and I am not judging you or your ability as the incredible doctor that you are.
I am sharing my experience, what I have researched (extensively) and what I believe. It may not be what you believe and if you have done your own research and have arrived at a different conclusion then I respectful agree to disagree.
I have attached an article link which I came across that prompted this writing and as synchronicity has it; I just ended a phone call with a doctor who I quote said “your tubal ligation procedure should not have affected your period in any way”.
It became clear to me once again that the information just isn’t readily available, STILL. This upsets me. Its not right. Read the report. It states that women should be informed of the advantages AND disadvantages of a tubal ligation. Tubal Ligation is the medical term for the sterilisation procedure where a doctor “ties” your tubes to stop your eggs from descending into the Fallopian tube to get fertilised, therefore stopping your ability to get pregnant. Very final and a very simplified explanation for the purpose of this post. Please do your own research on tubal ligation to better your own understanding.
After we had our third child we knew we were complete and decide to take action so that I didn’t have to take synthetic oral contraception. It was actually my husband that was going to take the action and we were happy with that decision. However, I’ll tell you the story of what transpired 10 mins before I entered the delivery ward.
I still can’t get over how hilarious a jumpsuit and surgical hat looks on my husband. I feel relaxed and ready to meet our third child.
The Doctor enters the room and although I’ve met him before; this is our formal introduction pre-surgery. He asks me a few questions, makes sure I don’t have any of my own and then asks us if we plan to have more children. We both, probably a little too quickly said no and that we were very happy with our blessings. The conversation developed into an inquiry as to whether we had considered the option of getting my tubes tied? We were already “in there” as I was scheduled for a C-section so it was put to us that it was an extremely simple procedure and far more convenient than a vasectomy due to my circumstances.
As luck would have it I had actually done A LOT of research around this procedure and decided against it due to the alarming number of reports and support groups I came across on a condition called Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS). Heavy bleeding, increased cramping, erratic hormones, depression, anxiety, the list goes on and on and I’d love for you to do your own research to understand what I believe is a life altering syndrome. There are many many women who have had reversals so their bodies could go back to the way they were before the operation to rid their symptoms. Back to normal they went on the majority of the cases I read. Other women chose to have a hysterectomy to try and improve their quality of life after tubal ligation.
When I addressed my concerns they were quickly shot down. ” I don’t know where you were getting your information from but that’s simply not the case. How can your periods be affected when we are not removing your ovaries or doing anything that affects your uterus and cycles” I felt almost embarrassed. Unfortunately, I was not the same person I am today and I didn’t believe in myself the way I do now. I felt silly. I thought to myself, this really would be the easiest and quickest recovery option maybe I’m being selfish by not considering this. I asked him again, I don’t know why, to be sure? Actually I do know why, it was my intuition giving me another chance to make the best decision for myself.
So “pumpkin’ head” was delivered unto the world and the journey of mothering three boys began! All was not as I expected in every single sense. One thing however, had drastically changed for the worst.
They returned heavier than I’d ever known them; I’ve never had any PMS or irregular bleeding. They’ve changed so much so that I can’t go an hour without changing my tampon. I have menorrhagia and extremely low iron because of it. I will have to supplement for life. I once collapsed on the floor in the first year post op, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t open my mouth to utter a single word to my husband about what was happening. the cramping continued like that for a few months every few days before my period was due. The cramping has since subsided by my bleeds continue to be heavy and my hormones to be unbalanced.
Here’s an important extract form the article:
“The present study also assessed the relationship between method of delivery and menorrhagia. Our results indicated menorrhagia was more common in women with history of caesarian section. Harlow et al. (6) concluded that menstrual irregularity, length of menstruation, length of cycle and flow volume are similar in women with and without TL, but women with a history of cesarean section and TL experienced an increase in volume of menstrual flow compared with women who did not undergo TL. Uppal et al. (24) reported similar findings. Regnard et al. (27), however, found no relationship between the method of delivery and menstrual disorders. Osser et al. (28) have also referred to endometrial defects at cesarean scar site and the weakness of uterine contractions as a cause for menstrual disorders.
The present study shows that menstrual disorders were more common in women with TL. There are still many important questions to be investigated about probable effects of TL on menstrual disorders. This study conveys an important message that TL may influence irregular menstruation and menorrhagia. Hence, women should be informed and instructed by health providers such as midwifes and gynecologists regarding the advantages and disadvantages of TL. Definitely, this database is not large enough to give precise conclusion and needs further supports for long-term follow-up for menorrhagia in patient undergoing TL.”
It has been an arduous journey to get answers or solutions, especially in an holistic capacity. I worked with an amazing functional doctor who got me feeling the best I’d ever felt in my life but when she left the practice I didn’t follow up on treatments discussed, testing and appointments. I have books to read and many more modules left in my nutritional studies that I believe will help me achieve a better quality of life especially around my cycles and balancing of hormones. I have to take on this responsibility because there are still so many health professionals that don’t recognise PTLS. The amount of times I have been told “it is what it is” is laughable.
I just don’t except that. I can’t.
Please share my story with as many people as you can. Men and Women
If this lands on someone who was thinking of getting a tubal ligation voluntarily and it makes them stop and do their own research; then it would make my heart sing.
I just want more conversations to start around this topic.
Believe in yourself, especially if you’ve put in the hard yards and researched your decision.
Lorna Hay xx