When my husband and I discovered we were expecting our third child, one of my first thoughts were how can we prevent this happening again? Our surprise third child took us by surprise, especially as we were using contraception at the time! I thought if we could fall pregnant with contraception, we needed to take things a bit further to nip things in the bud to prevent more surprises. I really didn’t want to have to buy a van to drive my family around (no offence to big families who drive big vans).
All jokes aside, there comes a time in a couple’s life when they know they are done with having children. Everyone experiences these feelings at different times.
I felt it strongly while pregnant with my third daughter, and when discussing future contraception possibilities with my obstetrician, he suggested I could opt for a tubal ligation during my c-section. I didn’t realise this could be done. My obstetrician said it could, but I needed to think about it and make the decision with my husband.
And think about it we did. We talked about whether we were both sure we were finished having kids. We also talked about what would happen if we changed our mind in the future. I was only 30 at the time. Thinking about different scenarios meant we really thought hard about the decision. I guess the same conversation can happen when the male partner opts for a vasectomy.
Another consideration was did our family feel complete? My husband and I both felt that our family was about to be completed with our little one on the way.
To be honest, when my obstetrician suggested I could get my tubes tied during my c-section, I was adamant about having it done. I know that I could have sent my husband to get a vasectomy – and to be honest, that’s still on the cards, because a tubal ligation isn’t completely fail proof. But I knew I’d prefer to have the procedure done than go back on the pill or use some other form of contraception.
Since my procedure, I have had few side effects. The only two side effects that I’ve experienced are a heavier period and migraines during that time of the month. I’m not sure if the migraines are associated with my tubal ligation or it’s just coincidence I experience them more now that I’m a mum to three kids.
It was a very simple process. I signed a form before I could have the procedure, which took a few extra minutes after my baby was born. I was on heavy painkillers after the birth, which I found hard to deal with while navigating a newborn, but all in all, I didn’t feel too different after getting my tubes tied.
I knew the true test would be when I got my period back 6 months after the birth.
While doing my research before the procedure, I found that some women have had severe side effects after having their tubes tied which has prompted a new term: Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome. Women affected by the syndrome say they experience a range of symptoms including hot flashes, heavier periods, mood swings, depression, insomnia, vaginal dryness, mental confusion and fatigue.
I feel lucky I’ve only experienced the heavier periods and my obstetrician made me aware of this before I opted for the procedure. I think before agreeing to any type of surgery, it’s important to talk to your doctor, talk to other women who have had it done and make an informed decision. I armed myself with knowledge, discussed the possibilities with my husband and happily signed the forms to opt for the procedure.
For me, having my tubes tied has been a positive experience. I definitely don’t regret having it done.
Have you considered getting your tubes tied or have you had it done?
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Image: Rebecca Seynard