Do you feel like you are finished having children and thinking of getting your tubes tied? I had the same thought and in theory it sounded like a great option for permanent birth control for me. I proceeded with having my tubes tied after the birth of my third child. I did little research on the topic, and when my doctor offered it, I agreed without really asking any questions, or thinking much about it. After all, my mother had her tubes tied and I had never heard her complain about any side effects.
Shortly after I weaned my baby I started to notice that my periods were more often, every sixteen days, and very long, ten days at a time and very heavy. When I asked my OB about it she suggested I take birth control, seems counter intuitive right? Or have an endometrial ablation, a procedure that surgically destroys the lining of your uterus...no thanks, that was not for me. I had a full panel of blood work done to rule out any other problems, such as an issue with my thyroid, but my blood work came back as "text book" healthy. So now what?
I decided to try Chinese medicine. I did three rounds of acupuncture and took some Chinese herbs for two weeks. My period has been every twenty six days for five days at a time and much more manageable since June of this year when I did the Chinese medicine. I have also connected with other women who have had similar experiences after their tubal ligation. Some have even stated they experienced early menopause which they felt was from the tubal. My period is regular now and manageable, but I have noticed other symptoms like irritability, weight gain especially around my mid-section, bouts of rapid heartbeat, fatigue, and body odor/sweating.
Is it all connected to the tubal ligation? I am not certain, but I have done some research that I wish I had done before I had the procedure. Here is what I have found:
It has been published that there is such a thing as Post Tubal Syndrome. PTS is often the result of a rapid decrease in estrogen levels due from the blood supply being damaged to the ovaries during tubal ligation. Many of the symptoms of PTS are associated with having an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Other theories of PTS and the hormonal imbalance that results after a TL is that "target" or "receptor" cells that are important in the relay of hormonal messages are damaged, destroyed, and or removed during the TL surgery.
*** REPORTED SYMPTOMS OF POST TUBAL SYNDROME ***
1. Eptopic pregnancy or pregnancy (well known risk of tubals)
2. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling, chills
3. Bouts of rapid heart beat
5. Mood swings, sudden tears
6. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
7. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
8. Loss of libido
9. Crashing fatigue
10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
11. Feelings of dread, apprehension
12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13. Disturbing memory lapses
14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
15. Increased tension in muscles
16. Breast tenderness
17. Decreas in breast mass
18. Sudden bouts of bloat
19. Weight gain
20. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
21. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
22. Changes in body odor
23. Electric "shock" or "stabbing" sensation under the skin.
24. Tingling in the extremities.
I have learned from my experience that it is important to do research before making a decision to have a medical procedure such as tubal ligation. My advice to you is to ask lots of questions and make sure it is the right choice for you. It is a choice I regret and I am still working to improve the hormonal imbalance which I feel certain was caused by my TL. If you are experiencing similar symptoms and want to try Chinese medicine or Acupuncture check out Lyle Harvey at the Nesting Place www.nestingplaceacupuncture.com or East Nashville Community Acupuncture www.eastnashvilleacupuncture.com