Tubal ligation is a form of permanent female sterility. During this procedure, a woman's fallopian tubes are closed off, blocking access to the woman's eggs. According to Columbia University, sterilization is the most popular form of birth control among married couples.
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However, it is possible to become pregnant after tubal ligation. Not only is the procedure surgically reversible, but it also has a 1 in 200 percent change of failing. If you suspect you may be pregnant after your tubal ligation, pay attention to any symptoms you may experience and talk to your doctor as soon as possible to diagnose any potential problems before they become dangerous.
If you have regular periods after your tubal ligation that suddenly stop, it could indicate pregnancy. While it's more likely that your periods have stopped for another reason, it's important to rule out pregnancy so you can take the proper precautions. If your period is more than five to seven days late, consult with your health care provider.
People who have tubal ligation surgery are at a higher risk for ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg begins to grow in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. If left untreated, the fallopian tube could rupture, causing infection and internal bleeding. This condition is potentially fatal. Ectopic pregnancies often present with sharp abdominal pain on one side. Rarely, ectopic pregnancies can occur in other areas of the body and present with a more generalized abdominal pain. If you experience abdominal pain, see your health care provider to rule out ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnancy after tubal ligation can carry the same symptoms as any normal pregnancy. Some women experience morning sickness while others have food cravings or fatigue. You may feel just slightly sick or tired, enough to make you think you're coming down with something, but not enough to make you suspect pregnancy. Some women experience light spotting, known as implantation bleeding, as the fertilized egg nests into the uterine lining. You could also experience PMS-type symptoms, such as breast tenderness or bloating.