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Tubal Ligation (Sterilization) – Possible Side Effects

Risk Of Ectopic Pregnancy

According to a major 10-year study of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, “the cumulative probability of ectopic pregnancy for all methods of tubal sterilization combined was 7.3 per 1000 procedures. The cumulative probability varied substantially according to the method of sterilization and the woman’s age at the time of sterilization. Women sterilized by bipolar tubal coagulation before the age of 30 years had a probability of ectopic pregnancy that was 27 times as high as that among women of similar age who underwent postpartum partial salpingectomy (31.9 versus 1.2 ectopic pregnancies per 1000 procedures. The annual rate of ectopic pregnancy for all methods combined in the 4th through 10th years after sterilization was no lower than that in the first 3 years.” Thus, a “history of tubal sterilization does not rule out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, even many years after the procedure”. [New Engl Journal of Medicine 1997; 336:762-7]

Other possible side effects of tubal ligation include changes in blood supply to the ovaries, causing cramping, heavy bleeding, and PMS, and it lowers progesterone levels.

Vasectomy — possible side effects

Four studies have shown a doubling of the rate of prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer is the second leading killing cancer among men. Vasectomy may also cause problems with the auto-immune system.