Until recently, tubal ligation seemed like a relatively safe and effective solution as a contraception post-childbirth.
Then we started to have more and more women comment that following tubal ligation, their hormonal issues worsened, and a raft of issues developed following the procedure. This led us to investigate further and discovered that for some women, not all - but enough to warrant concern - a tubal ligation may not have been the best choice.
The Downsides of Ligation
The relatively innocuous procedure seems on the surface to be a great solution to prevent pregnancy; however, it seems that the blood flow to the ovaries is semi-dependent upon the pathway of the fallopian tubes. This blood flow allows for correct oxygenation of the ovaries, as well as chemical messaging of hormones and other blood chemicals. When this blood supply is restricted, additional hormonal issues begin to develop.
Another theory is that particular targets or receptor cells that are important in transmitting hormonal messaging are damaged or removed during tubal ligation. These receptor cells are integral for correctly messaging hormonal signals in the brain via the hypothalamus & pituitary axis, which controls hormone levels. So, the possibility of reduced blood supply to the ovaries and dysfunction of the receptor cell transmissions affects the more extensive endocrine and hormonal system.
Several studies have shown increased menstrual difficulties post tubal ligation, especially in the age group of 20 - 29, when the blood supply is most prevalent.
After-effects of Tubal Ligation
Symptoms reported following a post-tubal ligation are listed below; however, it's important to note that these symptoms are wide and varied. It's hard to pinpoint the exact symptoms. However, the variety of reported symptoms suggests that the effect is systemic. (The list is taken from Tubal.org.)
- Ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy (well-known risk of tubal ligations)
- Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling, chills
- Bouts of rapid heartbeat
- Mood swings, sudden tears
- Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
- Loss of libido
- Dry vagina
- Itchy vagina - at times raw-like; can radiate from the whole area, with an absence of yeast infections
- Colour change in the vaginal area (colour gets darker; darker red to purple)
- Crashing fatigue - Chronic Fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
- Disturbing memory lapses
- Incontinence, primarily upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
- Prolapse of the uterus due to the rapid decrease in estrogen levels
- Itchy, crawly skin
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- A decrease in breast mass
- Headache change: increase or decrease
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Sudden bouts of bloat
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Allergies developing or increasing - (Chronic sinusitis)
- Nasal infections-necessitating antibiotics
- Weight gain
- Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
- Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
- Changes in body odour
- Electric shock or stabbing sensation under the skin.
- Tingling in the extremities
- Gum problems and increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of the mouth, bad taste in the mouth, change in breath odour
- Osteoporosis (after several years )
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break more easily
- Stabbing pains in the pelvic area at the time of ovulation
- Pelvic pain
- Development of Adenomyosis
- Development of Ovarian/Tubal Cysts
- Decreased Lactation Ability
If your issues seem linked, then there is the option to have it reversed - and hope the circulation can be restored. Also, consider herbal options to correct the imbalance that has developed.
Our suggestion to better understand your unique hormonal situation is to take our online women's health assessment. It is free, and we will send you a personalised comprehensive report detailing how your symptoms relate to hormonal factors and how you can start to take proactive steps towards better health.