Ethics? IUD vs tubes tied.

Sneaky - posted on 01/20/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hi. I am pregnant with my third (and hopefully LAST) child, and I am considering my options for long term contraception. Obviously the two 'longest term' options are the ten year IUD or having my tubes tied but I am having issues with both ideas :o)

First off I hesitate about getting an IUD because one of it's modes of operation is to stop a fertilized egg from implanting. . . I am not a religious person, but this idea makes me REALLY uncomfortable. Plus is it uncomfortable???

My concerns about getting my tubes tied are that I think I would have to undergo a general anesthetic - a risk I know is very small, but one I am not sure I have the right to take when I will have three children and a hubby at home waiting for me, and it is kind of permanent - what if I change my mind????

Yes, I have been told that I think too much :o)

Can anyone give me their experiences with either/both methods? Recovery, pain, complications, did it work for you?

Thanks for your help! Fortunately I still have a few months to make up my mind . . .

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Lindsay - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had the mirena IUD placed after my son was born because I wasn't 100% sure if I was done. It was a very simple procedure in the office and I don't remember any discomfort. So if there was some, it couldn't have been to terrible since I don't remember.



About 6 months ago, I went ahead and had a tubal ligation. I had had my mirena for 3 years and was still in the same mindset of being done have kids. Mine was done as outpatient surgery. My experience is a little different than someone just giving birth. I was sore for about a week.

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2010

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Actually, there is a third option. Your partner could consider a vasectomy. Very safe and more effective than either of these methods......my hubby had one done, and it was 1/2 hour in a doctor's office under local anaesthetic, and some mild discomfort for a couple of days.

Terry - posted on 01/23/2010

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Just so you know, you can have a tubal ligation with a local (not general) anesthetic. I know two women who had their tubals reversed and had babies afterward. They are the only two I know who wanted to reverse their tubals. I had a tubal ligation with general anesthetic after my fourth child. (I was 43 with absolutely no plans of ever having another baby.) It was three days before I felt "normal" again. Since I didn't plan on having a baby at 42, I was 100 percent sure I'd never want to reverse my tubal. (There aren't many things in life you can be that sure about.) I know they've made great strides in the IUD, but I just have this thing about having a foreign object in my body that made the tubal the right way to go for me. You didn't share your age and that's pretty important about whether you'd want to reverse it or not. I'm a big supporter of vasectomies because they're simpler if your husband has a doctor he trusts and is willing. Of the men I know who have had vasectomies, I find it interesting that only the ones who were initially not willing to have one are the only ones who had problems after it. Of course all of this is just based on personal observation, not on any hard scientific data. Ask yourself why you don't want more children. If it's something like there's no room for a another baby, a tubal probably isn't the way to go because your housing situation can change. If it's that the thought of another baby seriously makes you doubt your ability to parent then it's probably time to get the tubes tied.

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La'El - posted on 06/29/2014

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FYI-there is a huge difference between an ovum and a fertilized ovum. One has the same DNA as the person from who's body it came and one has it's own, unique DNA.

Catherine - posted on 08/15/2013

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Hi everyone I'm new here and I can't really find what topic that I want to talk about...well since I'm here I need some answers I had my tubes tied in 2004 after my second child by me being high risk I got my tubes tied wishing I never did that...I have a period twice each month which is heavy, I've also been having morning sickness, I be vomiting every time my period comes on....I wish to god that I never did this to myself, I want to get them reverse but it cost money....I had feeling like this can anyone knows a doctor who can help me reverse my tubes...I rather take birth control for life then to keep my tubes tied...

Tamara - posted on 01/23/2010

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I agree with you on the IUD- I was never comfortable with that idea either. I didn't think I wanted more kids after my second child was born--but there was that 1% chance that maybe I would change my mind, so I used the Depo shot until I was completely sure that I didn't want more kids sure 3 1/2 years later (it is okay w/breastfeeding, as least that's what docs say) . Some people have had bad experiences with Depo, but it was great for me--no periods, no PMS, alot fewer migraines. At that point my husband got a vasectomy--recovery alot easier and so much simpler than if I were to get my tubes tied. My gynecolgist seemed unsure if we shoud make such a permanent decision that young (I think I was 32 at the time) but I told him I could not imagine handling more kids,(maybe just a dog) and that I had really used those years I was on Depo to think through the decision. 3 years later I have an adorable doggie and we are both happy with our decision. I wish you luck on your preganancy and your decision!!

Shilo - posted on 01/23/2010

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I had the merina after my 5th child. There is no discomfort, you can't feel anything after it is placed, it has taken away cramping, shortened period, and last for 5 years. It gives you time to decide on something more permanant in the future and you don't have to remember to take a pill or put on a patch, which is very wonderful when you are busy with everything mom's have to do. I would recommend it.

Kenyada - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hi Tracey, Im a mom of 4 with my youngest being 7mths. I was newly married and on our honeymoon when we conceived. And I made the final decision to have my tubes tied while our newborn daughter was being wiped off and weighed on the operating table. Now, yes I and my husband had discussed having another child soon in our marriage. However, I did not plan for it to be That soon! And yes, we also discussed the option of having my tubes tied thereafter, but We did not conclude. Long of the short after a miserable 2wk recovery period. And a nasty cut in my bikini area, I am greatful for a full recovery and no signs of sickness or unplanned ailments. But I really wish I would have taken another birth control option. I understand exactly what you're concerns are about both the options you referenced to, so I would speak to my Dr. about other options if I were you. There are atleast 3 or 4 more atlternatives, don't get overwhelmed and make a "bogus" decision like I did. Ask your medical provider to address your concerns and to provide more options....o yea, did I mention that I was back in the emergency 2wks after delivering, diagnosed with appendicitis(may be misspelled), and was admitted to have an emergency operation to have them removed. I'm not sure how closely that relates to the tubal, but needless to say, if I had it to do all over again I'd stay away from that option. Best wishes

Ganesa - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had my tubes tied at 23, after my third child in 4 years. I had it done immediately after my daughter was born, so it wasn't terribly invasive and I have no visible scar (it's in my belly button) I recovered from both the delivery and the surgery in about a weeks time. My relationship with my children's father ended 2 years after that, and I remarried. There was a small period of time when I was sad and regretted the decision but only because I thought my husband might want kids of his "own". He didn't. LOL. I am very happy now that it's done and taken care of. I never have to worry about undergoing another procedure again, which is a big relief. The risks of going under general anesthetia are very low, it is considered one of the safest areas of health care today. In fact the risk of dying while under is between 1/200,000 to 1/1,000,000 depending on your general health/underlying conditions. You're more likely to die getting on the freeway than while under anesthetia. As for the likelihood of needing a hysterectomy, there were 2 abstract studies published that said that, but more doctors/professionals say there is NO increased risk, as there is absolutely no biological reason as to why that would happen. My tests etc. have always been tip top and I have no problems with any of my "lady parts", lol.

If you are certain about not wanting more children, the tubal ligation is imo the way to go. Good luck with your decision.

Sharon - posted on 01/22/2010

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I am all for you getting your tubes tied.



Fyi - with the "ethics" of preventing the implantation of a fertilised egg.... with that logic you should saving every egg you produce as they have the potential to be a baby. And they are living already.

Theresia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Tubal ligation

* There is a slight risk of becoming pregnant after tubal ligation. This happens to about 5 per 1,000 women after 1 year. After a total of 10 years following tubal ligation, about 18 per 1,000 women will have become pregnant.

Tubal implants

* Sterilization implants are a new birth control technology, so there are no long-term statistics. Studies so far show that over 2 years, fewer than 1 per 100 women got pregnant with implants. 1
* A tubal implant can be difficult to insert. Some women have to have a repeat procedure before both tubal implants are properly placed.


Tubal implant method

Implants are inserted in the fallopian tubes without surgery or general anesthesia. The procedure is done in a doctor's office, an outpatient surgery center, or hospital and does not require an overnight stay. The implant procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.

I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do, and congrats on number 3.
I hope this info helps you

Theresia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Reversing tubal ligation requires reconnecting the fallopian tubes, and success rates for reconnecting are VERY LOW. If you are considering tubal ligation, be absolutely certain you will never want to have a biological child in the future. Because of the fact that it may not be possible. Women who are probably not good candidates for tubal ligation include those who:

* Are younger than age 30, especially if they have never had a child. Women who have a tubal ligation in their 20s are more likely to want to reverse it later.
* Are having a problem pregnancy. Women who decide to have a tubal ligation during the stress of a difficult pregnancy are likely to regret the decision later.
* Are not currently in a stable relationship but might be in the future.
* Count on being able to reverse the tubal ligation later if they change their minds.
* Are being pressured to have the surgery by their partners, family, or other people.
* Are "giving up" on finding another method of birth control they can use successfully.

If you are married, you do not need the consent of your husband to have tubal ligation.

In the 1970s, women's and ethnic advocacy groups became concerned about the possibility of sterilization abuse. This concern led to regulations and practices that protect women who might feel pressured into having this surgery against their will.

* Health insurance coverage may require a waiting period from 48 hours to 30 days under most circumstances.
* Some health professionals advise a waiting period between the time a woman requests a tubal ligation and the time the surgery is performed. This waiting period allows you to be certain about your decision.

[deleted account]

Not a fact, but I have seen more likely than not, Women who have their tubes tied, end up later in life having to undergo a hysterectomy . Why women would choose to have such a serious surgery instead of your partner getting fixed which only involves a small incision is beyond me. If your having any doubts of wanting more you probably should take the IUD route.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't advise a vascetomy. Lots of men have problems afterwards, especially in the bedroom department. I'd say the IUD is probably the best option.

Christa - posted on 01/22/2010

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if u get ur tubes tied there is no turning back because if u want more kids in future it cost alot of money to get them reversed.

[deleted account]

Jodi I have considered it and im trying to talk him into it but I dont think Im going to have much luck

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2010

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Well Julie, given a vasectomy is for men, I'm pleased to hear you don't want one ;)

Julie - posted on 01/22/2010

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i think i would rather have the lUD than have vasectomy at lest witha lUB you can come off it if you did decide to have more

[deleted account]

Im in a similar position Im having baby no 4 and its not that I wouldnt like more but I just dont have the room in the house for more kids after this one. So Im considering sterilisation but the thought of not ever being able to change my mind and have another baby scares me. Other thing that bothers me is that my mother died in hospital after catching mrsa my little brother was only 6 and the thought of leaving my kids if something went wrong scares me silly. Then again the thought of having a foreign object inside me feels icky Ive tried having an iud before and they couldnt fit it right so i went back on the pill. Dont want to be popping tablets for the next 20 years though.

Sneaky - posted on 01/22/2010

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The information I have been able to gather re IUD contraceptive action is:

from Wikipedia which basically says most health professionals are happy to say that the copper contained in IUDs inhibits both the sperm and the egg prohibiting fertilization, but that there is a 'controversial' suggestion that they may inhibit implantation of a fertilized eggs - no studies have been to support this theory at this time.

The flyer I was given by my GP (printed by Family Planning Australia) says that both the Mirena hormonal IUD and the non-hormonal copper IUDs work by 'preventing implantation'.

The Mirena information booklet that Family Planning Australia gave me says that the Mirena works in three ways - by creating a mucus plug in the cervix to prevent sperm entering, to thicken cervical mucus so sperm can not reach the egg, and by creating a 'hostile environment' for implantation of a fertilized egg.

My own logic tells me that if IUDs are more than 99% effective that still means that fertilization of an egg will occur in less than 1% of cases and result in an unplanned pregnancy - this obviously means that IUDs do NOT always prevent fertilization . . .

But I would still love some advice as to which method is generally preferred (and why) between an IUD and tubal ligation. Thanks.

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