(This post is quite different from my usual, but please hang in there with me because I would love your help. Thank you!)
I was talking to a nurse on the phone, wondering if I should come in to see my OB/GYN, the one who I saw through my pregnancies and deliveries with both Asher and Elsie. The nurse said that what I was describing was “post tubal ligation syndrome”.
This is not what I was expecting to hear even though I had been researching online and feeling more and more certain that my tubal ligation was to blame for how awful I’m feeling. Not long after Elsie was born, I had this heart-gut feeling that my increased anxiety and depression (and some other physical issues) were due to having had my tubes tied when I had my c-section. But even though I felt strongly that having a tubal has caused something, I didn’t understand what it was. To be honest, I didn’t research exactly how a tubal ligation works before I had one, I was thinking of it in very simple terms. Attach clips to tubes. Don’t get pregnant. I didn’t think having my tubes tied did anything hormonal, so I couldn’t figure out why my gut was telling me my symptoms and the tubal were related. But then the nurse said “post tubal ligation syndrome” and I was stunned by validation.
Not only had the nurse’s words shocked me (I was all, UM, there’s a syndrome for this?), but I had also talked with several women who also had tubal ligations that resulted in some kind of problem for them, many of which were very similar problems to mine.
So, I headed into an appointment with my OB/GYN expecting her to be on the same page and when she wasn’t, I felt defeated and confused. She said she wasn’t sure what the nurse was referring to and hadn’t seen any other women coming in with the complaints that I have. She suggested that the way I’m feeling may simply be a result of being in the postpartum period and breastfeeding. She did admit that tubal ligations become problematic for some women because they can cut off the blood supply to the ovaries, causing early menopause.
I had no idea that was a possibility when I signed my life away and then had my tubes tied. And no matter what any doctor tells me, I’m convinced that what the nurse said is true–this is common and a really big deal, and I believe it goes beyond the possibility of early menopause–the issues I’m having include menopausal symptoms and more. So I’m writing about it here for two reasons. I want to hear from any of you who have had your tubes tied, and I want to encourage women to do a lot of research before having their tubes tied.
Because I’m currently struggling with a myriad of complications, I want to do a little research of my very own. If you or someone you know has had a tubal ligation, could you email me? I’d like to send you a few questions. I would be forever grateful for your input and time. I know that I’m on to something here and I need your help.
I’ve already talked to women (without filling their minds with all kinds of suspicions of what can happen after a tubal) who report my same symptoms and other symptoms similar to one another’s, and they had no idea it could be because of their tubal ligation. Someone close to me was even recently telling me that she went into early menopause and was struggling with numerous symptoms and was put on hormone replacement treatments. And I was all, YOU HAD YOUR TUBES TIED, DIDN’T YOU? and she was all, Yeah, why? And I said something like ACK OMG MY DOC SAID EARLY MENOPAUSE!
Now, even though it really sucks to be going through this, it’s good to know WHY I’ve been feeling like I have. And even though it’s really hard, I’m grateful to be able to talk about this and to embark on learning more about it.
1. Obviously, I’m not a medical professional. I’m just a woman telling her story. I’m also not doctor-bashing. I have no idea why women aren’t told that there’s a possibility that these symptoms may arise if they get their tubes tied. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it and learning as I go.
2. I am in no way telling anyone what to do with their bodies. Read my words and take ’em or leave ’em. I know it’s important to have this option for birth control available. I’m simply hoping to make people more aware of the “after-effects” of a tubal ligation and to discover the truth for myself. (BUT. PLEASE do your research before you make your decision about a tubal ligation.)
Thank you for reading about my freaking fallopian tubes, ya’ll. Who knows? Maybe some day soon I’ll tell you all about my spleen or my gall bladder or something. You are so lucky.
(There is now a Part 2 to this post which shares my myriad of symptoms and those of others I’ve heard from. Many many others.)
(There is also a Part 3, two years after this was posted, on how I’m doing now and what I’ve learned about PTLS)
COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED ON THIS POST BECAUSE IT WAS PUBLISHED IN FEB OF 2012. FOR MORE CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS ISSUE, PLEASE SEARCH FACEBOOK FOR “THE NEW PTLS GROUP” THANK YOU!