Many women decide to have their tubes tied when they think they don't want to have any more children. This procedure, called tubal ligation, is an outpatient surgery that blocks or cuts the fallopian tubes so the woman’s egg is unable to travel to the uterus where it would become fertilized by sperm. While having your tubes tied can be an effective way to prevent pregnancy, it is not 100% effective. 1 out of about 200 women becomes pregnant even after having the procedure. Pregnancies that occur after having tubal ligation are more likely to be ectopic pregnancies, where the egg becomes implanted in the fallopian tubes and not the uterus. Then what are the signs of pregnancy after tubal ligation? 

What Are the Risks of Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation?

There is a chance of the fallopian tubes growing back together after tubal ligation has been performed, which is one of the ways women can still become pregnant. Typically, the younger a woman is when she has the procedure, the higher her risk is of becoming pregnant. Women under the age of 28 have a 5% chance of becoming pregnant while those over 34 only have a 1% chance of becoming pregnant after having the procedure.

There is also a chance that the woman will have the procedure after a fertilized egg has unknowingly been implanted in the uterus. For this reason, many women tend to have the procedure done right after giving birth or their menstrual cycle when there is less risk of being pregnant.

What Are Signs of Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation?

Even after having the tubal ligation procedure, it is possible to be pregnant for the full term and some women decide to have the procedure reversed. In both cases, becoming pregnant will require the fallopian tubes to grow back together but it is not always an effective way to become pregnant again. However, there are still many cases. The following symptoms could be signs of pregnancy after the procedure.

No Period

Not getting your period is always a clear indication that you might be pregnant. There are other reasons you could miss your period but you want to rule out pregnancy first. Always consult your doctor if your period is late by more than five days.

Other Symptoms

In many cases, a pregnancy that occurs after tubal ligation will have the same signs and symptoms as any other pregnancy. Morning sickness, fatigue, and food cravings can be some of the most common and first indications of pregnancy. While these symptoms may not be as extreme as they would with a normal pregnancy, these signs of pregnancy after tubal ligation shouldn't be ignored. 

Feeling like you might be coming down with a cold or another sickness can make you think you are just tired or ill because of the cold. Most women never suspect being pregnant because they tend to still have all the same signs that they are about to get their period. Light spotting, which usually occurs once the egg attached to the uterus, bloating, and breast tenderness are all common signs of pregnancy that can be mistaken for regular PMS symptoms.

What Are the Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Since tubal ligation increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, you want to be aware of the warning signs if you have had the procedure. Many of the first signs of an ectopic pregnancy are similar to those of a normal pregnancy. Some of these symptoms include pain in the abdominal or pelvic area, light spotting or bleeding, pressure around the pelvic.

Abdominal pain can be one of the earliest signs of an ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening. When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube, it could result in the tubes rupturing if left untreated. When the tubes rupture, internal bleeding occurs and increases the risk of infections. Sudden sharp pain in the abdomen can be a warning sign of ectopic pregnancy and should be checked out immediately.

If these signs are ignored, the fallopian tube can rupture. If any of the following symptoms are present, you should seek medical attention immediately.

  • Passing out or lightheartedness.

  • Severe stomach or pelvic pain.

  • Significant vaginal bleeding.

  • Pain in the shoulders.

If it is determined that you are in the early stages of an ectopic pregnancy because you were aware of the signs of pregnancy after tubal ligation, then certain medications will be prescribed. These medications will prevent the egg from being able to grow. While taking this medication, you will need to your hCG levels monitored to ensure they are not rising.

Surgery may also be necessary to repair the fallopian tube or remove tissues. In some instances, the fallopian tube will need to be removed altogether. Surgery is required when the fallopian tube has been ruptured and you will need to be carefully monitored to reduce the risk of infections.


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