Tubal ligation is not a treatment for endometriosis. A person with endometriosis may not experience pain relief by getting a tubal ligation. However, they may reduce their risk of endometrial cancer.

Tubal ligation, also known as tying someone’s tubes, is a surgical procedure that closes off the fallopian tubes from the uterus. A surgeon may perform this by clipping the fallopian tubes closed, cauterizing the connection, or removing the fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis is a condition in which cells similar to those of the inner lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus. They commonly occur on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or outside of the uterus.

This article discusses the connection between tubal ligation and endometriosis, as well as whether tubal ligation can help endometriosis, the symptoms of fallopian tube endometriosis, and whether tubal ligation can worsen the condition.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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Endometriosis is a common condition affecting more than 11% of females of reproductive age. It is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain.

Experts are not completely sure why endometriosis occurs. The most widely accepted theory is that it occurs due to something doctors call “retrograde menstruation.” This describes the possibility that during a person’s menstrual flow, tiny bits of tissue lining the inside of the uterus flow backward into the fallopian tubes, where they may pass into the pelvic area.

While endometriosis has no cure, common treatments include hormone therapy and surgical removal of areas on the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries with endometriosis lesions.

Tubal ligation is not a typical treatment for endometriosis. However, some people with endometriosis may choose to have tubal ligation surgery to prevent pregnancy.

According to research, undergoing tubal ligation has no benefit to endometriosis. In fact, after tubal ligation, 20–50% of people form endometriosis in the remaining area of the fallopian tube 1–4 years after the procedure.

However, research suggests that tubal ligation may help decrease a person’s risk of endometrial cancer by 42%. People with endometriosis are at higher risk of developing this type of cancer.

Fallopian tube endometriosis is a subtype of endometriosis. It occurs when cells from the inside lining of the uterus grow within or around the fallopian tubes.

This extra cell growth can cause the tubes to work incorrectly and may structurally change them. This can lead to painful periods, pelvic pain, and infertility.

Other symptoms may include:

  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • painful bowel movements
  • pain during or after intercourse
  • extreme menstrual cramps
  • heavy period bleeding
  • spotting blood between periods
  • difficulty getting pregnant

Tubal ligation is not a treatment for endometriosis. There is no medical evidence suggesting that tubal ligation helps or worsens endometriosis.

The primary purpose of tubal ligation is to prevent pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes. The procedure does not directly address the underlying cause of endometriosis or the symptoms.

If a person with endometriosis wants to undergo tubal ligation, it is important that they have a thorough discussion with their doctor about the procedure and its effects. A person’s decision should hinge on their family planning goals and preferences rather than the management of endometriosis.

Doctors generally consider tubal ligation a safe and effective method of contraception for people who have completed childbearing or who wish to prevent future pregnancies permanently. Some doctors also suggest tubal ligation as a method of decreasing a person’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

One of the most common complications of tubal ligation is regret. It is critical for the person undergoing the procedure to understand that tubal ligation is a permanent alteration to their reproductive system and that reversal is not always possible.

Although rare, there is also the possibility that the procedure may not work, and the person may still get pregnant after tubal ligation.

Other complications of tubal ligation may include:

  • low back pain
  • premenstrual tension syndrome
  • missed periods
  • heavier periods
  • menopausal symptoms
  • pain during or after intercourse

If a person needs treatment for their endometriosis, it is best that they speak with a doctor about their symptoms. The doctor can offer a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment options for endometriosis.

If a person has questions about tubal ligation, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks of this procedure with their doctor.

Questions the person may want to ask their doctor include:

  • What are the risks and benefits?
  • Is tubal ligation the right choice for contraception?
  • Is tubal ligation reversable?
  • What are some alternative contraception options?
  • What will the recovery period be like?
  • What are the chances of pregnancy after tubal ligation?

Endometriosis resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on endometriosis.

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Tubal ligation is primarily a permanent method of contraception and is not a treatment for endometriosis. Tubal ligation does not treat the root cause of endometriosis and may not affect symptoms.

However, people with endometriosis are at higher risk of endometrial cancer, and undergoing tubal ligation may reduce their risk of developing this cancer.

Sometimes, endometriosis can develop in the fallopian tubes, which can cause pelvic pain, changes in a person’s menstrual cycle, and pain during or after intercourse.

If a person is experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, it is important for them to consult their doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. It is best for people considering tubal ligation to have a thorough conversation about what the procedure entails, the risks and benefits, and alternative methods of contraception that are not permanent.