What Should I Do after a Tubal Ligation?

A diagram of the female reproductive system, including the fallopian tubes.
A sore throat is relatively common after tubal ligation, but a doctor should be notified.
Article Details
  • Written By: M. Walker
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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After a tubal ligation procedure, you will most likely be taken to a hospital recovery room, where your health will be closely monitored for a few hours. During this time, the anesthesia will wear off, and a medical professional will give you instructions on wound care and treatment of possible side effects from the anesthesia. If there are no complications, you will be discharged and allowed to return home, where the full recovery usually takes between one and seven days. Be sure to get plenty of rest, avoid strenuous exercise, treat possible mild side effects with over-the-counter medications, and contact a healthcare professional if more serious complications arise.

During the hospital recovery time, you may experience nausea, dizziness, cramps or abdominal pain, a sore throat, or shoulder pain when waking up from the anesthesia. If you have received an epidural or other spinal anesthetic, you might feel numbness and have difficulty moving your legs. All of these are relatively common and are not cause for alarm, but be sure to talk to the nurse or doctor about what you are experiencing. Throughout the entire recovery process, it’s best to stay in communication with your healthcare providers, as they will be able to recognize potential signs of complications, help with moral support, and provide additional pain medication if necessary.

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Once you are discharged from the hospital, you should avoid heavy lifting or exercise for at least one full week. You should also avoid driving or operating machinery until the anesthesia has completely worn off, which usually happens after one to two days. Many women will find that they need the first day or two after a tubal ligation to rest and sleep off the anesthesia, but some will feel strong enough to resume their daily activities, including returning to work, after two to three days. Sexual intercourse is an option as soon as you feel comfortable because the tubal ligation procedure acts as an immediate method of birth control.

You might experience some neck or shoulder pain after a tubal ligation procedure, which is a common side effect of the carbon dioxide gas used to inflate the abdomen during surgery. To alleviate this pain, try lying down on your back with your knees curled into your chest. Pain at the incision site is common, but it can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications and by proper wound care according to the doctor’s instructions. If you experience persistent pain, fever, or vomiting, contact a medical professional right away, as these could be signs of more serious complications.

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