Tubal Ligation Almost as Popular as Oral Contraceptive Pill

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Women across the country have access to more contraceptive options than ever before; IUDs, pills, and condoms- the choices are endless. With so many easy to find methods of birth control options available, you may be surprised to learn that about a quarter of women opting to use some type of contraceptive are leaning towards tubal ligation.
This new report comes from information reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Report

The report from the CDC breaks down the favored methods of contraceptives among women who are choosing to use some type of birth control, which was approximately 62 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44, between 2011 and 2013. Female sterilization is currently used by a surprising 25 percent of women who are using some type of birth control, or 15 percent of the total population.
Tubal ligation is the second most popular birth control method, trumping condoms, implants like an IUD and birth control injections. If that wasn’t surprising enough, this non-reversible method is running neck and neck with birth control pills, by less than a one percent margin.

The trend isn’t new, because the number of women choosing permanent sterilization has remained steady and constant since the mid-1990s, according to historical data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD and assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine says, “The obvious fact that needs consideration is the permanence of tubal ligation. It’s imperative women are aware that this is done with the intention that they definitely don’t want more children.”

Getting a tubal ligation sounds fairly simple, but the real procedure isn’t quite as simple as the name would suggest. In most cases, a physician surgically burns, cuts or clamps the Fallopian tubes shut, which is irreversible. Even though it is quite a common procedure, it’s definitely a drastic move.

Considering the permanence of a tubal ligation, you may think women pushing the procedure to the number two spot would be at the older end of the spectrum and do not wish to have more children. However, Dr. Dweck said that while it’s the case in her practice, the CDC report shows different information.

According to information from the CDC study, older women are the largest demographic having their tubes tied, but millennial women are still a large part of this population.

So, if so many women are doing it, is getting your tubes tied something to think about if you don’t wish to have children?


Dweck said, “I would typically be hesitant to offer this procedure to young women who have not had kids without quite a bit of thought since you never know what the future might hold.”

Given the ever expanding range of birth control options available, choosing a path such as tubal ligation is permanent and not something to take lightly. Before doing anything that could render you unable to have children, it’s important to discuss your wishes and plans for the future with your gynecologist.


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