Hormonal After Effects of Tubal Ligation
Have you had a tubal ligation or had your tubes tied? If so, then you probably didn’t expect to have any problems after this procedure. Your doctor may have told you that you wouldn’t feel any differently. The reality is, many women do notice changes after a tubal ligation.
During tubal ligation surgery, the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus, are cut or blocked to prevent pregnancy. Women often refer to this procedure as having their “tubes tied.” In this video, Dr. Sheridan explains the hormonal effects of tubal ligation. (We’ll give you a hint: you’re NOT crazy!)
“What happens to my hormones after a tubal ligation? I was told I would be fine, but now I feel like I’m going crazy because I feel so bad. I’m tired all the time. I have weight gain and migraines, and I am so moody.”
Dr. Sheridan: Michelle, I’m Dr. David Sheridan. You asked a really good question. When your tubes are tied they not only crimp the fallopian tube, but they include the blood vessel that goes to each ovary and they do this on each side. The ovary does get blood supply from two vessels, but so do a lot of tissues. That doesn’t mean you can cut one off, or crimp it and block it, and the tissue’s not affected. We see this from time to time in women who have their tubes tied. You might lose a little bit of each ovary and feel fine. You can lose a lot of each ovary, they can be left severely damaged, and almost throw hormones around randomly.
What this often does is affect a woman’s ability to make progesterone more so than estrogen for reasons that are not well understood. She can be left estrogen dominant, it’s a tricky term, but it really means progesterone deficient allowing estrogen effects to dominate. Estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.
This can cause severe mood swings, irritability, headaches, and even migraines. You can start swelling and have fluid retention. It can be mild, moderate, or even devastating. Just like PMS, some women are affected mildly; some are devastated by their symptoms. It’s the same cause even though the woman with PMS maybe didn’t have her tubes tied. It’s progesterone deficiency allowing estrogen to dominate. Fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, ovarian cysts – these are other things that are caused by progesterone deficiency.
The biggest problem may be that progesterone’s your biggest bone builder, and it’s very important to help the brain repair itself. Progesterone’s probably your biggest anti-cancer compound. What we know in women that do not ovulate is that they have a 540% increase in breast cancer, a 1,000% increase in overall cancer mortality. These numbers are greater than the difference between smokers and non-smokers. I’m not saying that you make no progesterone, but you’re not making enough to balance the estrogen you have, causing symptoms that can be quite severe, threatening your bones, and also, in my opinion, raising cancer risks.
For someone with your problem, I would strongly recommend getting actual bioidentical progesterone from a doctor who knows how to adjust the dosage properly. It’s going to be best for your symptoms, way better than any drug, period. It’s going to be best for your health, because progesterone is very safe, and does not cause cancer. It actually protects against cancer, probably better than anything else.
You’re not crazy, but your doctors may be, because this has been going on a long time. I have been asked this, now I didn’t know what was going on, but when I was a resident, I didn’t know bioidentical hormones from my shoes. I did have women ask me, “I just had my tubes tied, could that make me feel bad?” Not all women, but many women, have their tubes tied and do okay, but some do not, because their ovaries are significantly damaged, and it continually makes them more and more estrogen dominant, in some cases even menopausal.
“After a tough birth that resulted in a c-section along with having
a tubal ligation (without understanding the possible side effects),
I came home much different than I had left. I was depressed and gaining weight. “
Elaina used to be active, always running 5Ks, but after her tubal ligation she became fatigued and depressed. She started gaining weight and lost her sex drive. Her husband felt like he lost his wife. Click here to read Elaina’s story and find out how she got her life back.