Women come from all over the world to Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center for reversing tied tubes – or more correctly put in medical terms, to have a tubal anastomosis. The majority of our patients desire sterilization reversal so they may naturally conceive more children. Many others, however, have ligation reversals to feel more complete again and/or to alleviate symptoms that have occurred after their surgical sterilization procedure. These patients report new physical and psychological symptoms after undergoing tubal ligation – symptoms that have been described as Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS).
There are many symptoms attributable to PTLS. The most predominant symptoms are:
• Menstrual pattern changes
• Painful periods
• Hot flashes
• Mood swings
• Decreased sex drive
• Memory changes
Does PTLS really exist?
The existence of Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome has been very controversial within the medical community. Early medical studies suggested that some sterilized women (women who had their tubes tied) had abrupt changes in bodily symptoms after their surgical procedures. These physical and mental changes were called Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome.
PTLS has been widely talked about by both women and medical professionals. Currently, PTLS information, advice, and ‘expert’ commentary saturate the internet. Conspiracy theories are prominent. Some people even believe sterilization is being forced upon women and there is a conspiracy, or lack of serious medical counseling, regarding the symptoms of PTLS.
More recent medical research has demonstrated that women do have changes in their menstrual patterns after tubal ligation; however, these changes are not as dramatic or as widespread as have been suggested in the past.
Observations from the Tubal Reversal Center
The tubal ligation reversal experts at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center provide sterilization reversal to a large number of women from across the world. We also counsel and treat a substantial number of women who attribute their worsening menstrual patterns to their tubal ligation procedures. These patients report a multitude of PTLS symptoms.
We like for our patients to be well-informed. Since women seeking relief of PTLS represent an increasing percentage of the patient population we care for, we would like to dedicate a series of informative blog articles discussing the concept of PTLS. More specifically, we would like to discuss the common medical reasons for new symptoms noticed after tubal ligation, current understanding about PTLS, and common psychological conditions which can mimic PTLS.
This is the first article in a fourteen part series. Our second article in this series is Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome: Past and Present.
Readers can also view patient submitted stories about their menstrual symptoms, reasons for reversing tubal ligation, and outcomes after reversal reversal surgery. Each patient’s story is listed below:
We invite readers to join the Tubal Reversal Message Board to discuss and share their personal experiences with tubal ligation. Feel free to contribute to our PTLS forum dedicated to patients who have personal insight into worsening symptoms after undergoing tubal ligation. Women are also invited to have discussions on our Tubal Reversal Facebook page.
The decision to add a series of articles about Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome on the Tubal Reversal Blog was prompted by requests and suggestions of many of our tubal reversal patients. Most doctors have been taught that no such entity as PTLS exists, much to the exasperation of women who are suffering from symptoms that began after a tubal sterilization. This series of blog articles will allow individuals to report about their personal experiences and case histories. Then, articles from the medical literature will be reviewed and discussed. Hopefully, this approach will help explain the discrepancy between what individual women have experienced and what medical doctors think about this complex subject. I encourage both patients and medical professionals to contribute their insights and opinions to this important series of articles.
Gary S. Berger, MD
Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center