Women who decide to not have any more children use different birth control methods. But even the most cautious can sometimes have “accidents” that result in an unplanned pregnancy. That’s why many women choose to have tubal ligation as a permanent birth control method. If you and your partner are considering this, let us know how much does tubal ligation cost.
The Average Cost of Tubal Ligation
The average cost of tubal ligation ranges from $200 to $8,000, including follow-up consultations. A number of factors affect the price, but the main one would be whether you have insurance or not.
The good news is that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, mandates that most insurance companies cover birth control and maternity expenses. Your out-of-pocket expenses would depend on the actual coverage, deductibles, and co-payment.
Tubal ligation can even be free of charge with the help of Medicaid and some other government assistance programs for those who can’t afford the service.
The Planned Parenthood department also does ligation with limited discounts depending on the indigence of the patient and the size of the family. You just have to look for the nearest Planned Parenthood department in your area and inquire.
What Exactly Is Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation is a permanent birth control method for women wherein the fallopian tubes are cut, blocked, or stitched to prevent unwanted pregnancy for good.
Tubal ligation is commonly known as tubal sterilization or “getting your tubes tied.” This procedure is meant to be permanent but can still be reversed through another surgery, depending on the method first performed.
In tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are literally cut, stitched, clipped, cauterized, tied, or burned. This means that sperm from your partner won’t reach your ovules.
Tubal ligation is 100% effective unless an ectopic pregnancy occurs. This is very rare, but not impossible.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Tubal Ligation
As presented above, the price of tubal ligation can have a wide range, and this can be brought about by the following factors:
The cost varies depending on your choice of facility. Tubal sterilization can be done in outpatient clinics, hospitals, health departments, and privately owned accredited health facilities. Gynecological clinics located in big cities can be expected to charge higher than other types of facilities.
So, how much does it cost to get your tubes tied? The average cost can range from $1,000 to $7,000 if uninsured. The cost will still vary depending on the method performed and the basic charges of the health facility. If insured, the total cost may be reduced by about 40% to 50%, excluding co-pays and other added services.
As mentioned, the cost will also vary based on the kind of method used. There are two common methods used for ligation: surgical and nonsurgical.
Non-surgical ligation can be done with Essure®, an FDA-approved device that is inserted through the vagina and cervix to block the fallopian tube.
Surgical ligation, on the other hand, comes in two methods, namely: laparotomy and mini-laparotomy.
A laparotomy is a ligation method wherein the practitioner administers local or general anesthesia, creates a small incision below the navel, and inserts the laparoscope. This is a narrow tube device that has a light and a lens to help the practitioner locate the tubes.
After this, a small cut is made again near the pubic bones into which the blocking device is inserted to clip the tubes.
On the other hand, the mini-laparotomy is done after childbirth, where the tubes can be easily located by the practitioner and won’t require the use of a laparoscope.
Anesthesia will be injected into the patient. After this, a small cut is made above the pubic line, and then the practitioner will locate the tubes. These tubes are then cut, tied, or clipped. Finally, the incision will be stitched.
Types of Tubal Ligation
Further, tubal ligation can be performed in several types of surgical procedures. These are the following:
- Bipolar Coagulation – this is the most popular type of tubal ligation wherein sections of the fallopian tube are being cauterized using electrical current. Tube damage is usually around two to three centimeters in length.
- Fimbriectomy – in this type of ligation, the ability of the ovary to capture and transfer eggs is being eliminated by removing the fallopian tube’s portion that is closest to it. This procedure has the lowest success rates among all of the tubal ligation types.
- Irving Procedure – this procedure is performed by placing two sutures around the fallopian tube and subsequently removing the section of the tubing between the sutures. The ends of these tubes will then be connected to the back of the uterus and the connective tissue.
- Monopolar Coagulation – this is less commonly performed compared to bipolar coagulation due to the fact that this usually damages the fallopian tube worse than in bipolar. This technique also uses electric current to cauterize the tube together. However, this method allows the radiating current to damage the tubes further.
- Tubal Clip – otherwise known as Hulka Clip technique, this involves the use of a permanent clip on the fallopian tube. This procedure stops the transfer of eggs to the ovary.
- Tubal Ring – this method utilizes silastic band that is placed around a loop of the fallopian tube. Around two to three centimeters of the fallopian tube is drawn inside the applicator and the ring is subsequently released onto the loop.
- Pomeroy Tubal Ligation – this type of ligation uses “strangulation” of the loop of the tube using a suture. The loop will then be cut and cauterized at the end.
The Risk of Getting Your Tubes Tied
Tubal ligation does prevent you from having an unplanned pregnancy, but there are certain risks that you must be cautious about. Some Essure® users have had problems where the clips were not attached properly.
Before deciding to have a tubal ligation, it is best to consult first a board-certified practitioner; either an OB–Gynecologist or a general physician. They might even give other low-cost contraception or recommend other alternative methods. They will also evaluate if you are medically physically fit for the ligation.
Even sophisticated tubal ligations can have underlying risks. These include ectopic pregnancy, which is considered life-threatening.
Other risks include bleeding and swelling in the incised area, chronic pain, and internal bleeding. If so, it is best to seek immediate medical help. The tubal ligation price may increase big time, especially when symptoms persist and require a number of follow-up treatments.
Things To Remember
Tubal ligation does not prevent you from having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Wearing protection is still appropriate.
As mentioned, tubal ligation can be reversed, but it’s not 100% guaranteed. Getting your tubes tied is meant to be permanent, but methods not entirely damaging the responsible parts of the reproductive organs make changing of mind possible.
So if you have even a little desire to have kids in the future, don’t get yourself a ligation. Stick to your everyday contraception or seek medical counsel from an expert.
Tubal ligation is still the best contraceptive option that guarantees almost 100% effectiveness. The one-time expense will save you from repetitive spending for birth pills, condoms, and morning-after pills.